31 Jul 2017

How fill in the Evaluation form?

The Evaluation forms are not really different from each other, there is even one called Generic Evaluation. Same first page with same three questions:
filled by me to test with funny characters

  • Challenge yourself :

  • You excelled at:

  • You may want to work on: 

  • The second page almost same 1 to 5 points, 5 to 1 given for Clarity, Voice Variety, Body Movement, Audience Averseness, etc. finishing with a few specific to the speech project's points.

    How the feedback form arrive to the evaluator(s)?

    "Normally" when you deliver a speech in a "brick and mortar" club near you, you can Print it out, give it to your Evaluator (or all those from you want also written evaluation) a copy of it, and after the meeting you get it back.

    Then, to add it to your e-portofolio, it will have to be scanned or photographed and added to the Level from which the speech was done.

    An easier way, would be for the Speaker to send the form online to the Evaluator and this one to fill it and send it back, all filled. To be added thus to e-portofolio's level with the name a bit changed perhaps, as it does not like long names, plus the Path's initials are important to be add too.

    As I mentioned in another post, in Pathways you save the evaluation you want, you can add more then one evaluators feedback or the one you like.
    When it is send through web, how it is filled and send back?

    Alas, I have to answer to this "it depends". It depends on your kind of computer or device used and the software available on it at a moment.

    I had no problem, automatically Acrobat Reader popped up and opened the form, I could read it, fill it, send it, no need - usually - to print or the scan. Till Adobe offered me a "better Acrobat to try for a week". Why not? Well, I should have known better! It messed up everything.

    After a week, I decided to go back to the free version, not pay each month for a new one, and I did not get back what I was used to till now. I remembered, then that I had estimated Evaluators, who never were able to fill and send "it is there, but when I save it what I wrote disappeared" and finally, wrote me a page of feedback, outside the form provided. I did give a title and uploaded that to my e-portofolio.

    Well, the last project of level 1, Research, taught me when all else fails.

    The interview "an expert" did now work as he had PC and me Mac, not the same softwares and browsers either, I go to our friend "Google".

    It is on the google that I found this stunning information: use Preview application to view and edit PDF.

    I have used Preview to Edit my Photos for long time now, did not know what else it is good for, and even often, when a more sophisticated editing is needed, instead I open up Adobe Photoshop Elements to ameliorate parts of images and not only the whole.

    Looking farther in different advices found on Google, I found this:

    Finally a deffiniton of what means PDF : simply Portable Document Format, that can not only be viewed and shared, as I already knew, but also Edited! I could open and look and save all Evaluation forms in PDF! Can I really edit them too? Yes! And with an application I used for so long...

    One can in Preview ask that the Annotate tools are showed, chose one, or use a shortcut as seen here. For the page 1 I created Text, chose the font and size, and added my observation. For the next page, I played a bit, I am sure with time I can find a more elegant way, for example, just to highlight the number chosen.

    But what a good time I had playing with the old applications newly discovered features!

    I also discovered, I can share directly without saving the filled in forms. That is for Mac but I am sure, if you had problems, you find similar FREE app for Window based computer systems, or for any other too. That is, if the just "fill it in" does not work.
    In principle, that can and should work without any problems, but when problems arrive, it is fun to try out new things! It is useful to get used to the Research, last project from the Level 1 of Pathways, interrogate an expert, lookup in Google the different propositions and chose between them. 

    Yes, Pathways and Path, and Projects are serious and I learned a lot from it, but even at age of 83 I love to play! And I had a field day with the Annotate feature from my old Preview app! 

    It would be easy to tell "they should make it easy" but there are so many devices we use, so many updates and changes and configurations, best be ready to discover and play - at least from time to time. Solutions, are there, up to you to find them when all is not smooth as you would hope. 

    I leave you now, back to play and see what else I can do with the Annotate from Preview!

    30 Jul 2017

    A whole region now! Welcome Reg 14 to pathways!

    First was Pilot District 57 then Pilot District 27 then Malaysia. and now this is a whole Region 14 where Pathways arrives. More joys, also some more problems. By the time the next region time arrives, Region 2, part of California and Oregon, that will be evident. 

    In my four month of using it, I had learned a lot, and did buy also a few books that I am very happy with, given very divers speeches, mostly stories, but also had some frustrations. Do not let the frustrations stop you as rewards wait for you, at least that is what I felt arriving at level three. 

    Not that the other levels were not useful, but it was at the three I felt happy, able to read and then chose from so many different interesting projects. 

    I do feel that is would be really important to ask every pathways guide and every pathways ambassador, and every "Base camp manager": VPE, President and Secretary, to finish at least Level 1 as soon as possible, to begin to understand and help other members if needed. To remain "in" not look from outside. 

    As one can continue in parallel, for more then two years the "old way" and the new one, why not begin now? Also all those who answer our inquiries upper on, should have had experienced it, not just read a paper with Q / A about Pathways. Or tell "I will send your question to..." or "I will ask my supervisor" which alas, happens more often now then before. 

    And bravo for those in Region 14 who begin, bravo also for those who open up to remote access members more and more. My online clubs did teach me that "global" is wonderful. Getting to know each other, understanding better, friendship between continents is a very important thing.

    Already deaming that once I will visit someone from so far away from Europe, one of those many wonderful places and islands, makes me already happy. Meanwhile, will know more who live there!

    29 Jul 2017

    Chose your path after looking at the Required tasks of L3 and L4

    There are 10 path to chose from. Each path has 5 levels. TMI helps you chose after you answer to some questions, then lets you chose which one of the ten you want to go on.

    Going through my first path, now I just begun tasks from the level 5, then looking through my 2nd path, I realised, that what really differentiate them are the so called Required projects of level 3 and level 4th.

    The level 1 is identical, the level 2 almost identical, and the difference if any is not great.

    At level 3 you have 1 required Project (task) and 2 from 15 (soon more) you can chose from. 
    At level 4 you have 1 required task & 1 to chose from many longer ones (same for all path)

    Level 5 gives you long range projects, some to chose from others required. 3 HPL 3 with 6 Month leadership role. Remaining 4 I would recommend for the first path, faster to achieve. PM; LD; VC; TC

    In this text, I show the level 3 and level 4 required projects, as I think they help to chose the Path.

