30 Sep 2017

Level 2 again : Aie! Which box I am in?

On any path, Level 2 even if useful to go towards understanding our Leadership and our Communication styles and the importance of Mentoring, is my less favourited level.

I should not have rushed yesterday to finish my level 1! But I did had a speech in my pocket and it was asked "who else wants to speak". I had also my presentation prepared. At the end, the feedback was that my story would have been even better without it.

So, no presentation pictures next time.

Why do I not like very much level 2? The two first projects take a quiz then try to put me in one of the available boxes. 
This time I came out again as "Initiating" even with higher score as last time. While some of the characteristics I did recognise from the description, yes I like communicating through stories the others not at all: I was never "gregarious" for example. I like listening to others, not only talking. We are all more complex: why put us in a box?

When I looked on Google about Communication styles, other kind where mostly listed: those who communicate through images, others preferring sounds, others with movement. While those are also categories we have more or less, I understood it better.

But finally, the important is to communicate well with others and find a way to connect well with those who do it different as us. 

Here are five "elder" whom I met not long before, spoke to, connected. SEEN them.
Communicating with people just met : elderly here from all over the word. Photos Julie K.

And here are 5 young whom I met in different places, some many years ago. Connected to them too.
Connecting through generations is not as difficult: we have to appreciate each other

So while connecting is not difficult for me, at least from when I become 43 and lived in USA, speaking about it not so easy. In this is also my grand daughter 11 years ago and the young wonderful woman who followed me 4 years ago and made a film about it and graduated with it in College. But the other ones and a lot more, I just met while walking or traveling. Paris, Ireland, London.

Here it is : I FOUND IT ! I will speak about how to Connect while photographing people on street you never met before. Tell a few stories about what is important and why I think it works for me.

As for leadership style, I have to write it down and improve it, but I will tell about the first time I had to lead in my work as I was named Laboratory Chief. Not easy, but learned: give each what is best in. Of course, we have to adopt to the Situation. Later one, when I founded a company... yes, but that will be a story for another path.

I never had an official mentor even if many helped me, so not so easy to speak about "when I was a mentee" : perhaps now, I have one who helped me a lot and continues to do so. 

This are the three tasks of Level 2. All levels and all projects make us think and then create. Even at Level 2!

29 Sep 2017

Books I read for Pathways Projects


I love books, I read a lot usually. Romance, autobiography, classics. And of course, lots of lots about story and storytelling, later about humour and standup comedy too. But all this books I did buy and read on my kindle or am reading them, because of different Projects in my Paths. 

Leading with style, to understand better the different leading styles. Even if at the end both the Toastmasters project and the book tell us: "All depends on the situation."

Transitions, internal and Managing Transitions for companies, so much wisdom, experience and easy to understand. Needs nevertheless more and more study. I begun it not only because the Visionary Communication is about change, but also as my Research project, last in level 1 was about Pathways combined with change. Indeed, a huge change for all of us : how one reacts to a change, what phases? How to... so many questions explained.

The Coaching habit was and still is for the Effective Coaching path, but... for the moment it is there waiting, as it is that path. 

How to moderate panel was well explained in the project, level 5, but this book does farther: of course lots lots more pages. Very easy to read, lots of practical advice. While I did finish it once, will read it again I am sure. As we progress, we understand differently.

I have, as i said, a lot of books about story and story telling and story writing, this taking Pixar as example is only the last I found. The beginning, free sample seemed interesting, so here it is, still waiting for me to study it. 

Writing 21 Century fiction was a surprise for me, from an Agent, Editor, Teacher, a new way of showing the huge importance of Emotional journey, Emotional Message in Story. In a book but it goes as much for any story. It is very much in tune with what we learn from Doug Lipman: each of us takes and digest it in different ways. Each have our own emotional journey as we read or hear a story. As the creator had when wrote it. As the Character we identify has too. 

How to put our own emotions true deep emotions, to the character ? In my case in my personal stories, in order to incite more, deeper, lasting emotions from the audience? 

In this book, the reader. When showing action or dialog only is better? In case of very heavy emotions, troubled mind. When go inside and tell feelings and thoughts? That study goes on for 200 pages. I read only the first three chapters so far.

