31 May 2017

Storytelling, about others and our experiences


I begun to prepare my two electives: 

1. Voice Variety, using a children's book by Munch : The paper-bag Princess, and some funny more then century old short comic poems I found. I begun to study different versions of the story.

2. Storytelling. We do recognise, don't we, that we learn to speak outside Toastmasters? Here is a wonderful example of having something to say and saying it using two different stories. One that happened about 2000 years ago, and the second a very personal story that happened to Pam, Doug Lipman's wife, the first woman pastor in her new congregation. As she tells them, we "feel there". 

Listening  to Pam tell her stories, I realised how far I still have to go!

They call me "the storyteller" in my diverse Toastmasters clubs and even in Spark London where I used to tell regularly, or in Dublin where they listened to my stories for one hour then wanted 30 minutes more at least. True, some of my stories are not so bad but nowhere the quality I see in Pam's. 

A very strong goal. Two stories illustrating her message and linked tight together (yes, linked through the 2000 year gap). Description of place and event, in poignant and also funny way. Dialogue. Bringing us there. What a responsibility to tell a story! What a wonderful use of voice and smile and moving of her whole body as she speaks! Preaches. Yes, we do learn to use in very different places. To offer something. At least to one who needs it just then, as Doug Lipman said wrote does. 

30 May 2017

Julie 2017 05 28 at Firebirds, Samir wonderful listener!


Listening to this video is not easy (even if my vocal variety is great in it) because we hear it twice. Looking to it, shows that Samir, my evaluator remaining on screen is a wonderful listener, active listener: he helped me through the story I told.

Recording is important. After reviewing what I have done, I understand better what Samir told me in his feedback. I could have dropped the three minutes background and then I would not have been out of time. How important is the background? In any event, I could have condensed them to half minute maximum. So yes, feedback is very important as it is a recording of what we do. By ourselves, or by someone other. 

This recording was not done by me, but complements well the one, too large (whole screen) I have recorded this time, while I trusted wrongly Replay Video Recorder to take the window (and not as I usually take, a region). Region works better, but have to be all the time aware when the window size changes and "put it back in his place", which I knew could not do while concentrating on speaking.  But this one was done by me: the sound is ok, but all screen recorded. Ah! the technology! It does not do what we think, it does what we tell it to do.

 

Well, also shows all who do not know me, I am no more 70 as in my blog front picture. I still like to look at myself at that very happy moment of my life. Should I tell the story of it? "Never too late" story, already told on stage to the paying audience in Canal Café Theatre. But then, they were a wonderful audience loving stories with self revelation, ups and downs.

I could offer a new version of my story? Should I rather tell a part of the story of my "communication plan experience" next time, tell it shortly and really as a story not trying to push everything in it?

The horizon broadens before me, because of Pathways and its evaluations, and I love it!


29 May 2017

Getting a feedback, after a difficult task

Here we are, Samir and me, during his feedback on my story. What story?

After each task, long or short, we have to give a speech in the club. This time I chose Firebirds Collective, a Sunday online club. Yesterday it was in the morning. 

I feared not many will be present, but we were 17 from all over the world.

The required task for my path, the Visionary Communication's third level was a Communication Plan. I realised of course, that I am better in organising then planning. It was not easy and I sweated while doing this task. In plus, at the beginning, I did not have a printer to print the form to fill in, with the message I want to make known, the different people to whom and how. 

The message become clear and clearer as I worked on the task as those I want to reach first, second and then not directly. I have a longtime goal, and this blog is one of its way of achieving it, spread the word about Pathways and how great it is to work through it. The short time goal, for which I made my "communication plan" was the Witty Storytellers Online special meeting about Pathways Discovery. 

The task, for the speech was to tell about preparation or, if done, the event. I chose to speak a little of both and aie! went over time. A speech is always shorter then a story, and I always try to put it into a story. Plus, of course it was so much to tell. Another lesson: I have to learn to tell shorter. 

Samir, my evaluator, was present at my event, invited, and loved it. Then he called and discussed with me about this task, it was his first evaluation of a Pathways speech. We talked through Zoom, before my speech. After the speech, he liked my storytelling abilities but told me strongly, and wrote it too: "you should have finished in time. Using stepping stones, and if necessary avoiding one to get to the end, in time."

Another lesson learned yesterday:

While everyone was enthusiastic after the event, one of the participants found it boring! That teaches me, we can not expect indeed to reach everyone every-time. What many of us found exciting new information had no interest for one of 30 of us. Found it rather refreshing. To communicate, I understand now better, mostly we can reach many, not all. The tasks get more difficult as the level grows but we do learn a lot from them. Doing them with all we can do. 

Also learned how a great wonderful team we have in my online club where I am VP Education! 

Now, the big, required task behind me, and a printer that works finally in my living room, I can begin the fun tasks from my elected project. I printed both of them, no need to go back to computer, unless I want to look at the videos again.

Next comes voice variety and lots of voice exercises. Found a kid's book and funny verses to use to exercise on them different tone, pitch, rhythm and so on. Beside fun, it will be useful for my task that will come after it, telling a story with dialogue better.

When I do it, use dialogue and different tones and pitch of those speaking, and yes, sometimes I do, the audience reaction is immediate. 


28 May 2017

As I am now at level 3

At level three of the Visionary Communication path, I had to complete a required Communication Plan task, I did, very soon I will give a speech about it. Then, show the two to my VPE base camp manager, to approve of it. Here is how my screen looks like.


After that I can chose two electives from many many interesting ones! Already begun to "shop" looked at many and decided on two or three. One for sure is Storytelling and I will try to make it better then usual, the other is a project so well described that I want to go through it again and again, Voice Variety.

Here are how some of my electives look now. Those I have already read through are with Launch, the ones I did not look yet are marked Activate. For sure, as I am curious, I will activate and go through all of them before going to level 4 but will give only the two required "electives" I have chosen.

I like to look ahead what I will do in the future, even when I am still doing what is for now, it is like a reward I will get. Not that I did not enjoy the required project, preparing it was exciting. I learned a lot and still continue to learn. I realised this morning, that some electives are inspired by the Successful Communication and Leadership series, augmented with videos and better explaining them.

In plus, I learned in a discussion on Facebook yesterday between a few toastmasters that the Toastmasters Headquarters are planning to add a lot more electives, both to level 3 and to level 4, and those probably to all the paths. Hurrah!

27 May 2017

Team work? Synchronicity? Plan?

Tomorrow, I have to give a speech, hopefully mostly a story, about my experience as my "Communication Plan" got the result. I begun already a few days ago to think about it, but only after the event was over, very early Thursday morning, and went so well, could I gather my thoughts.