    I have already gone through those from Visionary Communication, and looking forward soon for the level 3 for Presentation Mastery. Effective Coaching I have taken because of its title, not so sure now. And I have chose to do next, in the farther future, Motivation Strategy as I am interested in "understanding emotional intelligence" and to learn to better motivate others.

    Let me know, what did you chose and if this helps you to chose.

    28 Jul 2017

    How to receive and give feedback; Pathways way?

    Of course, from the first day back in 1905, in the YMCI basement, Ralph Smedley brought the pear criticism to what he called "Toastmasters" to the young boys needing to learn to communicate.

    "By speech ten, you develop a thick skin" to what you hear, and learn to take the critic sayings, use them as you need to improve." I quote from head so it is not world to word. True, with time we learn.

    The criticism, called "evaluation" not even "feedback" through board decision, later, could be given in different ways. Ralph wrote a book about it, and insisted clubs should change every three month how they do it, not enter in a same same again. It could be done by round robin, or only one critic, or the GE can assign to each who gives feedback to look at something different: one for beginning and ends, other for voice, third for body language, and so on, for all the speeches given that night.

    Pathways, following Ralph Smedley's tradition gives a renewed importance to Evaluation (giving and receiving it).

    After the Icebreaker, the next project "Evaluation and Feedback" has three parts:

    1. Give a speech, any speech. Listen carefully to the feedback. Feedback spoken during the meeting, feedback given after in the break, feedback by mentor, feedback by fellow toastmasters and, yes, even your own feedback as looking back. Take it as it comes, then reflect to it.

    - in the July number of Toastmasters Magazine, there is even an article on how to chose from Facts to Feelings, or personal bias, let the emotion wave go down, then take what needed from the feedback.

    So true! I got a feedback a month ago "you do not look in the eye, when you stay on feet" from an evaluator who never looked up to me from his reading while I spoke, online, the first ever time on my feet, to be able to move more.

    I was really angry. At first. Then I tried to find a way to have my eye in right level even when I stood up. Difficult.

    When I received another advice, 'stay up to show more movement that would improve your story" wrapped up in great things about my story, I finally decided to find a way, and put my laptop on two baskets when needed.

    So belated, but critic absorbed.

    2. Give the same speech using the conclusions from the feedback, or a different using it, in another occasion. I still have to give my standing speech, but I am ready for it now. And I did repeat many of my stories more then once, but now, I try to give as many as possible at least twice.

    In fact, any professional, repeats and improves many time, beside tailoring it to the audience and to the occasion. Our own feedback, the feedback from audience, the feedback from our critics count. With time, we learn to appreciate them and cherish them as they help us improve our texts and our delivery, our connection to our audience.

    3. Offer a feedback. Offer it in a way that it can be used to improve the next time, to someone. When we understand how useful it can be, we give evaluations not only to give a good speech on the speech we just heard and seen and felt, but also to help improve. Give confidence, yes, but also look at what constructive advice we could give.

    It also tells the Evaluator to look and listen! Too many are absorbed by what they write down and disappoint the speaker by not apparently looking at them. Some can multitask, but when the speaker looks at you, it is better to be able to nod, or look back in the eye at least.

    If you are advanced, give it to a beginner, and do not tell "everything" just one that can be changed for the next delivery. If you are beginner, give your feelings and observation to someone advanced, he  is more used to take whatever you do tell.

    So in Level 1 of pathways, we learn already the huge importance of giving and taking feedback. We do not have to wait to be "on Pathways" to use these! We all can begin with it today. Many clubs, many members do so already, did for long time. Why not begin it TODAY ?

    27 Jul 2017

    Evaluations? Where to find them? Where to put once filled?

    Yesterday, someone told me: "I can not find any more from where to TAKE the Evaluation sheets to give to those who offer feedback to me!"

    Well here is the answer to him.

    When we enter Base Camp, we find first the square of Navigating Base Camp, we look around first. Perhaps. The second square is "My Education Transcript" where we spend most our times! Strange name for our Levels and Projects and...

    Then comes "My feedback" as I understood place to chat, did not really use it much in four month. Then comes "My badges" that in my opinion are not very important either, can be opened differently.

    The last square, sitting there quietly is "Speech Evaluations" :  a treasure! Inside you can find, the "Evaluation resources" as they are called, in alphabetical order, for ALL the project on all the path, not only yours. So you can take them and send it to your Evaluator, who can fill it online and send back. Or you can print it and give it to one, in a meeting. I prefer before, whenever possible.

    One can also find there an evaluation form for someone who give a speech from a different path or level you are not yet on. There is even a Generic Evaluation form applying to any speech probably. Other then the general three questions, always same and the generic points about Eye Contact, Body Movement, Audience Awareness, etc, many projects evaluations add three (or more or less) different points which ask specific questions depending on the project, to help to evaluate them.

    --- added in August 2019 --- Nowadays I use the evaluation forms from Tutorial and Resources, those are for sure web fillable --- just remember the project name and first, choose the language. ---

    Once in Base Camp, you can open, save, print, any of those Evaluation Forms, I did at my first month, many, later I had difficulty finding them in my own folders on my disk: but in the Speech Evaluation Square, they are all in alphabetical order!

    Once the form is filled in, name evaluator date speech title, and all the rest, and you get it back, filled manually or electronically, where do we put it?
    Not back from where it came! So where?

    Inside the Education Transcript, at left is info about me.  Can be accessed even from round button right Info of me.

    The last item is my E-portofolio folder. In our E-portofolio are My Documents and My Badges.

    So open My Documents, and you find folders for all the Levels. Open a Level, the one you are now on, and add there the completed evaluation form, so the VPE also can see if needed.

    Here are how my level 2 folder looks.
    I learned now, that there is only one LEVEL 2 folder we can use, so far, so we have to add before adding to it our filled evaluations also the names, or initials of our Path.