23 years ago, when I begun to study how to write and different aspects of stories, I was first revolted. What? Manipulate the reader's emotions? Now, I think, we speak to persuade of something we believe strongly, so of course we need to study how. Inspire. Leave lasting experience.

As much as we can.

28 Sep 2017

Feedback : Offering, Accepting

I love my morning café. "J'adore". With passion.

I write this at 10 am and still did not had my coffee. So be aware. 

I did wake up today at 4, dressed, had something to eat, just not really time to make myself a café. 

Today, the first online contest I organised, the first online contest we had in my club where I am VPE.

So I begun offering last week a Funny Bones workshop, to give courage. It worked. 5 contestants in one contest, 6 in the TT contest. 2 Chairs, all judges where present too as the TK, Counter, etc. We had a problem "how the Zoom breakout rooms will work?" They did! 

Not because of me. We have between us good fée who did all. And with time, I will learn. In all, I am happy I was not the one judged, nor a judge but only a Chair and organiser. That is my auto-feedback: learn before the time, not last minute.

Now, back to pathways. Of course, Feedback is important. Feedback in telling, Feedback in writing, even, after all Feedback that the Judges vote give. 

I love that in the Pathways, the feedback received is as important as the one given. In a wonderful way, we are explained how to listen, then later only reflect on it, and take what we want from it, after "cooling down" and add to it our own evaluation of what and how we did. Then only, incorporate it to the next time. 
How to receive feedback in fact is as important, or almost? as how to give it. Here different ways of giving it, but of course so much can be said about "how to"!
Instead of saying "Speak lauder" to tell "I could not hear you well alas all the time".
Making it personal, instead of preaching. I give "advice" sometimes, alas. It all depends of course how you do it.

In every case, after any of us incorporated the advice given (one at least) in the next time we speak, we tell the same or a similar one, we begin to understand how important it is to offer a feedback that the one we give to can incorporate, use.

With the project 2 from Level 1 that exist in all path, we understand, we learn, and we can apply. Like now I learned to drink first my morning café then only...

End of September, soon time to harvest. Our next club meeting, in Witty Storytellers will be about the time of harvest festivals. But before that will be visiting other clubs. 

27 Sep 2017

Base Camp and Club Central are not (yet) connected

When we finish all the projects of a Level, one of the Base camp managers, VPE or the President or the Secretary of the Club, declared as Base Club at that moment, if we are in more then one club, has to "approve" it. Only then the Level is seen as achieved and can we begin a new level.
This image shows the levels 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 achieved - in the Base Camp. Also achieved is the Prepare to Speak Professionally project : I did speak Monday and answered yesterday to the last "after self evaluation" questions. I may be repeating it again a few times, but that is not in the project. Still two task to go: selecting one of the five proposed Elective Projects and then Reflecting on my Path.

I went this morning to the TMI website: it is up again! Looked at my awards. Got very surprised that nor the Level 3 or 4 of Presentation Mastery path was recognised yet for me.

Why? I know why! Because I changed the club to whom i wanted to offer it, and the VPE did not know or did not put it in yet, thinking: "I approved it in the Base Camp!"

Is it not enough? No, it is not enough. Even if in the base camp you may see even badges like this:

That does mean, I did achieve two times level 3 and two times level 4. Got a 2 near the level achieved, for two different path. It does not say which path... It does signify Achieved 2 times.

My Achievements in Toastmasters International do not reflect it. Yet

One has to go to the Club Central, TMI Website and declare the Achievement for the member again, after they were accepted in the Base camp.

That is what this post is about. For the new base camp managers and all those already on the pathways to remember. Each level for each of us has to be accepted in Base Camp then Declared in the club central too.

To declare in club central, once you are in there, no need for dates or titles as for a CC or an ACB, just declare which Level for Whom one wants to declare. Then not only the member got the Award but the club has also one more point, as for example for the level 4 (I believe even for the 3). It takes 4 Level 1 and 2 Level 2 to get a DCP point for the club. In my opinion, this makes Level 2 equivalent to CC. In fact, there are not "equivalences" as in Pathways our projects, our tasks are not separated, communication or leadership, they are together.

