Presentation Mastery

This path helps you build your skills as an accomplished public speaker. The projects on this path focus on learning how an audience responds to you and improving your connection with audience members. The projects contribute to developing an understanding of effective public speaking techniques, including speech writing and speech delivery. This path culminates in an extended speech that will allow you to apply what you learned.

LEVEL 1 - Mastering Fundamentals

Project 1 - Persuasive Speaking


This project focuses on helping you to develop and support a viewpoint, and identify the most appropriate type of persuasive speech for your topic. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to understand the types of persuasive speeches and deliver a persuasive speech at a club meeting. Overview: Choose any topic that lends itself to speaking persuasively and prepare a speech. Present your 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. If your vice president education approves a non-club event or group, your evaluator must be present for your speech. This project includes:
■ The Persuasive Speech Outline Worksheet
■ 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 - 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





LEVEL 2 - Learning Your Style

Project 1 - Understanding Your Communication Style


This project focuses on recognizing your preferred communication style and understanding how your style impacts your interactions with others. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn about different communication styles and identify your primary style. Overview: Complete the Discover Your Communication Style questionnaire to help you identify your style. Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting about your communication style and its impact on your professional and/or personal relationships. If you are uncomfortable discussing your communication style, you may speak about the communication styles you have encountered and how they impact you. Your speech should not be a report of the content of this project. This project includes:
■ The Discover Your Communication Style questionnaire
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Project 2 - Effective Body Language


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 - 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 - Persuasive Speaking


This project focuses on helping you to develop and support a viewpoint, and identify the most appropriate type of persuasive speech for your topic. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to understand the types of persuasive speeches and deliver a persuasive speech at a club meeting. Overview: Choose any topic that lends itself to speaking persuasively and prepare a speech. Present your 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. If your vice president education approves a non-club event or group, your evaluator must be present for your speech. This project includes:
■ The Persuasive Speech Outline Worksheet
■ 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 - 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





LEVEL FOUR - Building Skills

(Complete Project 1 + One Elective)

Project 1 - Managing A Difficult Audience


This project covers common behaviors of difficult audience members and how to address each behavior in a calm, effective and professional way. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to address audience challenges when you present outside of your Toastmasters club. Overview: Prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic of your choosing. You may write a new speech or use a speech you presented previously. You will be evaluated on the way you manage audience disruptions, not the content of your speech. Before your club meeting, send the Role Play Assignments resource to the Toastmaster and vice president education. As you present your speech, respond to different types of difficult audience members that disrupt you. The process of speaking and responding to audience members will take 12 to 15 minutes. This project includes:
■ A role play assignment for club members
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Building A Social Media Presence


This project addresses how best to use different types of online communication. You will create and maintain an online profile to promote yourself or an organization. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your understanding of social media to enhance an established or new social media presence. Overview: Use this project and your own research to build a new social media presence or enhance an existing presence. You may focus on a personal goal (such as connecting with old friends or promoting a blog) or on a professional goal (such as promoting a business or organization). Use the tools you identify as best for you and your purpose. After you achieve your goal, deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech to your club about your results, experience, and the benefits of social media. Submit the Project Completion Form to your vice president education to receive credit for completing the project. Note: With the vice president public relation’s approval, you may choose to create a social media presence for your Toastmasters club. This project includes:
■ Establishing or enhancing a social media presence
■ The Project Completion Form
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Create A Podcast


This project addresses the skills you need to develop a podcast, create interesting content and organize a cohesive program. You will learn how to record and upload it to the internet. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce you to the skills needed to organize and present a podcast. Overview: Use this project and your own research to create a podcast. Record a minimum of 60 minutes of content. You are free to divide the episodes as you choose. Each separate episode must be at least 10 minutes, but may be longer if it fits your topic and style. After you record all content, play a 5- to 10-minute segment in your club. Introduce the segment in a 2- to 3-minute speech. This project includes:
■ Recording 60 minutes of podcast content
■ A 2- to 3-minute introduction speech




Elective - Manage Online Meetings


This project addresses how to effectively conduct online meetings and webinars, prepare and organize necessary visual aids, and lead with confidence. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice facilitating an online meeting or leading a webinar. Overview: Conduct a 20- to 25-minute online meeting with fellow Toastmasters or a 20- to 25-minute webinar with visual aids for fellow Toastmasters. You determine the topic of your meeting or webinar. Research and use software that best fits your needs and geographic area. Invite your evaluator to participate in the online meeting or webinar. If you complete your assignment with non-Toastmasters, you must receive approval from the vice president education and invite your evaluator to attend. This project includes:
■ The Online Meeting Agenda resource
■ The Online Meeting Basics resource
■ Planning and conducting a 20- to 25-minute online meeting or webinar




Elective - Manage Projects Successfully


This project focuses on skills needed to effectively manage a project, develop rapport with stakeholders and cultivate strong relationships with a team. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing a plan, building a team, and fulfilling the plan with the help of your team. Overview: Form a team of three to four people and choose a project. Create a plan for your project and present the plan to your club in a 2- to 3-minute speech. Work with your team to complete your project. Present a 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience. This speech may be humorous, informational, or any type of speech that appeals to you. It should not be a report about the content of this project, but a reflection of your experience applying what you learned. Note: When considering projects to complete, refer to future projects on your path. You may be able to use the assignment in this project to help you prepare for the completion of an upcoming project. This project includes:
■ Building a team
■ Creating a project plan
■ The Project Plan resource
■ A 2- to 3-minute speech about your plan
■ Completing the plan with your team
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience




Elective - Public Relations Strategies


This project focuses on how to promote awareness of an organization, formulate a public relations strategy and use various public relations tactics. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to effectively use public relations strategies for any group or situation. Overview: Create a public relations plan for a real or hypothetical group or situation. If it involves your club, it must be hypothetical unless you communicate with the vice president public relations and club president. Share your plan in a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. This speech is not a report on the content of this project, but an example of how you will or might apply what you learned. This project includes:
■ Creating a public relations strategy
■ A 5- to 7-minute speech




Elective - Question and Answer Session


This project addresses how to prepare to answer questions and provide information clearly, concisely and with confidence. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn about and practice facilitating a question-and-answer session. Overview: Select a topic of which you are particularly knowledgeable. Prepare and deliver a speech on this topic, followed by a question-and-answer session. Together, the speech and question-and-answer session must be 15 to 20 minutes. Use your time effectively to ensure both segments are completed. This project includes:
■ A 5-to 7-minute speech
■ A question-and-answer session after the speech




Elective - Write A Compelling Blog


This project addresses the basics of developing a compelling blog and successfully engaging a readership. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to review or introduce the skills needed to write and maintain a blog. Overview: Post a minimum of eight blog posts in one month. Your blog may be new or one you have already established. You must receive approval from the vice president education to blog on behalf of your club. Deliver a 2- to 3-minute speech at a club meeting about the impact of your blogging experience. You may choose to have your blog evaluated by members of the club. Submit your signed Project Completion Form to the vice president education to receive credit for this project. This project includes:
■ Maintaining a blog and posting at least eight times in one month
■ The Blog Evaluation Form
■ The Project Completion Form
■ A 2- to 3-minute speech





LEVEL FIVE - Demonstrating Expertise

(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





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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