    My first path was Visionary Communication, and I did not add VC as I did not know. From now on, I add PM to my Presentation Mastery Path's level 1, level 2 feedbacks, I got.

    Here are the folders in the E-portofolio, easy to understand once you got there of course.
    you can find them of course in a folder called "my documents" even if, inside it there is another folder "my documents" as I see now, where I put things not directly related to the levels.

    As Secretary, I become also a Base Camp Manager. Even if in our club the job is done by VPE, I peaked in to understand how it is done. First, one has easy access to the general club's advancement, with the path names, and levels. Then, also to people's names and path, and finally, one by one can so and see their "transcripts" how they stand with their projects. Lot of work, but the info is available.

    It seems equivalent to a VPE signing your last page in a manual. Most of time, nowadays, VPE will ask: give me the Manual's project Dates and Titles so I can add them to the TMI Club Central... when you have confidence in the member of course. Why not? Each of us learn for ourselves!

    Yes! And I wrote that you can find Badges also elsewhere! Where are they in two places? Anyway, in this Documents folder you find all your Level folders you see above.

    This is a very technical note, not so much as my other ones, but I hope, if someone really needs it, it can come, understand, find what is needed, and from then on, send, receive then file the filled feedback. 

    Good news! You can ask in Pathways more then one Evaluation! And add the Feedback you like best, or all of them to your folders, levels, documents inside your E-portofolio. 

    While the first time, it does not seem intuitive, from where you take the documents needed and where, different place altogether you save them, as with all, one done, twice done, third time it comes "of course!" and one does not even wonder why they are in different places... They are there, you can take out from your folders, you can add to them. They are yours! (Not visible even to the VPE)

    26 Jul 2017

    Tutorial "Completing a Project"!

    Are those tutorials new or where they there and I just did not look? Just discovered some of them.

    When in Base Camp, the first big box is Navigator, and in it there are many different tutorials, videos.
    In fact, you have to click on one of the titles to see what is under it.

    That is how I found this video "Completing a Project"


    It does explain you that in order to complete any project, you have to click in all the Assess your skills before, save it then when the project is completed and the speech given, Assess your skills AFTER, click on all the questions one by one answer and save the results. You will then be given on before and after comparison, and the next screen will tell you:
    "Congratulation! You have completed this project"

    But it is not finished. It is asked you to answer also to Evaluate this project, how you liked it. And that question is open to you only for the next ten days. So why not finish it the same day? That is up to you to answer or not, but why do not do it?

    We do advance, Project by project. In most cases, three projects by level, also I feel 5 task in level1

    When a Level is finished, you mark it completed, you have then have to wait till your level is approved by VP (or another of the Base Camp Managers) after which, you can print your Level Certificate. The VP has not only to approve your level in the Base Camp, but also report it completed in the Club Central at the TMI website, as for the moment they are not connected. Only name and level is necessary (and I suppose the Path), then is only when your name will appear, with some delay, in the Dashboard's Education Awards as finished level with its Pathname beside it.

    From now on, if someone is on pathways and does not know how to signal "completed a project" I will be able to direct him to this very good video. 

    So many more treasures to discover, day after day! 

    25 Jul 2017

    Incorporating feedback in the next speech: eye level

    For the last two years, I participated to online club meetings, sitting down. The problems of "eye level" was resolved with three big photo books on which I put my laptop.

    Remained a good light, not yet 100% resolved. Then I realised, who I dress, the colour of my shirt has also an impact.

    Finally, I concluded, with my wait hair, black is best then light colours.

    Then I begun my Pathways journey, with Feedbacks I had really to incorporate in my next storytelling. Brian told me "try to stay up"! And I tried, did. Here is one of my first one, speaking standing up.

    Indeed, one can see a lot more of my gestures, my posture (aie!) and my hand and arm movements.

    Next feedback I got "you are not looking us into the eye". How to put my laptop so it is eye level when I am standing. And fast enough, then put it down again as I sit near it?

    My grand-son come with the idea "Mamie, put it into books, and let us slide the table farther from the wall, ok?"

    The books where ok, heavy books and the level great also. I feared a little for the table, not so solid the one I use, to bend if I put the books at the end.

    Come then Patricia, bringing me three light nice baskets, on which I can put my computer now.

    Here is the basket solution: it does work! Wonderful!

    I just have now to find a meeting and my next speech, where I have to show body language, for level 2 of Presentation Mastery path, I am ready!

    I will tell my story of how my body language evolved during the last years because of Toastmasters, a funny story, first on-line then in my club near me "on the land".

    Those baskets two for the moment and three slim books, are ready for it. Did not need my third basket. Unless, some tell me after I tell my story something else I have to change.

    Do I really think of my body or voice when I tell a story? Not really. I try to be in the moment, feel what I felt then, but also let play free with the text and with the audience as it comes.

    That is why I always need an audience "listener" even online. A story needs to whom to tell not only the story and the teller.

    24 Jul 2017

    Log Out? How? Where it is?

    I understood from the beginning that it is very important to learn how to login to the TMI website. With the email address that the club you belong used to declare you as member.
    Attention! If the email address comes from a company and you no more work there, ask your club VPE or President or Secretary to change your email. Essential. 
    I have the same email from 10 years now, so that was not a problem, and I changed also my Name/Password to remember them easy, in fact now my computers remember it no more me.

    Every time I go to read something on pathways path, at the end I should also log-out. How? In all the 4 month, I did not find it, and just let log out by itself, or closed the browser tab. Not elegant at all!

    Where IS the Logout? Where is the logout? Today, I found it!
    I found it under "my account" after month in pathways I finally found how to LOG OUT!

    It is worth helping someone!

    "Where are those roles declared I was asked."

    "One has to go, strangely, to that right corner round to find "My account" and there, declare the last roles you did, with the date - last date - before you finish level 3.

    There are in "my account" - a bit strange place. But indeed, "my account" can be found from Base Camp entrance or can be found also from a project you are just doing, as me in the image before, on the Effective Coaching path."