I am not a big planner. Why? I realised, so many of my careful plans, for which I devoted sometimes years, went wrong. Collapsed after many work. That is why I believe for myself at least more on going toward a goal, using intuition and the team around me.

My longtime goal was and still remains, to make Pathways known and loved.

My short time goal was to organise a meeting at the Witty Storytellers Online club, where I am the VP Education in charge with the Agenda and Programs.

A meeting that tells more about Pathways. How? When?

I begun to speak from Pathways projects, our team know I am interested. I made the first steps. Even opened this blog! Synchronicity means, when you make the first steps, others suddenly come to help! They did! They did!

Our VP PR Michelle, found a note from George Marshal, Chief Guide of first Pilot District 57 from California: "I am ready to give a presentation online". In a few minutes, she answered: "please give it at Witty Storytellers" Yes! She passed the ball to me, and while I already had an interview a few days later, after the interview we could settle on a date convenient for him. Time enough to prepare for his next project.

As soon as the date was set, Paul White, who already visited us, Chief Ambassador of the second Pilot District 27, volunteered: ready to give us a story too! Wonderful. Who else? Victoria Ferrer is not on Pathways yet, but could try out the free Icebreaker from TMI site. And, seeing all that, Brenda Lawrence, guide in D 27 and also our charter member, wrote me "I am ready to speak too, tell about how it is being a Guide."

The four complimented each other, all was to fit them all in the 1 ½ h meeting. No problem, took out all that was not absolutely necessary to be able to hear them.

The event was planned, now communicate about it.

Again, my team volunteered, Michelle with the great poster and it's diffusion; Svetlana with a description of the event, and Misako with a live video! All excited to contribute. Then, I published it not only in our "first target" our club's group and email as well as some known Pathway Chief Ambassadors, but also on our "second target" other friendly Online clubs and groups.

The rest? I left to spread "organically" and indeed, some invited their pals. Instead of 12 or 15 we were 30 at the event! Old members come to listen too and Manhal just off the plane recorded it during the night for him. Many of our members asked to contribute, give feedback, take roles. The excitement was there. As was the result.

Here from Google about "communication methods" this represents, push and pull. I pushed a bit at the beginning, a lot pulled or pushed back, working with us, wanting to be in, volunteering for different tasks we needed to do. Two way communication is always preferable, in my opinion to just one way. So effective, too.

I recorded the event, and yesterday, I decided to cut in pieces. That gives more importance to all. Uploaded, then added link in our club Facebook. From there on the feedback begin to come, without me having to ask for them. And those who could not come, regretted, but fast went to listen to the recording.

So, while it was more "jump to the opportunity, be flexible" then a long thought out plan, the event went wonderfully and it will be for a long time we will be remembered for it. Most important, once understood better, more will look forward it then fear it. So my long time goal looking great too.

What will go wrong? I do not know. But life did teach me not be get too high! So, I'll take what will come. Try to make best of it.

Sometimes, dreams realise, sometimes, plans if flexible enough got achieved, sometimes...

26 May 2017

Pathways Discovery at Witty Storytellers


A superb meeting, here is the full video with all of George Marshall presentation "Pathway? What is in a Path?" and the Questions and Answers following it. He is the first pilot district's 57 chief guide, currently on level 4, on one of his path. All the way from California.

Then comes "Turn, turn, turn" about the different communication styles, by Paul White, from level 2: he is Chief Ambassador of the second pilot district. 27, from Virginia,

I had to cut there the video which is here, the 100 minutes were too heavy. The rest will be shown in another note.

Brenda Faison, one of Witty Storytellers Charter member is a Pathways Guide D27 "Me, a Guide?" told us about her experience from the other side: helping ten clubs VPE, Presidents and Secretary to "manage the base camp". Just before her, we listen to a Pathways style Icebreaker, all could try, Victoria Ferrer is not yet "on Pathways" but everyone can try it out from TMI website, and get a pathways style feedback too. So much more in this 100 minutes!

So many contributed to let it happen and to let it happen so well. I feel overwhelmed.

I want to thank Michelle whose observant eye sparked it then she passed the ball to me. Misako who dared a video add about our meeting. Michelle for her designing our add and Svetlana for writing about our meeting. All together, we succeeded to bringing us in all 30 participants. And letting spread the word farther. We had wonderful feedback from all participants.

25 May 2017

Communication plan for Visionary Communication


Here are the tasks of my path, Visionary Communication. The first path I am going through, with joy and delight and lots of learning on the way. Also lots of learning experience.

Each title gives you more or less work, and it is worth not rushing it, learning, doing, reflecting. Even if usually is one task and a speech at the end, it is not so at level 1 where the title Evaluation and Feedback ask for three.

This level 1 task ask for three different tasks and times, and I loved it! Other tasks ask for writing a blog or a podcast, and not in a few minutes, then speaking shortly about the experience. The leadership and communication are linked with each other, as in life.

I am now at level 3 at "developing a communication plan" and if possible, executing the goal. After that speak about your plan and problems or about how the execution of it went. That was my event for me today, that 30 attended, and a lot of new from many continents.

Just a few words for now, we did succeed because it was a collaboration of a team from the start and many enthusiast knowledgable speakers and evaluators ready for Pathways Discovery meeting at the Witty Storytellers Online. Will tell "all" at least a bit about it tomorrow.

24 May 2017

I begun my Pathways journey two month ago

I found wonderful books about the transition process going inside us, Transitions, to understand better what is behind them, to think deeper about. The Transition process we are going on, from "old ways" still used by most and "new ways" many fear, how to prepare a smooth change, in an organization Managing Transition. Both books about the Transition process written by William Bridges, the second with his wife or daughter. 

Other books to learn about different projects jargon. Leading with Style, made me understood better not only the differences in leadership styles, but also the importance on leading, depending on the situation. As Communication, also depends on the one if face, not only on our own style. 

I did buy or try different other books, aie! No, I do not recommend those, so complicated! But I also found a few funny videos and images on the internet: Google man's best friend, this days, someone told. 

In two month, I finished Level 1 and Level 2 and I am now on the Level 3 with it's "Elective goodies", a choice of only two from twelve. After reading many of them, I did choose. One of them is Voice Variety, hence the poems book to read many times in different ways the same text. Second will be Connect with Storytelling, of course.

Tomorrow, very early, even late evening for some around the world, a special Pathways meeting in my online club. 

23 May 2017

Communicating an Event : Pathways Discovery

Communication plan? Together with the team from Witty Storytellers, each of us doing what she knows best. Here is an "poster" by Michelle, our VP PR.

