Engaging Humor

This path is designed to help you build your skills as a humorous and engaging public speaker. The projects on this path focus on understanding your sense of humor and how that sense of humor translates to engaging audience members. The projects contribute to developing an understanding of how to effectively use humor in a speech, including challenging situations and impromptu speeches. This path culminates in an extended humorous speech that will allow you to apply what you learned.

LEVEL 1 - Mastering Fundamentals

Project 1 - Icebreaker


This foundational project is designed to introduce you to your club and the skills you need to begin your Toastmasters journey. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech. Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other style that appeals to you. This project includes: ■ A 4- to 6-minute speech




Project 2 - Evaluation and Feedback


This project addresses the skills needed to give and receive feedback. You will learn about giving, receiving and applying feedback. Purpose: This project comprises three assignments - the delivery of two speeches and an evaluation. The purpose of this project is to present a speech on any topic, receive feedback, and apply the feedback to the second speech. Overview: Choose any topic for your first 5- to 7-minute speech. After your speech, carefully review your feedback. At a different club meeting, present a second 5- to 7-minute speech in which you incorporate feedback from your first speech. You may choose to present the same speech again or a new speech. Your second speech should reflect some or all of the feedback from your first speech. To complete this project, serve as an evaluator at a club meeting and deliver constructive feedback about another member’s presentation. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech
■ Another 5 - 7 minute speech that incorporates feedback from the first speech
■ Serving as a speech evaluator




Project 3 - Researching & Presenting


This project addresses topic selection strategies, suggestions for research and methods for producing a wellorganized speech. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn or review basic research methods and present a well-organized, well-researched speech on any topic. Overview: Select a topic that you are not already familiar with or that you wish to learn more about. Be sure your topic is narrow enough to be an effective 5- to 7-minute speech. Research the topic and begin organizing the information, as described in this project. Practice your speech and continue to refine its organization. Present your speech at a club meeting. This project includes: ■ Researching a topic
■ The Research Worksheet
■ The Speech Outline Worksheet
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech





LEVEL 2 - Learning Your Style

Project 1 - Know Your Sense of Humor


This project focuses on understanding what makes you laugh and how to share that with an audience. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to begin developing a collection of humorous stories and to present a speech that includes humor. Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic of your choosing. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation. This project includes: ■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Project 2 - Connect with Your Audience


This project focuses on different audience types and how to address them effectively. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to connect with an unfamiliar audience. Overview: Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that is unfamiliar to the majority of your audience. Because you deliver this speech in your Toastmasters club, you are familiar with the audience members’ preferences and personalities. Selecting a topic that is new or unfamiliar to your club members will allow you to practice adapting as you present. As you speak, monitor the audience’s reaction to your topic and adapt as necessary to maintain engagement. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Project 3 - Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring


This project introduces the value of mentorship and the Toastmasters view of mentors and protégés. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to clearly define how Toastmasters envisions mentoring. Overview: Write and present a 5- to 7-minute speech about a time when you were a protégé. Share the impact and importance of having a mentor. This speech is not a report on the content of this project. Note: Every member in Toastmasters Pathways must complete this project. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech





LEVEL THREE - Increasing Knowledge

(Complete Project 1 + Two Electives)

Project 1 - Engage Your Audience With Humor


This project focuses on using humor to enhance the message you deliver in your speech. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to determine your style of humor and apply it to a speech that centers around a central message. Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on your point of view and what makes things funny to you. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Active Listening


This project covers the difference between hearing and listening, and steps for exploring the ways listening helps build strong, lasting connections. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to demonstrate your ability to listen to what others say. Overview: At a club meeting, fulfill the role of Topicsmaster. As Topicsmaster, comment on each speaker’s Table Topics® speech to demonstrate your active listening skills. For example, you might say, “Thank you. That was a compelling opinion on the benefits of gardening. I understand you feel strongly that everyone needs to spend some time doing something they love.” This project includes:
■ Serving as Topicsmaster at a club meeting




Elective - Connect With Storytelling


This project addresses storytelling techniques and descriptive skills to help make every speech relatable and interesting. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice using a story within a speech or giving a speech that is a story. Overview: Choose an established story, a story about your life, or a fictional tale of your own creation. Deliver the 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Creating Effective Visual Aids