I am not off to read a new book to learn better storytelling by adding more in-depth emotion to them. Then, I will be able to give a speech for the Research and speak about it project, end of Level 1 on my LC path. More easy to get time for a 5 to 7 minute speech about what I will find, combined a bit with knowledge of the many many books about Story Telling already read, even if it takes lot of time to prepare for it,: I will read 200 pages of the book before.

The Panel discussion, my elective for the level 5 of Presentation Mastery: I need to find a club accepting my 20 or more minutes! And of course, find the panelists, prepare them. Will find it too, but not for the moment.

It is contest time everywhere, and I am Contest Organiser and Chair. Also, organising the meeting, and yes, of course online. By the way, Organise an Online meeting is also a Pathways Project, only not just now one I have to face or do for my paths.

Another time, will be Harvest Time!



26 Sep 2017

Project: Dealing with difficult audiences


The theme of the meeting in my online club where I offered this presentation was ColoursI was asked to explain for the members, how to create in Zoom the Virtual Background and given 20 minutes for it, a long time, a special offer for me. 

So, my first aim show all attending, and if possible as it was recorded, all who could not attend, what they could achieve through it and explain using images, how and, beside adding their images, what else I discovered that is also involved. Light, that has a huge impact on how it works or does not work.

I was also inspired by the project that I read but did not "do" yet from Pathways, called Learn to use Presentation Software. The presentation software I tried was not Power Point, but Keynotes, it's equivalent in Apple Computers and devices. I am also learning Slides from Google, different, I could make slides with it but did not learn yet how to transfer, send it well, from my IPad to Macintosh, which I use usually to meet online. 

Pathways incites me to learn new things, try out new tools and methods.

I tried to follow Gar Reynolds wonderful book "Naked Presentation" where he explains that you have to tell a story with the images, put little big texts, and that even in presentations we could put humour and open up,. "Present naked" : be authentic and ourselves when we present to reach and not bore our audience. 

I almost did not have text with them or very little, and yes, some of slides made them laugh, from time to time. 

Preparing the slide show was the hardest to me, but learned a lot from it. I even learned we can direct a Keynote presentation on Mac, from iPad! That will come a next time. I pretend, and it is true, that for a story one puts the picture in the head of people, painting words then let them add theirs. But in this presentation, images where needed. I also showed in direct, but did now want to rely on it only.

The actual, Pathways instructions where to learn how to handle interruptions professionally, and I did that. I really enjoyed the interruptions "programmed" in advance by a group and organised masterfully by my Pathways pal Mark Worthy all the way from Mexico with maestria: he is the one who intrerupted me with vehemence. He really believes or did believe anyway before my presentation, that GoToMeeting is best, it is easier to use from an University Campus from where he sometimes connects.

In the project, different types of difficult audience are described and even showed with short videos. On time, I will have to try doing short videos to demonstrate, different points I want to make. Learn how to show them during a presentation.

I think I was able to respond to interruptions well, nice and firm and, at the end, with an argument difficult not to take. "Do you like colours here they are" of course the theme of the day where colours, so...

 Another project I will be happy to do again.

25 Sep 2017

A problem is just as big as...

That day I was so unhappy: I realised I lost my three front teeth denture. 

Indeed, later on I could make laugh from it and I did find a line: "Smiling with three front teeth missing is so cute! When you are 7 years old. Not at 77" It works.

But that day, when I realised I will have to wait, eat and speak without it for many days yet, I felt as if the world fall on me.

As I come out of the kitchen, where I prepared oatmeal and coffee, easy to eat, my eyes fall on the wall across the kitchen. The sun come in the window early morning and the vase's shadow was projected on the wall. A huge shadow!

The world brightened around me. Yes! That is what we do. We make a HUGE problem and make it so much bigger then it is in reality. 

Fast, took a few pictures, then decided in black and white is even more impressive and gave it an interesting boarder. This picture is still in front of my Flickr page, has been for a long long time. It is there to remind me not to make a problem bigger then it is.

It does not even speak of how wonderful can be when we shrink it instead, finding something good in it, something funny to tell about it, use it. Embrace it.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/joyoflife/albums
Today, under the front of my flickr main pageI just showed, there are these pictures. 

Three colourful pictures with me going out, coming home... from the doctor. GP General Practitioner that I avoided as long as we could. This time again, instead of helping me with my feet, knee and shoulder she send me to the hospital to X-rays. Here is the waiting room and the doors to the x-rays in the hospital, I took cab to go there, so no outside pictures. 