And here is a text, from Witty Storytellers Online President:

"Our next meeting is on 25 May 2017 @6 am London time
Time conversion link: https://goo.gl/m6Ljza

We are fast approaching one of the milestone meetings organized by our own 'Pathfinder' Julie Kertesz, VPE, Pathways Ambassador of D91 from 2015. She plunged into the unchartered waters of Pathways to lead the way and to help us to demystify Pathways and become also passionate about pursuing this new revitalised educational and leadership programme of Toastmasters.

We will hear from the horse's mouth (firsthand knowledge), from a constellation of speaker storytellers who have been put together in the agenda by the Toastmaster of the Meeting Julie Kertesz:

George Marshall, District 57 Statistician: Pathways: What’s in a Path?
Paul E. White, Chief D27 Ambassador: "Turn, turn, turn"
Victoria Ferrer, Candidate for ID: "The Long and Winding Road"
Brenda Faison, Pathways Guide D27: "Me, Guide?

Greeter: Misako Y. the winner of inter - online contest, who encouraged all of us to join the Pathways demystifying through her live video on Facebook. 

With many distinguished, advanced toastmasters contribute to spreading the word, to give feedback and make the event a success: all lifelong learners, team players and passionate storytellers.

See you all there,
Svetlana Rakhimova
Club President

Misako gave with courage her only second live Facebook video speech, even thanking me later that I encouraged her to do so.

I do believe, not the Communication plan or you creating it is the most important, but how you can involve many to make it happen. This even will happen with so many contributing to it, in just two days, it will be even "over". A recording will remain and lots of memories of team work.

Plus, a story I will have to tell. Again and again.

22 May 2017

Looking back to the path travelled so far

Destiny has a strange way to direct you. Not always on the path you decided to go, but often the one even more interesting for you. That happened with me this time.

At first, I chose Presentation Mastery from the ten possible path: hoping to improve my presentation skills. Normal, not? But, I was also eager to read more about the different, five levels and what is hidden behind the short descriptions. I went to the Toastmasters International Website, and I paid for a printed copy to have delivered home. To experience also how it goes when you want to learn about the material farther from the computer.

Well, I am still waiting.

First, I was delivered a CC and a CL manual, "by mistake." Then after ten or more days of negotiations, they recognized the mistake and promised to send me... the Manuals of the first two levels of the path I ordered. "The rest, after your VPE tells us you did finish the first two levels." What? "We will send in three part, you do not have to pay each time for the postage." I wanted to be able to read at first all of it! To understand where I will be going and how. Then, begin to study and do it one by one.

Still not comfortable with that decision, to get it bits by bits and not all I paid for at once.

Happy as I already had the free path, the Presentation Mastery, when I joined my club in the D27 Pilot District, they offered to change the online version to a new path. Which one to take? Give me please the Visionary Communication. I liked the idea to communicate something new to the audience!

I could see the five interesting and increasingly going deeper levels, on screen now, even if till I did not deliver at Witty Birds club online meeting my Icebreaker, pathways style, I could not read anything more. Seen only the titles. Frustrating!

Looking over the information about other paths, almost all had the same titles for Level 1 & Level 2.

There are 5 Levels in every path:
     1. Mastering Fundamentals.
     2. Learning your Style and preferences.
     3. Increasing knowledge.
     4. Building skills.
     5. Demonstrating expertise.

What is inside? After I got through the Icebreaker and the President of my "base club" approved it, I could now see the details of the Fundamentals Level 1. Two more Projects were now ready for me to read, Evaluating & feedback and the Research and Present.

The  Evaluating project contains in fact three tasks. A) Give a speech and have it evaluated. B) Give it again incorporating the feedback. C) Give a feedback to someone other speech. Till now, my favorite Project! It is normal for any professional speaker to repeat the same speech again and again till it shines. And also to adopt it depending on the audience. And the situation, and the time given the last minute even.

From now on, I will try to offer the same, but improved story many times. At least, twice. But if possible, deepen it and find new messages from it. One at a time.

Research? Why it is in the "fundamentals" level I asked myself? I have now the answer: it got me used to research and deepen all the subjects I was given after that.

What subject to use ? I want to know more about Pathways! I want to know more about this wonderful, but not always easy Transition period. I knew, from my own PhD research that combining two subjects pays and decided to research both. See what is at the frontier of them. An interview with George Marshal, the Chief Guide in the first Pilot District 57 from California. Looking up the page in TMI "all about Pathways" and in plus, two books read (digitally) Transitions, inside us, and Managing Transitions, for leaders helping those who will have to change have a good transition. One by William Bridges, the other also by him but with Susan Bridges. Fascinating! From now on, I begun to see what happened to me with new eyes.

Perhaps, more important for the future, Managing Transition, decided me to communicate as much about Pathways as possible. 
  • Open this blog
  • Create a special Pathways meeting in Witty Storytellers Online club: this Thursday. 
  • Find those who have been inside their path tell their stories.
Yes, as someone remarked yesterday to me, I went fast through my first level, but I went deep. I took all the tasks very seriously. Not all my stories had the same success. Each time, I had mixed feedback. I got ideas of improvement. But I did learn so much on the way!

Level 2. Stumbled trying to understand my Leadership Style, and generally what are they, my Communication Style, and how many different they are, how different we are from each other, I got first stuck into words that did not speak to me. Alas, each trade has his own language. I struggled with them. But once I did begun to research on Google, then buy a book, Leading with Style by Jonathan Sandling, I begun to understand. Not only what is my main leadership style but how important is to adapt it to the situation.

I also did buy a second book, best not tell about it, so complicated, each time I open it, it gets fast closed. But yes, I did my research, before I offered a funny true story to Firebirds Collective online club about how I decided to become TM club president, and why.

For the Communication style, I found lot of interesting material and even videos on Google and YouTube, then because our communication style has to vary depending on who are the one we talk with, I remembered my worst experience of it. Relating it now, is funny, but at the time it was not. I had to learn at age 77 how to reach to young in Standup Comedy clubs. I did. Using what I learned they see when I arrive and using their language.

At the third speech, I spoke about a respected toastmaster, and tried to make it funny. I still have to tell the tale a day of my personal mentor and friend Stephanie, for 25 years, from the day we met till she died. So many memories come out after I read about Mentoring, in work, or in life!

This was my path and those were my adventures in the first two levels.

In a few weeks, two month only? I came out from it almost changed. With lots of new energy and new stories bubbling out, new ideas to talk about. Better equipped then I was toward end March. I got my level 2 certificate, but I got so much more going through my path!

21 May 2017

Level 2 Visionary Communication completed


Thanks all who helped me to get this. Learned a lot with the three Level 2 projects. 
I understand now more about Communication Styles, Leadership Styles and difference between Mentors and Coaches. Also understood more about my preferred styles, and the flexibility needed depending on situation and others. 