    Once inside your Account, you find the image, if you added and the Base club name, some settings as the Time Zone, the Signature.

    That is normal. You can change them through the Preferences at left.

    Then suddenly, you see the roles you have taken in your clubs, and different dates for the last time you had the role.

    The club meetings do not change with Pathways, you still have the same roles and meetings with Toastmaster of the Meeting, Speakers and Evaluators, Table Topics and General Evaluator.

    When you arrive at end of level 3, you have to have been at least once: Evaluator (level 1 project) but also Toastmaster, Table Topic Master, and now, even once be General Evaluator as I heard. That last was added lately.

    I am not sure where AhCounter and Grammarian will be asked for me, but it is best to take all roles, at least once. You can write in this program only the DATE of the last time you had that specific role.

    From now on, I will be able to LOG OUT properly. Every time. I know, where to find it!

    23 Jul 2017

    What I am happier about?

     What I am happier about? That I got just now 6700 hits to this blog?

    Thank you!
    Or that I can print the Level 4 Certificate? the first one! even if it is due partly to my level 3 elective

    And it will be of course some time, before I can finish level 5 as my "vision" is far reaching. But if all goes well, I can finish the level 1 (in fact I did Monday) of Presentation Mastery and soon the level 2 also, even if it will take some time to have it recognised. With Printed copy it seems to take a lot longer.

    When my level 2 is accepted and given for Presentation Mastery, I will be send the level 3 Printed Manual. Still to figure out, why all does not work yet as it is supposed as it is written in the manual. All takes time. So it will arrive too. But who said I am patient? not me.

    Why can I go fast on my paths? Not only I am now in six clubs I can speak, but other clubs, like Buddies online from California, Emperor Online from Manila, Witty Birds from Uzbekistan, invite me to speak or to have roles. I meet there some I know and a few new wonderful Toastmasters, from so many parts of the World!

    22 Jul 2017

    How different is a Pathways project from an old one?

    • Body Language : we can find it also at Competent Communication project 5
    • We can find it between the Selective projects on Level 3 of all path
    • Level 2 of my Presentation Mastery path, instead of the "Your Leadership style" : my next task
    The project explains more in details about different aspects of body language.
    We used to have a special manual about Body Language free when we joined.
    This pathways project has a video showing differences, good and bad posture, how our movements affect the audience and what they mean, then a head expression quiz, but in essence ask the same for us. The two things in emphasises at the end (look at the image here) are Purposeful Movements and Unintentional Movements. As in Pathways, there is also a point on the content's interest to the Evaluator or/and Audience.
    Before all this points, is one for clarity one for voice variety I could not fit in the image.
    At the end of the project we do realise of course that our body language is complex and it matters. 

    As usual, it is suggested "go find out more, read more" and I did find a book dedicated to Body language, who had complementary suggestions, going further into Face expressions which become even more important now as "online" we see the face bigger better clearer. 

    Real smile, how to detect fake smile, how pupils dilate or begin small, many other signals we could detect just looking on a face, eyes, not just nods or unhappy or bored expressions. 

    I feel, that once we start doing research on every subject project in Pathways, we get richer! And reading all that it occurred to me that I could give a funny speech, showing some things I did or see other do, even if it is NOT asked from us to speak about body language. And I have already my spot in my club near me, for beginning of August, so I will be able to deliver it easy before all. 

    Perhaps, the second time around, I can deliver a similar speech mostly about head and how to listen, in one of my online toastmasters club: it could be fun!

    21 Jul 2017

    Make them feel welcomed and valuable

    All three panelists, told after the Panel, that they felt valued and appreciated. That was one of my important task yesterday. Here is what Misako wrote later in the day about it.
    14 rs
    "It was a wonderful 1-hour Zoom Panel last night (early morning in Europe). Everything becomes a story (even it's a panel discussion for an app) with Witty Storytellers. Hats off to our amazing Moderator, Julie Kertesz. Thank you for making us feel welcomed and valuable. Can you believe it was her first time being a moderator? It was indeed, the first time panelist for me! *panting*" Misako Y Yoke
    Of course, it is not only a Panel Moderator that has to make feel valued and appreciated those he presents, but also a Toastmaster, a Table Topic Master, any Master of Ceremony. It is an important skill to learn. I am still improving, but now it is more easy to find that something that makes shine those I present.

    "Everything becomes a story" and I will add to it, a "personal story" in Witty Storytellers. Slowly, through the month, we realised in my club, Witty Storytellers Online the magic of telling personal stories. So yes, we can do it better and better, and had great workshop leaders, Storyteller and Storytelling Coach Doug Lipman for example, in our special meetings. 

    When I joined in London, the second time around, Toastmasters, in 2009 January, I found an article in an old the Toastmasters Magazine "you can go through the Competent Communication Manual ten projects telling personal stories". And I did. The only time, project 4 as I was afraid of "short words and short phrases in English" my speech was not a story. I told facts, true facts of my true life but did not wrap them into a story. The feedback was "what did you want to say with that?" The point did not get across.

    When you tell a story, the story shines and the point of it comes across without you needing to begin your point at the beginning and summarise it at the end again. That is one of the great accomplishments of a good story well told. Plus, of course it plants images in the minds, slightly different for each, individual as we are all diverse. That is the great secret probably of a great story, it makes all of us add something to it from ourselves and becomes our story.

    In my mind's eye, are still the three stories we heard from the three panelists, and yes, I remember them each my way.

    As the Pathways Projects are in tune with life the project about Moderating a Panel does have a slide speaking of panelists being better when telling stories or anecdotes.

    True, it begins with "there are times when" and I believe "every time" there can be find something relevant to the theme of the Panel.

    And of course, I did ask my three panelists to tell their personal stories about how they did encounter, and dealt with Zoom.  But, they were also already great storytellers, each of them! 

    I could go on an on about storytelling, one of my great passions. But this blog is about Pathways, isn't' it?
    In fact, it is my personal story of my encounter with Pathways.

    20 Jul 2017

    Moderate a Panel : done!