Instead a month, GP told, "you will have results in a week". I do hope, physio-therapy will improve a bit my feet, knee, even if it was described only for one and sometimes, both hurt. As for the shoulder, my doctor just shrugged. It did not hurt her. 

This morning, because I am left handed, again I reached to take my iPad, it hurt, I reached to take a cup. Well, then I did it going nearer, using right hand or not extending. Remembered again the flickr front : do not make too much of it.

I wanted to go into TMI and the website is down : a new region got Pathways? Celebrate that we have them with us, instead of complaining. With time, they will learn. In fact, it only means many do want to go Pathways - fast.


Preparing for tonight my speech in level 5 of Presentation Mastery: "Prepare to speak Professionally": I do not need feet, knee or shoulder for it. 

I need to prepare all day. Record, see the time it takes and rehearse

I do know the "area of my expertise" and I know the audience to whom i will speak. I do have great connection with my audience: I love them. The "huge" problem is which of the two stories to incorporate? I prepared a slide show presentation for one of my messages specific for the audience, and I can enlarge the scope to prove a point for the second, more general message. It will be soon, and I still hesitate which to give. 

Is it a big problem? No. As I close this blog post, I will tell myself both, then decide. Of course, I could offer tonight one and another time the other. Remember level 1 ? And tomorrow, tell you which and why I choose. 


24 Sep 2017

Every day, another online club meets

Every day, I could go and assist to another online club that meets, from London, my living room, even if they open the meeting in a very different country or continent. 


I stay always home, only go twice a month, Wednesday evening in the next small town, inside London. The club former president comes to take me there with his car.

Using this fake background, which is a true background: curtains from my bedroom. 

Monday, is West Canada: Virgin Islands: Royal Roads TM club "remote access". 

This Monday, they offered me time for a speech. They are so friendly, each time!


At Witty Storytellers Online
Brian has begun to speak about Pathways, long before both of us begun it through linking remote to a club in the Pilot program.

He has many D.T.M. and wanted to discover something new.I will make my first longer Pathways speech "prepare to speak professionally" there. 

In Dublin, I did speak, tell stories and made laugh 1h ½ this should work too. I also made a keynote speech, in Scotland, Air, some time ago, and while it did go well, and was paid, it is not really my coup of tea. Nevertheless, I will try to make it the best possible. And told my story about how the war caught up to me in Manchester before 500 in the town hall. But every speech is a new challenge.


At Witty Birds
Tuesday, Witty Birds pre-charter club  for new Toastmasters, I have given there an Pathways Icebreaker already and hold many roles. For me 2 PM.

In each of those clubs, some Toastmasters are also in Firebirds Collective and in Witty Storytellers online. Now working to create also something different, attracting new people to the online community and/or the Toastmasters organisation. 

Even if Witty Birds begin in Uzbekistan, and Royal Roads in Canada, many members are from different parts of the world. Manila, Indian Malaysia and so on.

Wednesday, meet my two clubs in Arlington, where I participate remote. Noon for them, for me it is 5 pm. Each meeting meets at alternative week. (Plus my ground club 7:30)
At Emperor Online Toastmasters

Thursday, are our meeting in the club created by Svetlana and me, with many helping in to make it happen. I am VPE, of Witty Storytelling online, organising the online meetings for more then a year now. The first Speciality club 100% online, every 2nd and 4th week.  

Now, they they are more speciality clubs online, but only our club specialises, so far, in Personal Storytelling and Humour.

Friday, meets Emperor Online TM all the way from Manila in Philippines, at 2 pm for here, in London, it is also international, it's president Zaldy now finished Level 2 of his path: they are already in a Pathways Region 14. The picture just above is my visit to them, telling about my Pathways journey.

Saturday, early morning Global Trainers Online that just chartered, where I learned yesterday, to point when needed to the Timekeeper to show for a few seconds. Already two new members joined since chartering. 


At Buddies
Early afternoon Buddies, one of the first 100% online clubs. It was as I know, the first for new to Toastmasters. Yesterday, what a wonderful adventure! We listened to two new members, who discovered only recently Toastmasters: wonderful personal stories! She stood and told us that once, she could not speak. "But I found out, finally, it was the problem was in my mind, changing my mind, fixed the problem." She also learned to breath, let air come in. Three pm here.