Even if I do not like the special words, taken from the speciality, would have liked more plain English speaking, but they are finally, explained. For example, "Initiator" means loving to communicate with stories.
Of course, I had to understand better, research and read more books but I loved to discover them, study them. Understand different view of different people about the subjects. 

Opened my mind to other ways of expressions.
Yesterday, I stayed late to read then reflect on my Communication Plan for our next special Pathways Discovery meeting. I even woke up at three in middle of night to ponder about it. Tomorrow, You will be able to read those reflections. So yes, the new program is really useful for me. I dedicate many hours of my day to it.

The projects in the path, gave me a new bust of energy!

20 May 2017

Mentor and Protégé

Just told a story about a time I felt as I was a "Protégé' in Toastmasters club: for 5 years David Thomson in Meridian Speakers club, Greenwich, gave me specific advices how I can improve. At the same time told me "you did great!" but, the year after he told me "It was so much better then last year".

I did not have a mentor in my professional life, but did for 25 years in my private life: Stephanie. I just realised, passing through this project, how much she encouraged and advised me. Not that I listened. Did not listen to her, stubbornly when in love! Sometimes, I hated her advices, alas, always proved true.

Here is an example of the screen, explaining the difference between longtime mentoring, and usually, one time for a task coaching.

I think, I am more a coach then a mentor myself. But so much to learn and ponder: how to formulate the advice and when to offer it too.

I was the one usually calling up Stephanie and relating her what happened to me...

Reading about Mentoring and Coaching will come back to me even more with my next path, which is all about Effective Coaching, interpersonal communication. The current path, Visionary Communication, is more about reaching audience, reaching many then one by one, even if in the audience we reach also members one by one sometime. But in best times we "unite the audience".

It is called "protégé" and not "mentee", but I do not think it makes really difference. And who did "protege" me in my life?

My parents, yes.

With my friends we were on same level, each offered and took without counting, helping each other when needed and accepting the other.
Taking always her part.

I will add a third screen, so many in each project that teach us, and also videos (I like those more or less). But look at each of them once or twice to understand better.
Could I recognise that this I loved the most: a "virtual mentor" is now admitted, recognised even counselled by Toastmaster International Pathways! 

More and more we will be able to use Web and connect through it. One by one, one with two, or sometimes, 20 or 50 together! An experienced member could share knowledge in her specific area! 

19 May 2017

Next speaker: Julie Leadership Recording



Can I be a president? I asked myself in the spring 2010.

We recorded this meeting, all of us together, so I had some difficulty to isolate my story, here is as given at the Toastmasters Online club : Witty Storytellers Online.

Very true and personal story and yes, about leadership of course, but told as a story.

18 May 2017

Stories & Feedback : My leadership story at 18 minute



11 May 2017 Witty storytellers Online Toastmasters club

My story about "My Leadership style" begins at 18 minute
Krishn give me feedback as normal, the last.
I do love the Storytellers listening skills!

Worked a lot before I told this story, as I was confused by the different leadership styles.
Asked myself : which leadership style I really belong? In fact we are composite. And even more, flexible enough to change our style so it fits the occasion. Also, happy enough, we do learn along the times.

After going through the Pathways screens, and writing in my notebook (almost filled already a notebook) I was happy to find on Kindle, books about the theme. I remained with one and now I even have it even in book format): Leading with Style from Jonathan SandlingI finally understood the different styles and of course the need to Adapt our leadership style to the Situation we are faced.

Both tasks "Your Leadership Style" and "Your Communication Style" are in almost all Path in Level 2 together with the third, which is in all level 2 : Introduction to Mentorship.

As we learn in Level 1 how to research or at least if we knew it, were remembered that best is to research farther each time, this two tasks can give us new understandings and new perspectives. They for sure, gave me!

Another great thing is that after we go through and study, we are asked to give a speech that relates somewhat to the subject, if possible tell something about us too and... in a Humorous or Informative or any other style.

I always avoid to give "lectures" when a story will do. And whenever possible, I try to make it humorous too. That is why, after all, we created Witty Storytellers Online toastmaster club.

17 May 2017

"US" - Our Communication style?


Project 2 of Level 2 : What is your main Communication style. What is theirs?

So much depends on with whom you communicate! I learned it again. I did believe I found the "right story" to illustrate how I was confronted with different people that I had to will over. How I had to learn their language. Use it.

Witty Birds Beginners, Online club yesterday. Very world wide toastmasters present.

The Witty's president Svetlana, listened to me speaking from London, all the ways from Uzbekistan. Carlos from Columbia, Viviana here in the second row in the middle, gave me feedback from Malaysia and Fabienne signaled the time from Dutch Caribbeans. I could reach all of them, but it seems now that my communication style did not reach M from South Korea, she remained preoccupied by something else while I spoke. Later, when I asked her directly, did I realize, she had to read as she has problem of hearing: it was not because of my story. We do have to communicate with each other and do not get too fast a conclusion, indeed. Many lessons learned.

After the meeting, two guests asked to join the club. Wonderful! In plus, this 'adventure' also tells me that finding the others communication style and reaching to them is more difficult then I thought. Even more when the audience is so international and diverse!

16 May 2017

With whom we communicate?

Yes, my style of communication is more storytelling, but I also like to entertain. When I told my story about Mistaken Identity, and the time when I had to change profession,
I got a lot of laughter.
                           I loved it!

Mistaken Identity by julie70

But... how to make them laugh when I wanted it? I had no idea. No knowledge. Till then, I really believed I have no "funny bones". There was a standup comedian young girl near me "you are a natural!" go to the Standup Comedy class I went. "here is their card".

Really? I could pay from afar for 8 weeks class, 4 hours by week. Yes, what happened at that workshop and from then on, will be my next story that I will tell today, soon.

What I learned, is what all writings about different communication styles tell us finally: so much depends on to whom, where and when. Mostly, their communication style and how we find the bridge between us and transform "them and me" into "us". After I realised that (without the fancy words here) I did emphasise my public persona, exaggerating just a little, and I had no more problems, for the next 77 times communicating. We did always understood each other, despite the age gap.

I did never tell but let them discover, age does not make a lot of difference on how we are, think, feel.

I hope, tomorrow I will be able to publish the recording. Look only if you are ready for some standup comedy language used in it. Otherwise, skip a day. ;)

15 May 2017

I got my Level 1 recognition!


Of course, as usual I was waiting for it and waiting. In Hungarian, there is a saying "do not wait until the bird flies in your open mouth all cooked!" Is there something similar in English? When I was young, that was told to me as I stayed home, instead of going out, waiting for the "him" come and take me "on his white horse" from my room, and go on together, forewer.

