Persuasive Influence

This path helps you build your skills as an innovative communicator and leader. The projects on this path focus on how to negotiate a positive outcome together with building strong interpersonal communication and public speaking skills. Each project emphasizes developing leadership skills to use in complex situations, as well as creating innovative solutions to challenges. This path culminates in a “High Performance Leadership” project of your design.

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 - Understanding Your Leadership Style


This project is designed to introduce the different styles of leadership and help you identify your preferred style. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to identify your primary leadership style or styles. Overview: Complete the Discover Your Leadership Style questionnaire. Consider how your leadership style impacts the people around you and how you can adjust it to more effectively lead people with styles different from your own. Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share some aspect of your leadership style or leadership styles in general. You may choose to discuss your style preferences when working with others, your style and how you can adapt it to situations, or leadership styles in general and how they impact a group. This project includes:
■ The Discover Your Leadership Style questionnaire ■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Project 2 - 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




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)

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 FOUR - Building Skills

(Complete Project 1 + One Elective)

Project 1 - Understanding Your Leadership Style


This project is designed to introduce the different styles of leadership and help you identify your preferred style. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to identify your primary leadership style or styles. Overview: Complete the Discover Your Leadership Style questionnaire. Consider how your leadership style impacts the people around you and how you can adjust it to more effectively lead people with styles different from your own. Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share some aspect of your leadership style or leadership styles in general. You may choose to discuss your style preferences when working with others, your style and how you can adapt it to situations, or leadership styles in general and how they impact a group. This project includes:
■ The Discover Your Leadership Style questionnaire ■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Project 2 - 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




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 FIVE - Demonstrating Expertise

(Complete Project 1 + One Elective)

Elective - Ethical Leadership


This project addresses the importance of recognizing the effect of decisions that impact ethics, best practices for making ethical decisions and developing an ethical framework. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop a clear understanding of your own ethical framework and create an opportunity for others to hear about and discuss ethics in your organization or community. Overview: Define an ethical framework for yourself. To do this, you may need to complete personal research beyond the contents of this project. Then, organize and moderate a 20- to 40-minute panel discussion about ethics, followed by a question-and-answer session. If you have never facilitated a panel discussion, review the “Moderate a Panel Discussion” elective project. This project includes:
■ The Ethical Framework resource
■ Organizing and moderating a panel discussion as well as a question-and-answer session




Project 1 - High Performance Leadership


The focus of this project is to design and complete a project with well-defined goals, lead a team and be accountable to a guidance committee. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your leadership and planning knowledge to develop a project plan, organize a guidance committee, and implement your plan with the help of a team. Overview: Select a project to complete with a team of at least three other members. Form a guidance committee and meet at least five times through the duration of the project. Deliver a 5-to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to introduce your plan and vision. After you implement the plan, deliver a second 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share your experience developing and completing your plan. This project includes:
■ Selecting, leading, and completing a project with a team
■ Forming and meeting with a guidance committee at least five times
■ The Guidance Committee Introduction resource
■ The Meeting Agenda resource
■ The Project Plan Overview resource
■ The Project Plan resource
■ The Vision Plan resource
■ The Event Planning Worksheet
■ The 360° Evaluation resource
■ Two 5- to 7-minute speeches




Elective - Leading in Your Volunteer Organization


This project focuses on the skills required to lead in a volunteer organization and the importance of recognition and reward in motivating volunteers. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply the skills needed to successfully lead in a volunteer organization. Overview: Serve in a leadership role in Toastmasters or another volunteer organization for at least six months. You may complete this project based on your employment, but a volunteer organization is preferable. Ask members of the organization to complete a 360° evaluation of your leadership skills. Create a succession plan to aid in the transition after you leave your position of leadership. After your six-month term, deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to reflect on your personal experience. This project includes:
■ Serving in a volunteer leadership role for a minimum of six months
■ Conducting a 360° evaluation of your leadership skills
■ Creating a succession plan
■ The Succession Plan resource
■ The 360° Evaluation resource
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Lessons Learned


The focus of this project is to design and complete a project with well-defined goals, lead a team and be accountable to a guidance committee. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your leadership and planning knowledge to develop a project plan, organize a guidance committee, and implement your plan with the help of a team. Overview: Select a project to complete with a team of at least three other members. Form a guidance committee and meet at least five times through the duration of the project. Deliver a 5-to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to introduce your plan and vision. After you implement the plan, deliver a second 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share your experience developing and completing your plan. This project includes:
■ Selecting, leading, and completing a project with a team
■ Forming and meeting with a guidance committee at least five times
■ The Guidance Committee Introduction resource
■ The Meeting Agenda resource
■ The Project Plan Overview resource
■ The Project Plan resource
■ The Vision Plan resource
■ The Event Planning Worksheet
■ The 360° Evaluation resource
■ Two 5- to 7-minute speeches




Elective - Moderate a Panel Discussion


This project addresses the skills needed to successfully moderate a panel discussion and how to be an effective participant on a panel. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your skills as a public speaker and leader to facilitate a panel discussion. Overview: Plan and moderate a 20- to 40-minute panel discussion. The panel discussion can be on any topic and may take place at a club meeting or outside of Toastmasters with the approval of your vice president education. Toastmasters who participate as panelists do not receive credit in Toastmasters Pathways. When you have the opportunity, volunteer to act as a panelist for another member completing this project. This project includes:
■ Planning and moderating a 20- to 40-minute panel discussion
■ The Panelist Basics resource
■ The Project Completion Form




Elective - Prepare to Speak Professionally


This project is designed to help you define the attributes of professional speakers and apply that understanding to your own skills as a speaker. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing and presenting a longer speech. Overview: Write and present an 18- to 22-minute keynote-style speech. Exemplify the point of view or message you would convey as a professional-level speaker. You may choose to use visual aids if they fit your speech and your style. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any style that appeals to you and supports your speech content. If you receive advance approval from the vice president education, you may present your speech to a non- Toastmasters group. This project includes:
■ The Speech Outline Worksheet
■ An 18- to 22-minute keynote-style speech





Path Completion

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





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