Toastmasters' Pathways: What Does It Have to Do With Me?
This blog is based on an education session presented at FOTM by Samantha Tam, the club’s Vice President of Education (2020-21)
Pathways is the learning tool you will be using along with your fellow members when you decide to join Toastmasters. It is the official educational curriculum of Toastmasters International, meaning it is being used by just about every club around the world. This might seem a little overwhelming, but don’t worry - once you start using Pathways, it will help you on your journey to become a great speaker.
I Don’t Know What to Do!
Many new Toastmasters are unsure of how they will prepare speeches and assignments when they join a club. Pathways is designed to put a stop to that confusion and help you find where you want to go with your learning. Rather than giving you a rigid curriculum that you MUST follow, Pathways is designed to be adaptable to your goals and ideas, with room for creativity in most every assignment.
There are currently 11 paths available for Toastmasters to choose from, each one catering to those with different interests and educational goals. You can see a full listing of paths, their levels and projects here.
What Does It Have to Do With Me?
Once you decide on a path, it will guide you through each of your assignments. Your path will include many resources that tell you the purpose of each speech and what you can gain from it. Each path is divided into five levels that are designed to create targets for your learning and encourage you to make the most of your assignments.
Within each assignment in Pathways, there are several resources that you can use to evaluate your progress, practice and prepare for your speeches. The goal is for you to build confidence in your new skill set as you progress through the path.
Finding Your Way
Pathways organizes your learning into a sequence of assignments that guide you from the fundamentals of a speaking or leadership skill set to more advanced techniques and styles. At each level, you will easily be able to tell where you are and what you are on your way to accomplishing.
Just as important, if not moreso, is Pathways’ built-in spaces for you to gather and review feedback from fellow club members, as well as sharing your feedback with others. While this is an optional part of Pathways, we believe you will find it very helpful once you have completed a few assignments. Instead of having to keep track of various slips of paper and chat logs taken from Zoom, once the feedback you receive is uploaded to your portal on Pathways, you can always access it from one place. This is immensely useful for reviewing the skills you have learned and finding areas of improvement in your speeches.
Pathways provides Toastmasters with an easy-to-access, online space where they can complete and organize their assignments. It is designed to give you more opportunities for learning and more flexibility in how you pursue your educational goals.
The best part is that you will not go down your path alone - you will be collaborating with other Toastmasters on similar journeys as you go; and of course, your Vice President of Education will be there to help with your progress and to certify the accomplishments you complete. Whether you are new to Toastmasters or are a veteran speaker who is starting something new, we look forward to journeying with you on these paths!
For more information, please see our Pathways Onboarding Document here.
See also the Pathways FAQ here.
And of course, feel free to contact our VP Education with any questions about Toastmasters or Pathways: firstname.lastname@example.org.