This project addresses effective methods for choosing the best visual aid for your presentation along with the creation and use of each type. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice selecting and using a variety of visual aids during a speech. Overview: Choose a speech topic that lends itself well to using visual aids. Create at least one but no more than three visual aids to enhance your presentation. Deliver your 5- to 7-minute presentation at a club meeting. This project includes:
■ Creating one to three visual aids
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Deliver Social Speeches


This project addresses the skills needed to compose a speech for a social occasion including a toast, eulogy, an acceptance speech and a speech praising an individual or group. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice delivering social speeches in front of your club members. Overview: Develop two different social speeches—each 3 to 4 minutes—and present them at two separate club meetings. You may choose any two types of social speeches that appeal to you or that you would like to practice. This project includes:
■ The Social Speech Basics resource
■ Two 3- to 4-minute speeches




Elective - Focus On The Positive


This project addresses strategies for improving your personal interactions by understanding the impact of your attitudes and thoughts on daily interactions. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings, as well as the impact of your responses on others. Overview: Keep a daily record of your moods and attitudes for a minimum of two weeks, noting when you feel positive or negative, your successes and efforts, and three things for which you are grateful. Record and evaluate any changes in your behavior or the behavior of those around you. At a club meeting, share some aspect of your experience. You may choose to schedule a 2-to 3-minute report or a 5-to 7-minute speech. After completing your speech, submit your signed Project Completion Form to your vice president education to indicate you completed the journal. This project includes:
■ Recording your daily moods and attitudes for a minimum of two weeks
■ A 2- to 3-minute report or a 5- to 7-minute speech
■ The Project Completion Form




Elective - Inspire Your Audience


This project addresses how to present a speech in an enthusiastic and inspiring fashion to establish a strong rapport with your audience. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice writing and delivering a speech that inspires others. Overview: Select a topic with the intent of inspiring your audience and prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech for your club. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Making Connections Through Networking


This project focuses on how to network effectively and understanding the importance of being a professional ally to people in your network. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop and practice a personal strategy for building connections through networking. Overview: Prepare for and attend a networking event. After the event, present a 5- to 7-minute speech to your club. Your speech can include a story or stories about your experience, a description of what you learned, or a discussion on the benefits of networking. Your speech may be personal to you or informational about networking. If you attend a non-Toastmasters event, you must sign the Project Completion Form and give it to your vice president education. This project includes:
■ The Prepare to Network resource
■ Attending a networking event
■ The Project Completion Form
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Prepare For An Interview


This project addresses the skills you need to identify and speak about personal strengths and present yourself well in an interview of any type. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to present yourself well in an interview. Overview: Determine which type of interview you would like to practice, such as a job or expert interview. Prepare by reviewing your skills and abilities. Complete the resources in the project and give them to your interviewer before your presentation. You determine which member of your club interviews you, but your interviewer must be someone other than your evaluator. In a 5- to 7-minute role-play presentation at a club meeting, practice answering interview questions to promote your skills, abilities, and experience. This project includes:
■ The Identifying Your Skills Worksheet
■ The Interviewer Instructions resource
■ A 5- to 7-minute role-play interview at a club meeting




Elective - Understand Vocal Variety


This project addresses the importance of vocal variety when giving a speech and provides activities to develop and nurture its use. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice using vocal variety to enhance a speech. Overview: Learn or review the importance of vocal variety. Use the exercises in this project to improve your vocal variety skills. Then, present a 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic at a club meeting. The primary focus of the evaluation is your vocal variety. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Using Descriptive Language


This project addresses the difference between literal and figurative language along with how to determine when to use each to create vivid descriptions. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice writing a speech with an emphasis on adding language to increase interest and impact. Overview: You may speak on any topic. Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech describing the topic in detail and present it at your club meeting. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Using Presentation Software


This project addresses the use of presentation software—from identifying topics that benefit from the use of technology to effective slide design and presentation. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce or review basic presentation software strategies for creating and using slides to support or enhance a speech. Overview: Select a speech topic that lends well to a visual presentation using technology. Use the content of this project and your own research to help you develop your slides. Give a 5- to 7-minute speech using the slides you developed. Your speech can be humorous, demonstrative, or informational, and it may include stories or anecdotes. This project includes:
■ Developing presentation slides
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Effective Body Language


