Friday, 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.

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