    The Theme today at special meeting of Witty storytellers online was Zoom Panel
    Moderator, Julie Kertesz
    Panel: Svetlana, Brian, Misako - three club Presidents using Zoom Pro for a while now

    Here is Svetlana in Speaker view on Zoom, speaking from Uzbekistan. This morning, her connection was not so good as usual.

    But what a story!

    How she found her way to Online clubs, then discovered the "high maintenance" GoToMeeting. Visiting Brian's Royal Roads Victoria, Canada remote, she discovers suddenly Zoom, and falls in love! First, she uses the free zoom teaching one to one then creates her Witty Birds clubs and now she has gone Pro!

    Brian went all the way back to his first encounter with Zoom, shown to him in Netizens online by George Marshal and Susan. At the time, they decided with Manhal finally on GTM. But later, he needed a free platform for his Canadian Toastmasters club who decided to welcome also remote users. Zoom for 40 minutes! Now, they got a Pro account. Brian as me, had difficulty hearing through Skype the GC from Virginia, USA meeting, only admitting remote through sound. From July he is president, and proposed the use of Zoom. Those remote can see each other, and the club comes to Zoom by sound only. Suddenly both the on-site and those on-line can hear each other!

    Misako, offered us today her Buddies Toastmasters Online club's Zoom, she is now president there. She told us her first Close Encounter with zoom during the inter-online-clubs speech contest she won. From then on, she zooms, zooms, zooms. Lately, with more then 40 guests when they had a special workshop! And learned how to put in front those "reacting best". As our Sergeant of Arms she worked today also behind the scenes, helping me to Moderate on Zoom.

    The panelists closed each with a short but very impactful phrase. I loved all but what sticks in my mind is Misako: finally a program for us, not us for the program. Brian spoke about "we live the future". Svetlana who begun the the panel discussion closed it.

    After three personal stories, each interesting and different, all of the audience participated with a question or a suggestion. One hour passed fast! After the Zoom Panel, a few of us stayed to have fun and tell each other stories about online, about pathways and different toastmasters reactions.

    I finished reminding "indeed, pathways projects are important outside toastmasters!" And added, "I did doubt it at first, do not doubt it any more". Moderate a Panel is my choice of Elective in the level 5 of Visionary Communication. But I looked, it is also available as choice in other paths.

    19 Jul 2017

    Zoom 001 short rehearsal: Recording

    Preparing for the Zoom Panel with Misako

    An hour of discussion, she did teach me a lot! In this short recording, 2 minutes and 30 seconds, I explain her and demonstrate also, what Zoom records: what you see on your screen. Others, may see differently, that still confuses me a bit, but zoom takes the video from your own screen.

    Spotlight, is what you can do, at least as host and cohost, and that means you click on the name of a person, you see three dots, and from there a menu where you can decide that person will be in the Spotlight, on the big screen, as long as you do not change the feature. When she speaks or not. 

    Normally, only those speaking, are on spotlight while they speak. Unless you spotlight - for example, a listener, whose face you want to show because she reacts so well to what is told. "As in TV" said Misako. Indeed. 

    It is good to experiment sometimes, outside a meeting, and learn. See what works and what does not work. In short time, Misako did explain me so much! I also learned that she is now the Buddies - online Toastmasters club - President, beside our, Witty Storytellers Online Sergeant of Arms. 

    Online, we can help each other and visit each others meeting. She just invited me to GE next Sunday at Buddies meeting, where they will have three Icebreakers! 

    After this morning, I am looking forward with more enthusiasm and courage to Moderate tomorrow morning's ZOOM Panel. Some of Misako's great enthusiasm got through the screen to me. 

    18 Jul 2017

    Zoom Panel and Moderating, soon

    Zoom, is an on-line platform, the theme of a Panel I will moderate soon.
    In the panel, a few experts who used zoom "pro" and are used to it.
    Moderating the Panel, me - for the first (not the last) time.

    One of my first question could be "how we see the timekeeper?" Of course, was once I went into a Zoom meeting and begun to speak, tell my story, and nowhere would I see the time. It was on the second page! I did not know how to see her (or him) showing the time, and me too.

    Last Sunday, this is how we were showed the time, it was clear and it was there always. Still do not know, how she did it!

    No more asking "will we go to a meeting or zoom through it"? Have to learn how to zoom.

    Moderating a panel is also a Pathways level 5 elective task (chosen between different possibilities) and a very real skill to learn, indeed very useful outside the Toastmasters too. I will learn it! Even if at first it seemed easy, have been there, done Toastmaster of meeting, I told myself. More I read about it, more responsibility drops on my shoulders.
    So lots of things to do. Plus, chose the panelist each with a bit different expertise, prepare the panelists and discuss with them before the meeting, give each time and also time to shine, but not time to over speak, and translate audience questions too.

    Each panelist knows something different.

    Here they seem to speak to each other, and not to the audience. Good a short discussion, but the Moderator is there to see how much each does it, and also of course so it is done in good entente.

    It is a funny image but not right perhaps for a panel discussion. Where is the Moderator? Where is the audience?

    The Pathways project about Panel Moderator is 26 pages and with video, questions, quiz, and so on in it too. By the time, I have read it a few times, and read also a great book about Panel Moderation (the Eloquent Women's Guide to Moderating Panels, by Denise Graveline) - yes! not only for women! I am sure, this is only the first panel I will be moderating.

    So this panel will be about Zoom and how to get into it, different things can be done with it.
    And yes, it is also very appropriate for our club, Witty Storytellers Online. We do learn together to tell personal stories! Here is only one slide from the long manual about managing panels, from the level 5 of my path, the Visionary Communications. But I looked, the project is elective also on other path.

    Yes! Toastmasters new pathways program offers us many useful skills to learn, important indeed "outside" not only inside toastmasters meetings. That is mainly why the new program was created. And indeed, it works for me. Even at age 83 - now indeed I am past my birthday - one can learn new skills. Never too late! Pathways and it's tasks make me feel more alive.

    17 Jul 2017

    How? How could I do it too?