Finally, I asked on a Facebook group, and yes, I got the answer: Go back to the level you have completed and you will find the "Print the certificate" there. It seems simple. I had to know it. It did work! If only, I had a printer... I did buy three printers since I am in London, one after other they all failed, none worked for long time alas.

When I got back to level 1 the first time, no certificate was yet there to me to print anyway; and from then on, I looked forward and not back. Well, now I know. I also know, that we have to answer after we deliver the project speech to all questions posed in the project and after it some others questions too, only then will be our project considered finished. All auto-assessment questions have to be answered for all project and we have to declare also our Level Finished. Our level is then considered finished: but one of the Base Camp Managers has to "ok" it. My VPE did not know how, finally, the President did it.

As much as I love the content of Pathways projects, and yes, I do appreciate them more and more, as much I do not appreciate the interface.

"You had the answer, in a short video!" I was told in the same forum.
"Yes, but where to find that video?" And why that video does not arrive to us or a link of it, when we finish our first level? How to know that the video exist? Where can we find it? Finding answers WHEN we need it, not all in one time. Finding it with a search perhaps, answers as we go?

With time, all that will be solved, I am sure.

Details of interactions with the user, the member, the "most important" person in the hierarchy of Toastmasters. Not the "early adapter" but the average user, who like me is waiting for the certificate to arrive. Sometimes, the VPE will print out the certificate and will give it in the meeting. Considering I was only the second toastmaster in all District 27 to have finished Level 1 in a path, I even felt that perhaps the TMI could have send it to me the certificate?

Yesterday, when I went at my grand-daughter 18th anniversary party, I found the certificate printed in BIG! They do have a working Printer and they knew I would be happy with it.

Now there is a third Toastmaster in the district having finished Level 1 and, in plus, he did finish two level 1 in two different path almost the same time! Not a bad idea either. Repeating, the same Projects we can it understand better. I do have begun a second path, but only because I was asked to give an Icebreaker.

For the moment, I am deep into Level 2 Projects, having already created, written down, rehearsed the story for the Communication Style, and it is due to be delivered Tuesday.

14 May 2017

Comunication Skills: What's your communication style?



Another view about different "communication styles" : visual or auditory or kinaesthetic.
I love the way and the vocabulary used as James explains them! I did understand a lot better.

None of us is only one style, but we all favour one of them more then the others. Using all three when you speak to more then one person, is a very good advice. In plus, he does teach English expressions that we do not know all of us. Some where even new to me. Enjoy! Try them out. Ponder on them.

13 May 2017

I love telling and listening to stories!

My communication style? "Learn your communication style" is the next on many path, after "Learn your leadership style". By now, we did learn to conduct additional research on each subject, understand it, ponder on it and then... deliver a story (or speech) of any style: humorous, informal or instructive. Guess, which one did I chose!

My first impulse was "telling stories! listening to stories! is my style"

But first, I had to read through, then research the subject as theorist speak about it and giving them obscure names. Well, in my opinion at least. Confusing for me. After looking at it through Google, even more confused! The test I passed told me my preferred communication style is "Initiating".

What does it mean?
"Sociable, enthusiastic, energetic, spontaneous, fun loving."

Initiating communicators are:
Self assured, innovative, persuasive. They value interacting with others and sharing stories. Provide time for them to express their feelings and opinions when interacting with them.

Yes!

I can now recognise myself, and our members in my Witty Storytelling Online club.

The task we are all asked to do is telling about your communication style and how others reacted to it. Of course, I will do it, as usual, telling a story. A story that did not come to me yet. Which one to chose?

How I realised first that by telling about my personal experience through a story my friend is convinced? How I decided to go through all my Toastmasters projects through stories? How I created the first Storytelling workshop and with what results? Tell about our online club, where we tell stories to each other and how fast that helps us to know and like each other through different cultures?

I am waiting for a spark!

I did wait and before this come to be published I found my story: Depending on the audience, those standing in front of you, the communication style has to change sometimes more then other.

My most difficult experience so far was when I went to my first Standup Comedy workshop, with 10 young man (behaving like nasty boys). Once I learned how to break the ice with them, I was ready for the 120 young women and man in audience at my first ever Standup Comedy Performance (and the 100 that followed them). I have what to tell for my seven minutes!

Changing Persona and Style to Communicate is important and also fun!

12 May 2017

My main leadership style?

I am not only through Level 1 now and already begun to understand why the Level 1 finishes with a project teaching "how to research". Suggesting we research something more in depth.

By the way, I had to move my Evaluations from one folder to another to go "through".
From "my folder" to the "level 1" folder. I am not sure, but I think that is what did it.

At level 2, I got three tasks one after the other.
Here are my way of expressing them.

a) Understand your Leadership Style
b) Understand your Communication Style
c) Importance of Mentorship --> Me as protégée

The first two Projects help you to discover different "styles" we and others can have and their impact. At the end, it does suggest to do "more research!!" about them.

I did. And yes, it was needed for me at least to understand better.

I found a great book, Leading with style, by Jonathan Sandling explaining very clear 8 different leadership styles. So I added this book to the one Managing Transitions that I read for my first Research project (the last item from level 1). Both books are treasures!
After being disoriented for a while "Is this really my main leadership style?" I went farther in the book and read: the real good leader combines the leader styles and uses the one depending on the Situation! 

Once we understood that, we also understand that we are more complex then theories and that a good leader indeed has to be flexible, asking us, or using unconsciously the style needed in the next situation. 

None of the styles: Autocratic, Laisser faire, Servant, Task oriented or Relationship Oriented, Democratic or Charismatic is the best. It all depends... 

None of the Leadership styles, these or others, are ideal in every situation. 

But understanding them enables us to take flexible, adaptable and diverse actions, Jonathan Sandling writes. In fact, they can be combined in many ways. 
  • A leader (has followers)
  • turns vision into reality and 
  • maximises the effort of others.
  • Inspiring and supporting.

Our preferred style depends on our personality and our past experiences. 

I then remembered a funny / sad story that happened to me seven years ago when I was asking myself "Am I good enough to become my toastmasters club president?" I got two very different answers when I asked those around me, from my club, then a third answer that inspired me to dare, from Pat Johnson then International President. "We learn as we do and get to understand on the way! "

Pat Johnson's keynote reassured me,: I can also learn as I go! And did. 

Toastmasters is indeed a great laboratory to learn also about leadership. Till I have created my speech that I delivered yesterday, I did not realise how good it is. Thanks to that Pathways task, I understood it even better. And can give a personal story as speech about "my leadership style".

Now on, to the next project. My "communication style"? What is that? 

11 May 2017

Waiting, waiting to begin Level 2

For the moment, the passage from Level 1, after I have completed it, to Level 2 is not very easy. It has to be approved by VPE (or President or Secretary) "Base Camp Managers" for each and every member.

