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

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





LEVEL 2 - Learning Your Style

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 THREE - Increasing Knowledge

(Complete Project 1 + Two Electives)

Project 1 - Understanding Conflict Resolution


This project is designed to introduce conflict resolution strategies and provide an opportunity to resolve a conflict scenario within an interactive activity. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop or enhance your understanding of the steps and strategies to address conflict. Overview: Complete the conflict resolution video activity in the project. Prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech to discuss how you manage conflict, how you can develop a stronger strategy, and your best attributes in a conflict situation. You may also share the impact of the video activity. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any style that appeals to you. This project is not a report on or a critique of the content of this project. This project includes:
■ A conflict resolution video activity
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




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 - 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




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 - 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




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)

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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