    Often we see someone doing something new or that we did not think it can be done. For example, at online meetings, through Zoom or through GoToMeeting, or any other platforms, usually all sit down and we see the face and facial expression and a little bit of background.

    Standing up? It seems complicated.

    Far from the computer or, in my case my Mac laptop. How could I?

    After seeing someone do it first time, and yes, it was very effective seeing him move, I asked "how did you do?" The answer was : "I did buy an expensive video camera!" Well, not for me.

    Second time a young woman stood up and spoke with wonderful energy and using all her body and won the speech contest. How did you do it? "Used iPhone instead of my computer while standing" but how to switch, I did not figure out.

    Then, last week, I got a very good feedback after a story I told but the Evaluator added "if you stood up, it would have made it even better, to show us how heavy that suitcase was to carry". Now, my task was to incorporate that in my next speech. How? How can I do it?

    My grand-son will be soon seventeen, he came to visit and we looked at videos of my performances. Then I told him my problem. "I tried once to push my computer farther, but I was told my eye level was  not on the audience. I looked down at them."

    "Let us first push the table farther"
    We did.
    "May I add more books under the laptop, from your big phonebooks with hard cover?"

    Finally, a very low tech solution was found, whenever I want to stand up - online. It does work.

    "Wether you sit down or stood up, your eyes were always on us!" I heard in my feedback.

    It is a good motive to try to improve your speech, incorporate last feedback! It makes us creative. Pushes us farther. With help, as in my case this time, or alone.

    16 Jul 2017

    "Three month on Pathways" speech at Firebirds Collective Online


    T25 March 2017 as it did not come to me, I went to Pathways,
    become member of Great Communicators.

    15 Jul 2017

    Motivational Strategies Path

    I do not have this path,  Motivational Strategies and it will be long before I get it.

    I will have to wait, till the pathways arrives to London, to get it free.

    But it is decided, this is the one I will chose as my 4th path. Why?

    First, in level 2 you see "Active Listening" it is very important.

    Second, in level 3 I am interested in "Understanding Emotional intelligence". It means keeping a journal for a few weeks, describing what observed of me and of others.

    Third, of course, I am also intrigued how to better Motivate others in Level 4 and then level 5 to build a team and create a special event together (again). I am sure, I will learn a lot from this path too.

    You perhaps remember, if not I do remind you my other 3 path that I already have.
    1. Visionary Communication, begun to work on my Elective Project Level 5: Moderate a Panel discussion. I found the topic, the date, and even already two great panelists.
    2. Effective Coaching, have given the Icebreaker then stopped.
    3. Presentation Mastery, printed version: I will give tomorrow the third speech of level 1, that is the one I will try to advance now. See the differences between Web and Printed. 
    As much as I like the two manuals I received for the Presentation Mastery, I really miss the possibility to go into them and the projects through the web! I can not even send an evaluation sheet through web to someone, unless of course I do it through one of my other path, as at level 1 all are the same anyway. 

    Trying out different ways and different path is eye opening and interesting. 
    So much to understand and to learn!

    14 Jul 2017

    Moderate a panel, Me? Yes!

    We had a wonderful meeting, again, at the Witty Storytellers Online. As usual, Thursday morning.

    That is morning for me: 6 am

    For Brian and Misako, it was still Wednesday 10 pm as for Dennis, middle of the night.

    And for Graham, from Australia and Kevin from Korea, it was already Thursday afternoon.

    It still stuns me after all this years online, our diversity and how well we understand each other.

    We did meet till now through the GoToMeeting platform. The question now arose: should we not rather meet through Zoom. That IS the occasion I was waiting! Here is for me a possibility to Moderate a Panel Discussion, about Zoom.

    ZOOM Panel

    My level 5 elective for the Visionary Communication Path! 
    Here a picture captured from the video showing and explaining the Panel Moderator role

    Something, I know about a little, can research more and know a few Toastmasters who know a lot more then me and can be the Panelist. Already, the first accepted, now have to convince the others.

    13 Jul 2017

    Standing up!

    At level 1 of every path, there are three main tasks.

    1. The Icebreaker (as it was CC 1 and 2 and 3) and more well learned and prepared even.
        it is also asked, after delivering it, go minute by minute back and think of how it went

    2. Feedback and Evaluation, give us not one but three different tasks.
        a) Deliver a speech (any style) and listen very careful at its feedback - learn to take it gracefully
        b) Create a second speech next time and incorporate the specific advice of the feedback - can be the same speech or a different one, but most important to learn how to use the feedback received
        c) Give an evaluation that can help the speaker for the next speech - some other time

    3. Create a speech after having made a Research on the subject chosen by you

    I was given the advice at my first speech (a) from my third path last Sunday, that it would have been better standing up: to have more room to move and use body language.

    Big problem! How to go far enough and be heard and seen?

    I did try to buy something not expensive, as I did not want to buy an external camera.

    Then, my grand-son come to my rescue.
    "Let us put the table farther from the wall!" Done.

    "But my eyes are not in the good high..."
    He found the answer to that too.
    "My I take some more of your photo books and put them under the laptop?"

    Of course! So, we did find a "low tech answer"!
    By now, I have already offered three evaluations standing up online. My next speech will be delivered also mostly standing up. I did take the feedback very seriously.

    What seemed to me for weeks "impossible" become possible. And very useful skill to learn!

    12 Jul 2017

    Julie's third Pathways Icebreaker

    How I discovered my first Toastmasters club, not far from this club I am speaking now.
    With this speech I begun the print only path : Presentation Mastery.

    This speech is for Paul and his unforgettable story of him playing and singing to Russian sailors on a war ship in his youth, and by it creating a bridge between him and the others who before... Telling the end is not giving it credit. Every minute of his story makes us wonder "what will happen to him"?

    11 Jul 2017

    Personal Storytelling and Humour so important!

    Witty Storytellers Online was just one week old, and Svetlana just added Witty to it.

    This is 5 minute discussion from a 40 minute interview of Victoria Ferrer Region 11 adviser
    the 29 June 2016 through Blurb, of European Toastmasters Podcast of Darryl
    a week before Pat Johnson interview.

