Dynamic Leadership – Connect with your Audience Speech 3.2

This speech focuses on Connecting with your Audience, it is the first elective project I have chosen to complete from Level three of the Dynamic Leadership Pathway. I delivered it to a a new club and not the one I am a member of.

Good afternoon Madam President, Madam Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests. Today I am here to talk to you about Pathways, the educational programme we use in Toastmasters. Before I start talking about Pathways, I just want to briefly explain about the software that we use to support members journeys through Toastmasters.

There are two different sites we use, they are Easyspeak and Toastmasters International.  Easyspeak is the software we use on a day to day basis to automate the planning of meetings and to track and support members development, as well as general club administration. This is the site that people spend more time on. We use it to request speeches, confirm attendance and when we will fill roles, it helps generate agendas and is very user friendly. It helps to centralise club information and gives clarity to meetings. Every member needs to register for both the Easyspeak and Toastmasters International sites. You can use the same login’s for both. You can use Easyspeak to track your own progress of your speeches and leadership roles, which is useful. You can also see information about the area and the district too. Should you wish to speak at another club, like I am today, easyspeak makes its simple for me to register this speech with my own club, as they are both on Easyspeak. It does not take long to familiarise yourself with Easyspeak.

Pathways is the Toastmasters Education programme, that you can complete at your own speed. It is designed to help you grow as a speaker and a leader, you will learn real world transferable skills. To start with Pathways you need to log on to Toastmasters International and choosing a Path, this can be done by either completing an assessment or, if you know what you want to focus on, you can just pick a path yourself. If you decide that a path is not for you, you have 30 days to contact Toastmasters and change it for free, if you wait until after the 30 days, you will need to pay $20.

There are 11 Paths to choice from and if you unsure of a Path to pick, Toastmasters recommend that you pick Presentation Mastery. When choosing a Path, I think it is important to look at the mandatory speeches and see if you want to do those, if you don’t, you should pick another path. If you do, you will not miss out on any speeches or projects, as all the paths share a majority of the same projects and speeches, and all speeches teach you about Public speaking, mentoring, presentation skills and leadership. Each path has 5 levels and each level has the same number of speeches that need to be made. Level’s 1 and 2 have 3 mandatory speeches that teach you the basics of public speaking. Level 3 has 3 speeches, 1 is mandatory and the other 2 come from a selection of 14, Level 4 has 1 mandatory speech and 1 you elect from a list of 5, Level 5 has 3 speeches, 1 is mandatory and 1 is an elective from a list of 6 the last one is a wrap up. At the end of the Path you will have completed 14 projects across the 5 levels. Each path starts with an ‘Icebreaker’ speech, the objective of which is just for you to introduce yourself to your fellow members and to get you talking, this speech can be about absolutely anything from your love of Rubik’s cubes to the time you bungie jumped off a hot air balloon, and everything in between.

The 11 paths are: 

1. Presentation Mastery, this will focus on learning how to gauge audience response and to improve your connection with your audience. The final project is an extended speech where you can apply what you have learned. The Mandatory speeches in this Path are: Persuasive Speaking in level 3, Managing a difficult Audience in Level 4 and Prepare to speak professionally in Level 5.

2. Effective Coaching, focuses on understanding and building consensus, contributing to the development of others by coaching. The final project is a High Performance Leadership Project of your choice. The Mandatory speeches in this Path are: Reaching consensus in level 3, Improvement through positive coaching in level 4 and High Performance Leadership in Level 5.

3. Engaging Humour, focuses on understanding your sense of humour and how that sets of humour translates to engaging your audience. The final project is an extended humorous speech where you can apply what you have learned. The Mandatory speeches in this Path are: Engage your audience with humour in level 3, the power of humour in an impromptu speech in level 4, and develop your message with humour in level 5.

4. Innovative Planning, focuses on creating innovative solutions and understanding of the steps needed to manage a project. The final project is a High Performance Leadership Project of your choice. Mandatory projects are Present a proposal in level 3, manage projects successfully in level 4, High performance leadership in level 5.

5. Leadership Development, this path helps you build your skills in learning how to develop and implement a plan as well as time management. The final project culminates in the planning and execution of an event that will let you apply everything you have learned. Mandarin projects are Planning & implementing in level 3, leading your team in level 4, and in level 5 the mandatory project is to manage successful events.

6. Motivational Strategies, at the end of this path you will understand the principle of motivation and will be able to successfully lead groups to accomplish tasks. This path culminates in a team building project. The mandatory projects in this path are understanding emotional intelligence in level 3, motivate others in level 4, and in level 5 it is team building. 

7. Persuasive influence, this path helps you build skills in how to negotiate a positive outcome while building strong interpersonal skills. The final project is a High Performance Leadership Project of your choice. The mandatory projects in this path are understanding conflict resolution in level 3, leading in difficult situations in level 4, and high performance leadership in level 5.

8. Strategic Relationships, this path focuses on understanding diversity, building personal and professional connections with a variety of people and how to develop a PR strategy. The final project involves you applying your skills as a leader in a volunteer organisation. The mandatory projects for this path are making connections through networking for level 3, PR strategies for level 4, and leading in your volunteer organisation in level 5.

9. Team Collaboration, will teach you about active listening, motivating others and collaborating with a team. This path ends in a project focused on applying your leadership skills. The mandatory projects for this path is successful collaboration in level 3, motivate others in level 4 and lead in any situation in level 5.

10. Visual Communication, this path focuses on developing your skills for sharing information with a group, planning communications and creating innovative solutions, it emphasises speech writing and delivery. This path ends with the development and launch of a long term personal or professional goal. The mandatory projects in this path are develop a communication plan in level 3, communicate change in level 4, and develop your vision in level 5.

11. Dynamic Leadership, it focuses on understanding leadership and communacaiotion style, the effect of conflict on a group and the skills needed to defuse conflict, it culminates in a project focused on applying your leadership skills. The mandatory projects in this path are negotiate the best outcome in level 3, manage change in level 4 and lead in any situation in level 5.

You will also need to complete some leadership roles, these are the meeting roles. 

When you want to take on a role, you will need to contact your Vice President of Education and let Kasia know that you want to take on a role. Then you will need to check the objectives of the role on Easyspeak and prepare for the role you have taken on that week. When filling the role, you will need to explain to your audience what the role entails and then later in the meeting you will need to present the report for your role, e.g if you are a Timekeeper, you will inform the members how long people spoke for, or the Evaluators will give their evaluation. 

Thank you Madam President, Madam Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests. 

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