At the meeting, we had someone who learned about it 2 hours before, so happy to participate, another wanting to become Toastmaster and learn to speak, a great Icebreaker standing on his feet while speaking without notes, and so much more!

Sunday, Firebirds Collective meeting, every week I go whenever possible, once in the morning, once in late afternoon. Soon begins. 

There are many others by now, in different time zones, but I will not wake up at 2 am and alas, can not go to all of them. At one of our last meetings, Brian Dodd remembered: "we dreamed to have a club meeting online, every day!" then added "soon there will be every hour one online or remote access meeting". Of course, but for the moment, as we are not so many, we do know rather well each other's club, and it is nice. Friendly. 

When this blog pops up, I will be in a meeting, One of the two early morning meetings in clubs I am member. All this clubs helped me go faster, and, when I needed, offering me to speak without too much delay. 

It is up to me to prepare well, after studying the task, create my story. Of course, as a personal storyteller, I do not give speeches, I offer stories. Even when I will speak about the research. I found my subject, but as did not read enough about it, did not yet program when and where to deliver. Probably a Saturday, in two weeks. 

Life is exciting! 

23 Sep 2017

The difficulties let me grow through my life and last six month

Region 2 got Pathways this Monday! Great. We have now more knowledge, also in our Online Clubs, as our President of Witty Storytellers Online and Global Trainers Online is now a Guide. And me, VPE in one club and Sg Arms in other, towards the end of my second Path, begun a third one.

For Toastmasters of Region 2 and also the Region 14 who begun two month ago, let me remind you my Post a few days ago, about how to avoid some problems you may encounter for the moment. I am sure, with time, some will no more come between you and being delighted in the projects that Pathways offer us.

The difficulties let me grow. 

From anything "bad that happens something good will come" told me my great grandmother when I was 12 and she 92, here as young married.

My grand mother taught me determination, writing diary in the worst conditions too. 

My father, the third photo, did teach me persistence in face of difficulties. "Sing, when it is heavy to bear, sing at least inside you. And do not let others make you abandon what you have begun, do not let them win over you thus," he told me when I wanted to run away from a situation. 

As for my mother, she pushed me to love reading, studying and continuing to learn by myself. She was a lifelong learner, from the age 16 when her father took her out from the school "girls do not have to" even when she was best in her class. She never gave up learning, reading, studying.

And yes, that young girl is the one whom I was when my great grand mother Paula begun to tell me family stories, her life stories, finishing always "you see, Julika, from everything bad, something good came." 

From all that I did encounter along my first Path, and did not like, mostly from the user interface not understood at some time, something great come. 

Firstly, I had help. A Toastmaster, Trainer, now, also Guide, come and took over my computer. Matthew Kleinosky came, online, from Toronto to London and "unstuck" me showing how I have to answer to all questions of Self Assessments in order to close a project. Then, how to close a Level. My first level. Later, Matthew let me alone to find out understand. Then again, come to the Panel on Pathways I managed during the last Toastmaster Convention and Participated.

I feel I have to thank also Brian Dodd, to have pursued with such stubbornness search of learning about Pathways, and pointed to me that we could belong remote to a club. He become later, its President. And all the remote and pre-charter and chartered Online clubs, letting me give a Pathways speech from one of my projects and giving me feedback and evaluation. Every day of the week there is one or even two some days, I could attend from home.

My first club then President now VPE, in Great Communicators, Nathan, let me join, then become Secretary so I can experience Base Camp Management. Encouraged me to grow. So many wonderful people met through my Pathways journey!

Because what I learned when I had to overcome a problem, I am not able to help better others. I can train or explain or speak about it. Because I was let to grow, to experiment on my own from time to time, remembering persistence my father lesson. Because from time to time I was helped and other times pushed to learn by myself. 

22 Sep 2017

Old people can and does


From the first Level achieved to earning these badges bellow, it was a long and interesting road, path I went with help when needed from fellow toastmasters, like Matthew, and also many online clubs opening their doors to me, even when I was not member. Yes, I was in two 100% Online clubs already and, at the beginning one Remote access in Arlington, plus near me. Now two more.