    29 June this delivered, the 10th July Witty Storytellers become Pre-charter officially.
    Its committee was formed and collaborated tight and well.
    End of July, the agenda was full with Icebreakers : 12 personal stories plus 3 through Table Topics delivered, through them we got to know so well each other and so fast.

    Online meetings, team collaboration, storytelling, creating a meeting, interacting through social media, realising a vision, so many skills can be learned or ameliorated through Pathways.

    10 Jul 2017

    Tomorrow is another day

    It is minor op, I know, it is only tomorrow, I know, but difficult to think of something else this morning.

    I thought to tell you. Finishing level 1 of Visionary Communication, I was proud. Arriving in level 5 no more. I am mostly preoccupied how I go on now. The light begins to simmer, but will not be easy.

    Who wants easy, anyway?

    Also, have to tell you that I was less "proud and happy" of myself when I got a late PhD in 1977, then with this certificate, which is apprentice level computer proficiency, gotten a few years earlier.

    Because it was my first French diploma, showing me I can study and give exams also in French.

    It was after a year long correspondence course about computer languages. We never got to put our hands on any computer! Just had to write on paper. Fortran and Cobol mostly.

    Imagine my joy, when the first time I did touch a computer through a terminal in Washington DC, and then even more when a few years only later, I begun to work on an Apple II. With my second program, I got one Apple II in my house! That was a joy to play with, program, try out others programs too. A bit later, I got even a printer near it. Each advance in our life is a joy.

    That we can do it. That we did it. That we can now play also not only work. For me, playing never meant computer games, but making some programs, later meant correcting some images on screen. Then telling some stories from my life.

    9 Jul 2017

    Configuration Setting Check

    When I begun writing, I thought "all toastmasters that could be interested in the new program". That covers a lot but it is not specific enough.

    I now realise, that I will have to write from time to time, or regularly, to those who are beginning Pathways on the web and have some difficulties with some aspects of accessing it. Another time, for those who hear the first time about a Path or it's levels. Or to those who just want to understand, what will happen and why.

    Should I have days, special days, or signal in each post to whom I write it?

    Now, Pathways has a "Check Compatibility" of your computer and your browser. Mine is Safari. This one is from a pal whom I helped as he could not advance. 

    We found out, he did forbid "Pop-up". 
    "I do not like pop-ups!" he told me. 
    "Till you do not allow them, do not stop the pop-up blockers, Pathways will not work for you."

    In fact, all windows in which the lessons are, come up as pop-up. 

    Then I continued, and it is true. "I let pop-ups free, and in three month it did not bother me" Go for it!
    He did not want to allow Java and Adobe Flash on his computer, also necessary but can go without as we had seen. I did allow them on my browser, and update them regularly. 

    It is great that Pathways from Toastmaster added a Compatibility check, not only they check but they also explain, for your special browser what to do and how. 
    Here it is how it was explained in his case. Windows and another browser then mine. 

    And yes! We could speak through Zoom and he could show me his screen inside it. Now, I know, that I can help and explain how to start or how to deb-lock for all those beginning and stuck for some reasons. After the compatibility was resolved, we went together to discuss, what to do to get a project approved.

    8 Jul 2017

    Tonight, yet another Icebreaker

    An egg is an egg is an egg.

    Would we say an Icebreaker is like the other one?

    I don't think so.

    And even an egg can be prepared so many ways! Here is one hard boiled.

    From my screen today. It almost pops up to me, seems so "in your eyes", three-dimensional, like I could touch it. Smell it. Warm, out of the boiling water. Smooth.

    Or is it? It could be also half boiled inside, with the yellow still liquid or half cooked: even better.

    An Icebreaker depends on so many things. Our experience. With time, it gets better. Our audience. Our life is full of different incidents and passions. Depending on the audience, we do not say the same! We chose each time differently, leave out or add more details and mood. I try to round the story so it remains in memory and at the same time adopt to whom I know will be listening.

    Tonight, my icebreaker for the Presentation Mastery Path, given to a special club I have not yet been in,  yet, but I do know some if the members. And one had given a superb story of him, playing piano on a Russian military ship. My story would never attain that high emotion he obtained, but it will begin with me listening to a young woman playing piano. One story made me remember details of my life.

    If only I could tell longer!

    7 Jul 2017

    Pat Johnson Talks about Pathways

    1 August 2016, Toastmasters Podcast Europe by Darryl Heron. Alas, video 2016 no more available.

    Toastmasters International Past President Pat Johnson initiated our new education program and was at the beginning of Pathways, called then Revitalised Education Program, REP after being a brilliant president of our TMI Board. She begun to envisage how our educational system could be brought to our new century and at the same time remaining in the spirit of our founder Ralf Smedley.

    How to innovate and keep the fundamental at the same time.

    It is a long online interview, with Pat succeeding to come on Blurb - with my help behind the scene - only 20 minutes after it begun. But not a minute is wasted. This is also a tribute to all the Chief Ambassadors of REP - now Pathways - who fought to tell about it, explain it, even as it was in creation.

    Pat Johnson reunited more then 200 Learning Masters who brought their divers opinion to what the new education program should be, how it should work. The base of Pathways is explained in this video by the shining Pat. In a month, she will open the Vancouver Convention. 

    Anyone who wants to understood the "why and how" of the new education structure would profit from listening to all what Pat Johnson said to us in this interview the 1st August 2016. After listening, I did go through three times already, you will be understanding it better, as I did. Then, we can discuss what she said.

    Also in the podcast, Lorraine as MC, Svetlana who prepared most of the questions, and me behind, all of us members of Firebirds Collective. Darryl was our VP PR at the time till he did not yet move from Germany back to America. Witty Storytellers were in construction, not yet chartered: Svetlana will become our President, me VPE and Lorraine our mentor. 

    Svetlana, with a great past and interviewer and Darryl a big experience of podcast in Europe. Many other Toastmasters participated, some on screen, others helping or asking questions from the shadows. An homage now to all of them. And thanks again to Pat Johnson, who come and gave so much of herself and of her time to us and humanise the Pathways creation through this interview. 