The connection between declaring it in Club Central as before for an achieved CC or Advance Manual and the Base Camp is not yet made, but... of course with time all the wrinkles will be ironed.

As I waited and waited, yes, more and more impatient: "still not open?" I continued to study the Transition Management book, so much good advice William Bridges give in it! So much to be applied to the Pathways transition! As I wrote already here, his Transition book (the first I readà spokes more of what is happening inside us, the stages we go through and why they are indeed needed.

I understood better with both, the difficult transition from a girl obeying her father, even after 23 - 24 years old, and more or less following in all his advices, and a woman who had to have a huge blow, loose most for what she worked for, for years, the difficult end and what seemed to me a very long period where all seemed lost for me. But in that period, finally I grew up enough to get farther, to make my own decisions. Going all the way with a boyfriend, my father did not like "he even does not wear tie!" was only one of them.

Now, when I will tell the story of "Eastern Sunday" I can tell it so deeper. In all case differently.

I also understood from the research on Managing Transition linked to Pathways, the need to open this blog. Of course, this is only one more voice in explaining, in letting know, in my own way.

Tomorrow, will come and with it my level 2!

10 May 2017

What is Research?

The third and last Project in Level 1 of every path is Research and Present.

There is a lot to say about the word "Research" but what I did learn through the feedback I got is that different professions and people understand it in very different ways.

In this project, we are asked to research a narrow and specific subject we did not know before, or some specific of a subject we are passionate about and want to deepen our knowledge, then present a speech in serious or humorous or any other style, in an organised manner.

It is asked from us to use different ways to gather information: reading about it from truth worthy sources, interview specialists and so on. One of my evaluators reminded me "using one source is stealing, using ten is research" but mine was not that kind of research. Of course, it is important to tell from where your information comes and learn how to cite the source.

I had difficulty in verbal informal story to "cite" all my resources, also I did speak of some of them.

I am a scientist, with a PhD in Physical sciences, and would not dream to make research without applying and trying out and telling about the experience. I consider gather information only the first step, then try out your hypothesis, publish your results, do something original. That was a must in my profession when I was Research Scientist. And my personality ask for hands-on prove and discovery.

"I did earn my PhD degree, but did I learn from it?" that was how I wanted to begin, but did not as I though it meant boasting about my degrees. What I learned from my research done through four years to obtain a doctorate while working in a Research Institute? I learned that we can find the "new" and publish easier on the threshold between two domains.

What two domains to research? Pathways, of course that I wanted to find out more about. While beginning to speak about Pathways around me, I realised we are in a difficult Transition period. Here is my second domain I was looking for!

Transition and Pathways! 
And, the transition in Toastmasters to the Pathways Education System.

I have never done so much reading, studying and researching then for this project, form the time I joined again Toastmasters, in 2009. As you will see later, it was fruitful and I am happy I did and will be able to use what I learned for long time.


There is a page with many videos on TMI web site about Pathways. Then there is a FAQ (frequently asked questions). Also a list of the three pilot districts and the Regions as they will come to get Pathways, one after the other. In plus, there is a the free Icebreaker project for all to try.

The first district pilot was D57 and its Chief Pathways Guide George Marshal. I did succeed to persuade him to give me an online interview: a week later we spoke for 30 minutes with each other from our homes. He even accepted to present at Witty Storytellers Online the 24th May, tell us about his experience and Q/A!

True, in my speech of only 7 minute I forgot to speak about what he told me in his interview, even if I incorporated it differently at the beginning, as those are also linked to different reactions to Transitions.

After having read all I could, I also begun to use and discover my path, as I wrote before, in other notes. For me, as I wrote, no possibility of doing a research without trying to apply it. Perhaps this is my kinaesthetic side, having to experience to fully understand.

Transition? I read again the book called Transition, I already knew 15 years ago from William Bridges, but now understanding more profoundly. So many of my old stories I could now rewrite after I understood the need of the three stages he tells about. "First comes an END, grieved as we always loose something, even if we wanted it and even if it did not come upon us. Then comes a neutral transition period when we feel lost, in fog. Uncomfortable, we need to retreat alone, but can spark innovation, understanding.Only after we passed these stages come New Beginnings" Those are just broad outline of the book. This book Bridges wrote first, is mostly about the Internal Transitions, internal changes we face - so many times in our life.

I discovered now his second book written for leaders, Managing Transition by W. Bridges and S. Bridges. How to help others go through the changes, transitions in organizations. I did buy a copy of it on Kindle and studied it. Yes! This applies even more directly to the Pathways experience. We have to inform, inform and inform! not tell "they will know when times comes" as we want it adapted and grow enthusiasm about it.

That is when I decided to write this blog: My Pathways experience. Tell stories about it in different ways. So much to tell ! This post is one step forward.

So far I have told twice the story "Pathways and Transition" in my online clubs and thus got through my level 1 in the Visionary Communication path. Here is how I told it the 3 May in Witty Birds online pre charter club. The sound is a bit strange here. But in this speech, my vision was told the first to my online toastmasters pals.

I I am still waiting for a "Paper Award" but I got a badge of Level 1 already. The most important is : I finally got to see Level 2!

PS: I also learned later, you can and have to print your own Level certificate or the VPE prints for you.

9 May 2017

Level 1.Project 2 Understanding the importance of feedback

Level 1 in any path:
1. Icebreaker - that goes farther then the on from CC
2. Feedback and Evaluation
3. Research

The second Project Feedback and Evaluation, hides in fact three tasks:

a) Give a speech any style (humorous, informative, inspirational...) and listen to all feedbacks
b) Create a second speech using what you learned, from auto-evaluation & feedbacks (Ameliorated)
c) Give a specific feedback to someone having understood how important it can be to help

It was just before Eastern Sunday and I remembered the time just before I was 25 and all that happened to me around that day: I rushed to tell a personal story about it in my online club Witty Storytellers Online. Yes, rushing is not the best, even if in my mind seemed finished, during the delivery as my Evaluator said, seemed an impromptu story.

How come? I asked myself, I did read the diaries of those time, I tried to be also combining sad and funny during delivery, how could I improve it?

Of course, the answer was already there in the advices given for Icebreaker. Rehearse more, tell it many times, learn to embed it better, sit down so your eye is parallel and not looking down... Cut what possible and make it more compelling. And you know what? A few days later, after rehearsing, cutting, adding, rehearsing again and again, I got it!

Delivered this time to online club Firebirds Collective, a lot better, too as most of the feedback told me.