But to get from there to here, and if you look at some badges, I got that level twice already, it was also work. Discovery or reminder, sweet and pleasure. Communicating is a craft, in my opinion, and one has to work at our craft without stopping.
A small number 2 (or 3) shows only how many times "achieved", completed the Level
and instead of Level 5 I got "Proficient" for Visionary Communication

Without stopping at any age, yes now over 83. Age does not count. Never stop learning!.

I begun computers discovery in 1973, had my hands on the first terminal in 1977, and made my first program in basic, called AppleSoft then on Apple 2 in 1982. Some time passed, I never got good at scripting, a milder way of programming, but I begun teaching early "not be afraid of the mouse" by drawing on Macintosh for elderly. They loved learning while having fun!

Yesterday, after my "facilitation" about humour in my online toastmasters club, called Humour Workshop, a young, talented and hard working member wrote "I learned how much one can learn in an enjoyable environment". Even if Smedley said it too, he did not invent it, and I did not wait to hear  about him to understand.

When you dare to try, to play, to go for it, you learn faster, more as if only playing. At any age.

21 Sep 2017

Adding humour or finding humour?

You are also all invited to our workshop, online. See in the picture how to join. 

So many talents from so many continents meet in an online club! See, what our President, also VP PR and very talented designer just created? 

I do believe, you do not have talent to make people laugh, or tell stories, but to make this kind of flyer, you do need talent for sure! To use our funny bones, our humour inside us, we mostly need to practice laughing for all the unhappy things that arrive to us. Laugh of our own problems, help also take some of the burden out from our shoulders. My standup comedian workshop teacher called it "look at life with comedian's eyes".

Not to win contests, not even so much to make laugh in clubs in and outside toastmasters, mostly to lighten our life. 

I will not write now "all", but from 7 to 77 I did believe I am just not funny. 
Then, my storytelling audience begun to laugh at some of my - sad - stories, and I begun to be more playful as I loved it. Decided to take workshops. To read books. To try it out. 

When one does not use it, one loose it. Perhaps true, but I begun using, trying, practicing. Learning. After the third workshop, I went out alone to the Standup Comedy circuit and, at the beginning, was happy with 6 laughs in 5 minutes. After a while it did build up to 36 and lauder and longer. Taking out what did not work, adding new material little by little, I developed longer repertoire and being paid to be filmed. 

I love to demonstrate to all how they can improve their skills in humour. There are techniques and tips as in all kind of craft. And of course, then one has to try out what does work and to which audience. 

One does find the humour in what happens to us, around us, it is possible.

What better way to celebrate my first Path and the first anniversary of the Witty Storytellers Online club then with this workshop. 

19 Sep 2017

Visionary Communication Proficient

Yesterday, almost by an afterthought, I went to look in my Base Camp folder called Badges. 

Here it is what I did found.

It may be only an image, but I find it not too bad finally. Do all "proficient" badges look alike, or are they all different, depending on the path?

Could be different, because this gives an impression of "vision" of look farther. Did I learn to look farther in the last six month? What did I really learn? 

Even if I did not go as far as I aspired at the beginning, and I realised that I have gone as far as I could, depending on me. I gained friends and knowledge. 

How did I gain "knowledge"? 

Some, by reading and listening and looking. Most, I did overcoming obstacles. Overcoming frustrations. Overcoming roadblocks. All let me grow, and be able to help.

From now on, I can better help others getting through their obstacles when they begin and also giving some useful practical tips.


18 Sep 2017

Life inside and outside Toastmasters?

How life and Toastmasters, interact on each other?

Every time we finish a project in Pathways, we are asked as last question of auto assessment : "Do you understand that this project will be useful outside Toastmaster?"

Not once, have I seen, but it must be somewhere, for sure in the project Prepare to speak professionally "How much what you learned outside Toastmasters helped you to prepare and deliver this project?"

Yesterday, a fun Zoom meeting online with 23 participants!  

As I was preparing to deliver for my project "Handle difficult audiences" at Firebirds Collective. 

What a fun project! 

Was I prepared for it? Of course. And they were too, my interrupters! Skilfully they did interrupt me from time to time each in his or her way. That was also so well organised and it did look so natural! 