This project focuses on how to recognize body language used when speaking publicly and how to use gestures to enhance speech content. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to deliver a speech with awareness of your intentional and unintentional body language, as well as to learn, practice, and refine how you use nonverbal communication when delivering a speech. Overview: Prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that lends itself to expression through your movement and gestures. Video record your presentation and get feedback from your mentor or another reviewer before speaking to your club. If you do not have access to a recording device, perform your speech in front of a mirror and make adjustments before your scheduled speech. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech





LEVEL FOUR - Building Skills

(Complete Project 1 + One Elective)

Reflect On Your Path


This project is designed to give you an opportunity to share your experience at the end of your path. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to reflect on your growth during the completion of an entire path. Overview: At a club meeting, present a 10- to 12-minute speech to share your experience completing your path. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on how far you have come, summarize the skills you have learned and developed, and to celebrate your achievements. Your speech can be humorous, informational, or any style that that appeals to you and supports your speech content. This project includes:
■ The Your Toastmasters Journey resource
■ A 10- to 12-minute speech





LEVEL FIVE - Demonstrating Expertise

(Complete Project 1 + One Elective)

Project 1 - Engage Your Audience With Humor


This project focuses on using humor to enhance the message you deliver in your speech. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to determine your style of humor and apply it to a speech that centers around a central message. Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on your point of view and what makes things funny to you. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Active Listening


This project covers the difference between hearing and listening, and steps for exploring the ways listening helps build strong, lasting connections. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to demonstrate your ability to listen to what others say. Overview: At a club meeting, fulfill the role of Topicsmaster. As Topicsmaster, comment on each speaker’s Table Topics® speech to demonstrate your active listening skills. For example, you might say, “Thank you. That was a compelling opinion on the benefits of gardening. I understand you feel strongly that everyone needs to spend some time doing something they love.” This project includes:
■ Serving as Topicsmaster at a club meeting




Elective - Connect With Storytelling


This project addresses storytelling techniques and descriptive skills to help make every speech relatable and interesting. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice using a story within a speech or giving a speech that is a story. Overview: Choose an established story, a story about your life, or a fictional tale of your own creation. Deliver the 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Creating Effective Visual Aids


This project addresses effective methods for choosing the best visual aid for your presentation along with the creation and use of each type. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice selecting and using a variety of visual aids during a speech. Overview: Choose a speech topic that lends itself well to using visual aids. Create at least one but no more than three visual aids to enhance your presentation. Deliver your 5- to 7-minute presentation at a club meeting. This project includes:
■ Creating one to three visual aids
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Deliver Social Speeches


This project addresses the skills needed to compose a speech for a social occasion including a toast, eulogy, an acceptance speech and a speech praising an individual or group. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice delivering social speeches in front of your club members. Overview: Develop two different social speeches—each 3 to 4 minutes—and present them at two separate club meetings. You may choose any two types of social speeches that appeal to you or that you would like to practice. This project includes:
■ The Social Speech Basics resource
■ Two 3- to 4-minute speeches




Elective - Focus On The Positive


This project addresses strategies for improving your personal interactions by understanding the impact of your attitudes and thoughts on daily interactions. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings, as well as the impact of your responses on others. Overview: Keep a daily record of your moods and attitudes for a minimum of two weeks, noting when you feel positive or negative, your successes and efforts, and three things for which you are grateful. Record and evaluate any changes in your behavior or the behavior of those around you. At a club meeting, share some aspect of your experience. You may choose to schedule a 2-to 3-minute report or a 5-to 7-minute speech. After completing your speech, submit your signed Project Completion Form to your vice president education to indicate you completed the journal. This project includes:
■ Recording your daily moods and attitudes for a minimum of two weeks
■ A 2- to 3-minute report or a 5- to 7-minute speech
■ The Project Completion Form




Elective - Inspire Your Audience


This project addresses how to present a speech in an enthusiastic and inspiring fashion to establish a strong rapport with your audience. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice writing and delivering a speech that inspires others. Overview: Select a topic with the intent of inspiring your audience and prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech for your club. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Making Connections Through Networking