I remembered, Doug Lipman famous storyteller and coach, also told us during his workshop at Witty Storytellers: deliver your story again and again and again, to different people, to different public and audiences. Let it grow. So do all professionals too delivering the same a bit differently each time. Again and again. And some of the best speakers of my online clubs and even brick-and-mortar club, have repeated different version of their stories, improving it each time. In plus, we liked to listen again to those new interesting versions!

Lesson learned. Repeat, improve and let it grow.

Not only form now on, I will deliver my stories more then one time, but I will also prepare longer for each of them.

I begun to realise how clever the tasks we got from Pathways were prepared to help us realize it.

I finished the task Feedback and Evaluate, by evaluating two very different CC 8 speeches (use props) : the first at my London club: the speaker forgot to show the prop he had prepared! The second was great and I gave just a few small feedbacks to ameliorate the delivery, but I was specific and he liked it. I already liked to do things twice even if they were not asked from me.

Next will come my story about the third task, Research, and as you will see tomorrow, yes, I also delivered it already twice. Perhaps, I will if possibility come again, as my last one worked very well as a persuasive personal story but... but all that tomorrow.

8 May 2017

How I chose my first Path

I changed my free online path to Visionary Communication that seemed very interesting:


I passed the tests, which as they are now are mostly for new toastmasters more then the experienced ones. Between three choices proposed I found the Presentation Mastery the most enticing to me. But later, I decided to try read it from a printed Path, ordered and paid for it. Still waiting to get it

I found out first, that alas I will not be send all 5 levels, only the first two. Then, after having finished it, other levels, and yet other: the VPE has to signal I finished them. Are we in a school? Alas, they did send me even those yet, instead of what I hoped, the CC and the CL manuals.

True, I could have printed the path, I have (and had asked my son to do so for the 20 pages about Icebreaker) but my printer at home does not work again. Paying 20 dollars for a path plus 25 for printing (total 45) and send by Toastmasters, did not seem too much. 

And one day, it will arrive.

Meanwhile, I changed my free online path, to Visionary Communication, that seemed also very interesting. 

At level 1 "Mastering Fundamentals" all path have the same projects. 

At level 2 "Learning Your Style" all have the third task speaking about when you were a mentee, protégée. About Mentoring. My two path the similar quest to understand our Leadership and Communication Style. I am looking forward to them, as soon as my Base Camp Manager (can be VPE or President or Secretary of the Club) will signal that my Level 1 is done.

On Club Central, it was already declared "Manually" that I passed all Level 1 tasks, but as the program is in construction, there is not yet a link between it and the Base camp. It will be soon, I do not worry. But can not go and read farther yet. - my VPE was used to declare in club central not in Base Camp

Meanwhile, of course, I will have to write about my adventure in the level 1 Evaluation and Feedback. So far my preferred task from which I learned so much. I could say, again "I knew already" but the truth is : I did not understand it so well till I did the three tasks that they give us. More about it in the next post that will all be about how my three tasks went and what I realised from them.

Breaking the Ice, from Smedley to now

Breaking the Ice through telling a story about yourself.
Making others know you better, creates instant connection.
In my own experience, deeper you open up, stronger you connect to a large audience.

Icebreaker was the first project, first speech from 1905 as Ralph Smedlay begun his first Toastmasters club, in the basement of YMCA after out of college himself. It is after other clubs where formed and asked him to write down the "basics" then he taped pages and let them be photocopied. Each project adds to our understanding of creating, rehearsing and delivering a good speech. "Use what you learned and add to it."

Icebreaker, through more then hundred years now: "Tell about yourself to the members of the club". Tell about your life or your hobbies, or passion. Decide what you want to tell then "wrap in into a story"

Of course, it is a subject we all know and it is easy to remember and be "in the moment" as we tell it. Of course, it is very difficult to decide what to tell in only 4 to 6 minutes! Of course, it is not evident to speak for the first ever before, relatively unknown people.

Difficult to forget our first times... and we have many but still remember them. They are special. Difficult also to tell a story even if we heard and told so many: we are not told here what is a story. Difficult but exciting to tell about ourselves!

My first ever Icebreaker in Monument Toastmasters spoke about my arrival in Washington DC and what I remember about it then at the end I was told to look more at the audience. I did learn to look.

30 years later, I was in London and decided to tell my life in the different subsequent projects of Competent Communication manual. Found a wonderful title for my Icebreaker: "And the ice did not break!" The content was from hiding in a cave during the Second World War, fearing nazis and shell bombing too, then when finally the Soviet army "liberated" us, having to run from them so they do not get to rape my mother through the frozen Danube. There were no bridges over the large river and in was  beginning March. As we fled very early in the morning, we had almost nothing with us and we were lucky: the ice did not break. We went through from Buda to Pest and got to a cousin of my mother.

I intended to tell all the way till I arrived in France at age 30, but... it was too long.
As there were not available speaking places in my club, I got a chance to speak as "mystery speaker" in an AREA contest (5 clubs together) and be evaluated by 5 contestants. Ok, I told myself, it is not me who they will judge but those giving me feedback. Only one realised I did not finish. She won the contest. What happened is when I have seen the red light on I froze.

Something more important happened at that Icebreaker. My story had a huge impact on the audience, they ah!ed, they laughed, they reacted. As for me, after a first second dread on stage, I did fall in love with the audience. It is a reciprocal love and lasting love.

The second project from the CC manual is "organizing" begin, transitions in the middle, end".
The third project from CC manual is "have a point" as Doug Lipman calls it the Most Important Point.
In the Pathways Icebreaker all three first CC are in one, but in plus we are taught different rehearsing techniques and then how to combine while delivering prepared (learning well beginning and end) with authentic delivery and not word by word. How by rehearsing bits by bits, we can embed it in us. Using at that stage only outline cards to remember if needed the flow.

In another slide - there are many - in suggest that you tell your club members why you joined and who suggested you to go to a Toastmaster club the first. My Pathways Icebreaker was 40 years after my "first" I did well remember the "why" that I did not tell them at that time... As a standup comedian it was easy to dig deep and open up: I knew it will leave impact to tell the truth.

I went to my first Toastmasters club meeting, to find a man.
There is always when I tell this truth in a club someone asking "did you find it"?
So, I can answer and get another laugh: "I am still looking!"

Then tell the truth too: I found my voice and learned to look, got confidence.
With those skills, I did find what I was looking. Outside Toastmasters.

In 1977, Toastmasters still had very few women as the clubs let them in little at a time. In 1977, I had been 'single again' for two long years and everywhere I went I found so many women, so few man! That is what I was complaining about when a friendly woman send me to the Toastmasters! The problem was yes, there were many, there were interesting too. But most married. Well married!