Was I able to handle the Hacklers? 

You bet! I did have experience, after hundred different standup comedy clubs. Once, we even made a night, when the audience was asked before the hackle us. Some, could not finish, they were so distracted. Others tried to speak lauder. I had no problem even then. Not only because I had twice as much material then time, and when interrupted, I took lines to answer from that part of my repertoire, but also because... I learned to answer on my feet in the Toastmasters Table Topics.

I do not remember each interruption, but I enjoyed them and it seems, after my feedback that I handled them all very professionally. 


And here it is, a Table Topics question about "will you surf" ?

Well, Susan answered in a very funny and surprising way. Yes, I will at my age, even if I did not do it till know, learn to surf!!! I will. In fact, I already begun it: surfing the web.

So, yes, Toastmasters and Real life interpenetrate each other, and with Pathways more and more. Pathways offer fun projects, that can serve again, outside the clubs.

While I will receive a formal evaluation from Krishn also, he was my evaluator yesterday, through the chat, I received (and later again) already thanks for my presentation, as you see. A bit like the small slips of paper that I loose usually. This time, I did a screen dump on some of them.

In fact, even if I did have experience in Hacklers, I did not in the Keynote Presentation software, so presenting a speech about the Zoom Digital Background or Green screen, was a real challenge for me. As with the Panel Moderation, for which I got taste now, learning to use Presentation Software better will be now another of my focus. 

Also, some wrote me that from now on, they got courage to try the zoom green screen. They understood what is needed in plus of handling what zoom offers. I also managed to begin with a story and make them laugh three times during my 20 minutes. 

Yes, that gave me courage to try next time again. 
Inside or outside Toastmasters.

17 Sep 2017

I was asked: who will be "Advanced" now?

Perhaps this could help as I found it through an Article linked to Pathways FAQ. 

Completing Level 1 is for sure not yet equivalent to CC, if your club calls itself "Advanced Toastmaster" but Completing Level 2 is equivalent to CC, if we look at it as in DCP one point is added or by 2 CC or by 2 Level 2's. 

Then, it becomes more complicated, as there is need of 2 times Level 3 for one ACB or ALS, and 1 Level 4 or 1 Level 5 for one ALS or CL or DTM.

This is what is needed to become in Pathways DTM, Distinguished Toastmaster.
Completing two paths and a DTM project
Serving as club officer 12 (and not 6 month)
Serving as club Mentor AND club Sponsor (or..)

Serving as a District Officer a Year, or if I understood as Pathways Guide (or Ambassador) for the 6 month as Pathways reaches the District, helping at least 10 clubs to start.

I am not sure I want a second or third DTM in fact, I did stop at the second Advanced Communicator Gold that I finished, as I swear to myself, never ever one more CL ! Not that I do not take a lot of those roles, I just don't fancy that new manual that dropped on our heads after I begun TM second time.

But, yes, I am happy to be a club Sponsor, just begun and also a club Mentor to an yet unchartered club in the future possible. As I am in one District where I could be a year Area Governor, and in another "Undistricted Online" where I could only be Guide or Ambassador, I am still asking myself "which"?

My legs, will they permit me to go to 10 clubs in London?
Will we have Guides for Online Clubs?

I am sure that I could help, I would like to meet again clubs and members!

I become from Friday, Visionary Communication Proficient, even if my VPE did not yet put on the award to the Club Central, it will come. I am already at Level 4 of my second path, Presentation Mastery: today will have a fun presentation "Managing Difficult Audience": four members interrupting me! I should learn to handle, I hope I will do as in Standup Comedy that went well for me. I also prepare for Thursday, a "Funny Bone" workshop Online.

My last project from Level 4 will be thus about "hackling" but I am sure, I will try it a few more times, as being hackled can be funny, if we find the right answers fast of course. I did realise that Table Topics helps to do it.

Meanwhile, I am struggling with my original presentation for today as it is in Keynote (Apple Presentation Software) and as I go I realise that I do not know it enough. I finished my slides yesterday, then later on, I discovered, I could direct my Mac laptop presentation from MacPad and even see the next slide (or notes) on the macpad : exciting! If and when I learn to do it well. 

There is also a project "Learn Presentation Software" in Pathways, that I did not yet learn or done, thinking "I know that!" Well... for next time. I do hope by then I will indeed know better.