This project focuses on how to network effectively and understanding the importance of being a professional ally to people in your network. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop and practice a personal strategy for building connections through networking. Overview: Prepare for and attend a networking event. After the event, present a 5- to 7-minute speech to your club. Your speech can include a story or stories about your experience, a description of what you learned, or a discussion on the benefits of networking. Your speech may be personal to you or informational about networking. If you attend a non-Toastmasters event, you must sign the Project Completion Form and give it to your vice president education. This project includes:
■ The Prepare to Network resource
■ Attending a networking event
■ The Project Completion Form
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Prepare For An Interview


This project addresses the skills you need to identify and speak about personal strengths and present yourself well in an interview of any type. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to present yourself well in an interview. Overview: Determine which type of interview you would like to practice, such as a job or expert interview. Prepare by reviewing your skills and abilities. Complete the resources in the project and give them to your interviewer before your presentation. You determine which member of your club interviews you, but your interviewer must be someone other than your evaluator. In a 5- to 7-minute role-play presentation at a club meeting, practice answering interview questions to promote your skills, abilities, and experience. This project includes:
■ The Identifying Your Skills Worksheet
■ The Interviewer Instructions resource
■ A 5- to 7-minute role-play interview at a club meeting




Elective - Understand Vocal Variety


This project addresses the importance of vocal variety when giving a speech and provides activities to develop and nurture its use. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice using vocal variety to enhance a speech. Overview: Learn or review the importance of vocal variety. Use the exercises in this project to improve your vocal variety skills. Then, present a 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic at a club meeting. The primary focus of the evaluation is your vocal variety. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Using Descriptive Language


This project addresses the difference between literal and figurative language along with how to determine when to use each to create vivid descriptions. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice writing a speech with an emphasis on adding language to increase interest and impact. Overview: You may speak on any topic. Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech describing the topic in detail and present it at your club meeting. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Using Presentation Software


This project addresses the use of presentation software—from identifying topics that benefit from the use of technology to effective slide design and presentation. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce or review basic presentation software strategies for creating and using slides to support or enhance a speech. Overview: Select a speech topic that lends well to a visual presentation using technology. Use the content of this project and your own research to help you develop your slides. Give a 5- to 7-minute speech using the slides you developed. Your speech can be humorous, demonstrative, or informational, and it may include stories or anecdotes. This project includes:
■ Developing presentation slides
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Effective Body Language


This project focuses on how to recognize body language used when speaking publicly and how to use gestures to enhance speech content. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to deliver a speech with awareness of your intentional and unintentional body language, as well as to learn, practice, and refine how you use nonverbal communication when delivering a speech. Overview: Prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that lends itself to expression through your movement and gestures. Video record your presentation and get feedback from your mentor or another reviewer before speaking to your club. If you do not have access to a recording device, perform your speech in front of a mirror and make adjustments before your scheduled speech. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech





Path Completion

Project 1 - Icebreaker


This foundational project is designed to introduce you to your club and the skills you need to begin your Toastmasters journey. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech. Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other style that appeals to you. This project includes: ■ A 4- to 6-minute speech




Project 2 - Evaluation and Feedback


This project addresses the skills needed to give and receive feedback. You will learn about giving, receiving and applying feedback. Purpose: This project comprises three assignments - the delivery of two speeches and an evaluation. The purpose of this project is to present a speech on any topic, receive feedback, and apply the feedback to the second speech. Overview: Choose any topic for your first 5- to 7-minute speech. After your speech, carefully review your feedback. At a different club meeting, present a second 5- to 7-minute speech in which you incorporate feedback from your first speech. You may choose to present the same speech again or a new speech. Your second speech should reflect some or all of the feedback from your first speech. To complete this project, serve as an evaluator at a club meeting and deliver constructive feedback about another member’s presentation. This project includes:
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech
■ Another 5 - 7 minute speech that incorporates feedback from the first speech
■ Serving as a speech evaluator




Project 3 - Researching & Presenting


This project addresses topic selection strategies, suggestions for research and methods for producing a wellorganized speech. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn or review basic research methods and present a well-organized, well-researched speech on any topic. Overview: Select a topic that you are not already familiar with or that you wish to learn more about. Be sure your topic is narrow enough to be an effective 5- to 7-minute speech. Research the topic and begin organizing the information, as described in this project. Practice your speech and continue to refine its organization. Present your speech at a club meeting. This project includes: ■ Researching a topic
■ The Research Worksheet
■ The Speech Outline Worksheet
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech





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