That is the long story, I do not usually tell. I told some of it during my Pathways Icebreaker at the Witty birds online meeting. Toastmasters expects us to tell "I come to learn to speak better" or "I come to get courage to speak in public" not other reasons. But all of us have many reasons, all legit!

In London, I was seeking like minded people to tell them my stories and hear theirs.
I did not expect all what I got from it: different leadership skills, a tribe I felt included, and later even the courage to become, at age 77 standup comedian! and so much more.

Already with the Pathways Icebreaker, I realised that we have to prepare longer for each task we get. This new program will let us become faster good speakers, more professional speakers, more effective. We will get less projects to advance but we will have to work on each more time to "get it right".

With each blog post, I will tell more about my Pathways experience and transitions in my life too. Next will come the project I love most so far : in fact three under one title: Feedback and Evolution.


6 May 2017

Break the ice, free! Test Pathways ways.

Those are the goals for the new Icebreaker. Tell a story about yourself, I would say. 
Clear beginning and end, and learn it rehearse it well.
Are you interested? 
You can already have a "taste of the new Icebreaker"
Of course! This one is the gift from Toastmasters to all of you!
Go to Toastmasters International web site, Education, Pathways and all the way down the page.
They are offering a free Taste of the new program: you can taste it go through it now, and even if you are not yet a Toastmaster!

Those are the things that you may learn from it.

all of that from the Icebreaker, read, listened, created, rehearsed, delivered then analysed !
We are told before of course the different ways of prepare in a way that we can still be authentic at the delivery. It is not easy from the beginning to understand our best skills not even to understand which one we want to develop from now on. For me my skills are great contact with the audience: of course as I love them, and willingness to open up. My goals are less clear... so many points to improve!

Go and try! And do not think the old ways are forgotten. At the end of every evaluation sheet, these feedback are on from the beginning already:
Not only your gestures and vocal variety, clarity and eye contact, but also:
audience awareness and interesting content!

So all along each speech, you are assessed also for how you did for all these points, not only with a number that along the month hopefully grows, but also comments that could help with specific suggestions. In the first page of feedback there are always a few paragraphs, explaining your specific task as you go along, but the two that come after are this one and then explaining what each means.

And read the post tomorrow when I will explain the 5 levels of my first chosen path.

Still hesitating? It is free to test! Go for it. Copy the link below in your navigator. Or go to toastmasters.org Chose Education then Pathways and go all the way down till you find Try Icebreaker.

https://www.toastmasters.org/websiteApps/Pathways/tm100101_SCORM12_20151004/tm100101/index.html

5 May 2017

Celebrating finishing Level 1 in my path

There are ten path to chose from. Why not try Visionary Communication? I asked myself and chose it., even if it was only the third proposed from three path suggested after answering to a quiz.

In fact, in Level 1 of Pathways, all path have the same three projects that you can see above.

For those who are not Toastmasters, I would add here that we 'Toastmasters' learn together to Communicate better, speak in public while learning leadership roles also. Each task is "Evaluated" given feedback and that helps us to grow in a safe environment. Then we can use what we learned outside.

The IceBreaker - Breaking the Ice the first time was the title of 1st speech since the Founder of Toastmasters, Ralph Smedley, went down the basements of the YMC and to make them more interested found the name "Toastmasters" for helping them learn to speak better in Public. It was 1905! Smedley wrote later a book Basic Training, with 12 projects in it, to help those who do not come to his club, because after a while others wanted to use his method also. In it he was inspired not only by all great orators but also those in his time.  In 1928 with a club even in Canada, Toastmasters International was officially founded.

We got through other manuals, called Competent Communicator. 

I joined first in 1977. Monument Toastmasters club, meeting also in a basement, in Maryland, was only 1000 feet from the Washington Monument.

Why did I join then, why did I go to the first meeting? You want the truth? At the time TMI just opened to women and I was happy to find a place where there were so many men, as I have been alone now for two long years at age 43.

The CC manual as we call it had 15 tasks then. I did complete all, and, instead of a man, (all happily married), I did found my voice, skills that remained with me all my working career, and courage to speak in public. And also men outside Toastmasters and later, even one specially for myself, when, after working three years in USA I had to go back to France.

I come back to Toastmasters after 30 years, alone again: we moved with my son's family to London. And at my first Icebreaker in London, given as "mystery speaker" at a contest, I fall in love. In love with the audience! This time, love returned. A love that is still there after more then 7 years now. When you love those in audience they feel it and they do return it to you!

The new CC manual now in 2009 had 10 and not 15 tasks. I rushed to complete them second time, and did my project 6 while in a visit back to Monument Toastmasters, near Washington DC. It was the project asking us to mind our "voice variety". I received "best speaker" ribbon from them, but the Evaluator told me during her feedback "the story was very interesting, your body language was great and but your voice..." At the last meeting before it, another told me "voice variety great but body language..." That is how we learn and improve. But, it served me for more! When I related those two in the fall Humorous speech contest, my title was Dare to Fail: I won the club contest!

So, now yet a different Educational system is arriving to the Toastmasters that modernise it. Called Pathways. But of course, Breaking the Ice is still the first task. I will tell you about how its content changed in the next post, tomorrow.

4 May 2017

A blog for Pathways? No, about my experience of it.

I have been Pathways Ambassador for more then a year and went to my designated clubs to tell them: "REP is coming!" later when the title of the future education program changed "Pathways will come and change, modernising our way to go through Toastmasters Educational Program"!

Sometimes, when too many guests and newcomers were present, instead of speaking of the new, I just did speak about the very old days first, Ralph Smedlay Basic Training in hand, then on different smaller changes leading to the actual with the CC manual (and CL) and other advanced possible later. Then, go and explain the first six or seven main Projects from the CC manual.

When I finished my first CC in London, in 2009 winter, I opened a blog called Competent Communicator, and from then on, tried to put on what I did and what great speech I found. I become Storyteller on Stage, outside Toastmasters then helped others to realise, they can do too. A year later, stunned, I got into Standup Comedy at age of 77! Me who was convinced, I have not one funny bone!

Toastmasters can lead to so many different places and paths!

After going all the way to become D.T.M, in 2013, meaning finishing the educational program once and almost again going till Advanced Education Gold, I desired for a new challenge. I desired to learn new ways. Pathways seemed to me so long to arrive!

It seems coming now nearer and nearer us.

I decided today to open this blog to speak about my Pathways discoveries. There will be not "official views" but my own, together with the joys and the frustrations to discovery of new paths.

I am an early adapter and do know what means grows problems! When I discovered Blogspot, we still needed to use HTML to format the text and could not add images other then going through places as Flickr! No way yet to add videos either. We got so much more from that time!

This is my first post in my Pathways blog, yes it will be leaving on the net thanks to Google who does offer us free blogs to create and have our voice.