    6 Jul 2017

    New Beginnings

    New beginnings was the theme yesterday in my two Toastmasters Meetings.

    For me also, many new beginnings!

    I am secretary now in two clubs, never been and no idea, yet, how to do my role. Will figure out. But, when I told in London, all laughed.

    Vulnerabilities are enjoyed, appreciated.

    New beginning also in the Effective Coaching Path for me. I have to understand the difference between Mentoring, long term, and Coaching for a goal. I think, this picture shows it well.

    Yesterday afternoon, I assisted through GoToMeeting to a meeting in Virginia, I was General Evaluator. American style: I also introduced those Evaluating. Two guests from Europe!

    In the evening, we went to Lewisham Speakers club, London, and I was Table Topics Master, with the theme of the day "New Beginning".

    Easy: they are so many beginning to tell about!

    As we had many guests, and many other toastmasters also spoke to them then came to me telling "She (or she) is also ready to answer a question" I had many names. All were superb! And answering the first time is not easy. First, I asked a member, so they see how it works, but then the guests come one after other to tell their stories of different first time, even some diverting towards something else, but similar, as I suggested them at the beginning. Two guest joined!

    This morning I tried to add it on "roles held" in Pathways, I am not sure what it will make of it, as both roles are on same day. I could nowhere tell, there were two different meetings. That is not important.

    What IS important, that this Path, Effective Coaching, seems to be more about one to one interaction, while Visionary Communication was more creating change for many.

    Indeed, in this path, I will learn new skills, for example, a lot better listening. Indeed, even when I coach, I have tendency to interrupt. New skills needed to improve for sure. This pic speaks to me.

    Beginning something new is exciting!

    Yes, perhaps the level 1 is 'same' but I got new stories, new problems, new solutions also I hope.

    5 Jul 2017

    Misako Freedom and Respons Ability

    This morning, looking through those I follow in Facebook, I discovered a Video of an online meeting.

    You do NOT have to sit down, as we usually do, in an Online meeting.
    You can also record part of a recorded meeting, published on Facebook or other Social Media.
    You can use strong body movements in a speech even online; even if I do not yet know how yet.

    Is this a subject for my pathways experience?

    I think, yes. Learning to do better, learning to make a delivery more interesting, full of life is!

    Let me add here also posts most visited, here not only by name, but  from the stats and with numbers. I do not look often to the statistics, but after yesterday, I was curious.

    And yes, I also seen from where you come last week, will publish that one tomorrow.

    3 Jul 2017

    New discoveries

    I was very happy to discover informations that where not there, or let us say, I did not know about them before. To celebrate, here is what one could see now on my Flickr. The flowers in my parking lot, smiling at me before entering, after I came home, very tired and leg hurting, from a wonderful Officer Training, TLI in London Euston, organised together by three divisions. The view from my bedroom window in blue hour with beautiful clouds to admire even when I felt, I could not even move any more. I can now.
    And an old one, from the time back, when I got 70 years old, and just begin to discover, that indeed, there was life after 70 too. The first digital camera, the first time I looked up so from under a tree, there are so many first times in life! 

    Use the electives any time even when finished a level
    In level 3, level 4 and level 5 we have a lot of Elective Projects. And it seems more will come.

    It is not easy to chose only two for level three and only one for the next two levels. It feels as if we did not taste, learn, go and try the others.
    I felt so.

    In this picture, it does say: we are welcome back to the level Project electives at any time!

    And that is TRUE every time.

    From the beginning, I had a big problem closing popup windows: it took me back, whenever I printed or saved a project or an evaluation sheet, to the very beginning of all my lessons.

    Yesterday, I discovered what to do.

    I have to use the dropdown menu File and Close the Window, the one who popped up when I saved or printed, or use the equivalent shortcut, probably different depending on the computer and browser. It worked! I got back where I was before I asked something to be saved or printed.

    This one alas, still does not work as it should. Worked once. By chance?

    Even if it is not evident for all : probably with time other solutions will also be found.
    Every day, new discoveries.

    2 Jul 2017

    Now level 5 : for long time

    Finished the very interesting Levels 3 and 4 with lots of great electives to chose from.

    Got this Level 4 completion Certificate as the VPE of the club approved it very fast. One point for the club DCP.

    I am not the only one, Mathew also finished level 4, both of us, let us recognise, waited for a few days till July arrived, so the club can use it this TM year.

    I went to a Toastmasters Leadership Institute with many Workshops, for the "Officer training".
    This year, I am Secretary in two different clubs, beside VPE in my Online Club.

    Back, home, I found my level approved and could not help myself look a bit into it. Now, my head is full of new material, that will take a lot more to think about.  A year ago 2016 we created Witty Storytellers, online toastmasters club. I had a vision, and we did implement it! And now?

    Just so to get a bit of pause, here are pictures from end June.

    Last Sunday, I went to Brick lane with Janice and photographed wall art and people on the street.

    Why should I remain in a box? I am a blogger, a photographer, a toastmaster, and many more - and now beginning also two more paths. About that, tomorrow.

    1 Jul 2017

    So many interesting to chose from!

    Finished my level 4, with the last speech at Witty Storytellers Online about Change. It was the second time I have given that speech differently, before different audience and club. I realise, that the project about Change will be very important also when I will speak as Pathways Ambassador in the future.
    And of course, also outside Toastmasters. I had to click on this and submit, to finish my level.

    This morning a glimpse at Visionary Communication's level 5 Elective Projects. I have to chose one.

    In fact, I like the title of many. A HPL ? Speak Professionally? Already did them, but they did teach me a lot. Lessons learned, I will read and do for sure, but it is not enough! They all seem to smile to me.

    I decided to learn a new skill: Moderate a Panel discussion.

    Will try to do a modest subject, panel and attendance first, then learn from it and redo it in a bigger scale. It is really wonderful all the opportunities the Pathways, and my chosen path gives me!