16 Sep 2017

Reflections on my path, but more interesting happened!

The Emperor Online Toastmasters Club 皇家雙語网演讲会 invited me to speak and give the Reflections about my path, and I did it Friday (noon time for me and 9 pm in Philippines and Singapore). I was present with my path - the alley beginning from my street behind me.

For Erica it was her first ever online meeting. Zaldy, my fellow Firebirds and Witty Storytellers member is the president of this pre-charter club, from Manila  also gave a Pathways speech from the level 2, My leadership style. He mentioned at the end Improv books from which he learned to tell instead of NO, the "Yes, AND"

Really have to try that from now on.

As you can see, here is Deborah whose connection was not ideal at the beginning, Zaldy, me with my PATH in my back (an alley not far from where I live, off my street) : this shows me speaking, and Erica listening.

As only Zaldy knew about Pathways, and studied now for a while, even before it arrived to them, I did change a bit my story. Also added a Q&A part at the end that was very useful. It showed me I succeeded to inspire them.
And here is the "hero of the meeting" as I see itDeborah Homillano. 

Deborah mentioned just as a side issue: "We had a powerful typhoon here 3 days ago, in Philippine's Quezon province. We're really fortunate that the electricity's back this morning. (and we back to work, haha)

What a resilience! For me, she was the real hero of our meeting! so few days after having to swim out from the house with water till her neck, and swipe the mud from their office and house, electricity just restored a few hours before: She was present in an online meeting. And mentioned, "I even have photos of it on my iPhone" 

Show us, I asked? How? Then Ian Along, also at the meeting (a Firebird from Manila) showed her how to show the screen and connect to iPhone, and Deborah did it! Here are some of her wonderful stunning pictures.
This is one of my favourite one, but there were a lot more. Interested?


In this one she shows her office with water arriving almost to the papers "this green box is my table".

Another picture with cleaning the mud that entered already a day before only.

All the time I thought "and she is already here, with us, online!" 

We can hear about the Typhoon that happened to them, almost as we were there, all the way, from London! Because of her resilience and because the Online Toastmasters club.


and here is a self photography with Deborah still in water

And I will leave you with the picture of her shoes, where they landed in the flood brought by the typhoon in the province of Quezon. We did not hear a lot about it. Well now, it is done. 


Later, it was me showing some of pictures from Paris, that the Emperor Toastmasters Online Club published too. 

What an unforgettable meeting! What an unforgottable end of path! 


15 Sep 2017

Reflections on your path: suggestions from the Project

At the end of each path, I am almost sure, there is a last project before we leave it, called 

Reflections on your Path.

In this project, we learn to reflect on and describe our unique experience of moving through the path, and share how your learning has affected our life in and outside of TM.

Reflect on our growth during the completion of an entire path.

At a club meeting, present a 10-12' speech, share your experience completing your path. Today!

Use it as an opportunity to reflect on how far I have come, the skills learned and celebrate. 

The speech can be humorous, informational, or any style that supports your speech content.

Describe your experience moving through a path, in detail. Would never finish, if did this.
Share how the learning has impacted your life outside of Toastmasters. Do I have one ?
Compose a well-organized speech. Demonstrate strong public speaking skills. 

What you learned while completing this path?

It might be helpful to use a technique like stream of consciousness. Write down everything that comes into your mind and remove items that do not apply when you finish. I do like this method.

This four points, very important and they go together indeed. 

The advice you would give to a new Toastmaster
How you would help someone who is just starting their first path
The obstacles you faced and how you overcame these obstacles

The advice I will give, depends on the obstacles, me and those who begun almost the same time as me had to overcome and how we did help each other

Look back at the feedback you received as you progressed through your path. define the impact of the learning on your life.

Use the following exercises to help you reflect on your journey.
Journal/ or a Letter to Yourself/ or a Timeline or Stream of consciousness; Draw a timeline of when you started your Toastmasters journey, major events and experiences on the timeline, and your accomplishments along the way.

Then, develop a plan to continue your progress! of course, already done it!


Let your accomplishments be your starting point instead of a culmination

By building on what you have learned and looking for opportunities to share your new knowledge, you add to your expertise and benefit the people around you. Will try.