31 Oct 2017

"If you want to, you'll find a way" Vic (& Julie?)

Vic Lindal preparing his speech for the District
Conference, speaking before audience.

But before he begins to speak, he does prepare also, as Sudha does a mind map. Today, it is the third time that suddenly I hear about a mind map software and even of Tony Buzan who did propose it the first time. Paul also send me a mind map and pic with him this evening.

Each time, before Vic speaks, he does this kind of mind mapping about it, he told us about it tonight at Royal Roads online meeting. Noon for them, evening for me in London.
And here is his presentation so different, and at the same time following what he decided to do. I did not got the impression that "Julie Story" was so small part of it... Of course, I am subjective.

Yesterday morning, Monday, 30 Octobre 2017, I got a mail from Vic, inside, there was a link to a YouTube video of one of his conferences with it. "I will look at it later" I told myself. I wrote a blog post, read other mails, and finally, towards 9 am, got to open his video. 

What? Is that really me on the screen behind him?

I was not aware, when we Zoomed together, that I will find myself on that screen, as an example. Still, I can not say, I am not happy to find this, and our Zooming together example used to speak about Toastmasters use of technology. Mentoring through Zoom. As I was writing yesterday early morning.

What a great speaker, Vic Lendal, connecting with his audience. Using examples, stories. Asking audience interaction, moving around. So much energy! And giving examples. And yes, making the audience remember: "great speakers use Stories to connect". Stories that stick, stories that remain in mind. His way to combine video for a short time with the stories he wanted to tell: great!

Even if it were not me there up the screen!

30 Oct 2017

Pathways, Zoom, Evaluation forms

Yesterday, I discovered with Sudha Mani, living in Scotland while I am in London, yet another way to fill in Evaluation forms 'resources' for Pathways. 
It was Sudha's idea, to "meet" through Zoom this Sunday morning: she needed my "virtual mentoring". 

We did share our screen, and she showed me some of her fabulous Mind-mapping curves she prepared and shown for her Leadership Styles Level 2 speech. 

I have shown her how to navigate inside my Photos and then, how I can show my Paths in Zoom. 

Suddenly, she told me, "Please, take control of my screen!" Show me... 

Sudha does not believe, but I learned more from her then she did from me. It does not really matter who learned more : or it does. It does show how much the MENTOR can learn from the PROTÉGÉE. It is indeed a two way communication and learning. 

I learned, I can take control of her screen, even if for the moment I did it only as a kid making her first steps. Then, she told me, "let me now try and take control of your screen, while you are inside Base Camp". She did! I realised: she can go thus into my Base camp!

She opened an Evaluation Form, filled it with Abrakabra and so on, but the right names, just to try out. Name "Julie K TEST" When she saved it: it did save to my computer! 

That means, we can ask our Evaluator, to fill Evaluation Form, in a Zoom meeting, and save to our drive then upload to the E-portofolio. Simple, fast, clean.

Do not have to go through all we did till now :
  1. Sending the form to the Evaluator
  2. Waiting till he has time to fill it.
  3. Filling, saving (make sure does not disappear) the form
  4. Sending email back to the speaker
  5. Downloading from the email
  6. Renaming to incorporate Path Initials (instead of our name)
  7. Adding to the appropriate level in Base Camp e-portofolio
And alas, some times, find out that the form the evaluator did fill, is empty. They were not happy to rewrite it, from another program, or as a plain text, or to Print, fill, then Scan, then send again email. Lot to ask from an Evaluator !

Of course, when going to a Brick and Mortar club, I usually still print the Evaluation form, as  we are not always sure who will Evaluate. Sometimes, those supposed do not come and others jump in to replace. After the speech, he or she fills it out, very interested, and at home, I scan it and upload it too. Then add it to my path folder on my disk.

I found out that the Pathways ,Evaluation form, ask someone not yet in Pathways, is a good means to give Pathways taste to a Toastmaster: offer the third page to them to keep. So avid and happy all ask for it! 

From time to time, for those I meet online, I even send the project they are supposed to evaluate so they understand better what my project was about, what I had to accomplish. They can then evaluate me better, and again, their "taste for Pathways" increases. 
  1. Connect through a Zoom meeting at appropriate time for both. 
  2. The one having completed the Project shares screen giving the evaluator Control rights The other fills out the form, saves: on desk of the speaker! With path initials.
  3. The form is uploaded to the e-portofolio's appropriate level.
We learned all this together, even had fun together! Both of us learned.

As it was a TEST form, and we did name it thus, no upload to e-portofolio of course, but I do have it on my drive to remember what I learned. And yes, the Mentor learned at least as much as the Protégée. Learned so much each from other yesterday!

29 Oct 2017

I was ten years old, when the war caught up with me, Julie Kertesz

This is storytelling. Telling a story. Leaving an impact. 

It worked, that day and some of my five hundred people from the audience came to me after: "Now, I understand" and others "I am happy I have taken my son with me today". It left a trace.

To make it a story, I told it as if I was that child at ten, with no more knowledge that I had then. I did tell some of it my to my still small grand-children and asked them how would they react of someone told them "you are eleven from now, no more ten", and my grand-son jumped up with his hands up. He was just ten then. More important, I had to leave out other details that come to me and at the beginning, were still incorporated. Alas, they cluttered that tale which should have been only seven but even like this become twelve minutes long.

I went to my different Toastmasters clubs I was then member, and asked a 360° evaluation: I asked all to write me, to tell me how I can improve it, and in each of them someone had a good suggestion. Sometimes, a longer pause in some place, other time just my face that did not change from pleasure to sorrow or that begun to show a joy before time. The story as you see here, is the result of many telling and repetitions and retelling again. After Manchester, I told it again a few times. Once even on a train to two students I just met. Again, it worked. Again, I could put myself back to that time as I told it, even sitting on a train that speed up to take us to Aire, where I was invited to deliver a key-note "never too old" and instead of 500 the two young girls as audience.

I am now working to find a way to tell some of it that was left out. That is how I remembered, and thought to publish this here. Paul, at the end of his Presentation Mastery, is now going out and telling his life stories, one and even two hours, as Professional speaker. We have so many stories to tell.

The impact of a project, the impact of a path, does not stop with a check box or one more level awarded, the impact propels us out, remain with us longer. Sometimes, can even change our life.

28 Oct 2017

Each of us has a story that only we can tell

Attributes of a professional speaker, for the Prepare to Speak Professionally, Level 5 (20 min or more) and not only once (also only one is required for this project one can chose in some path and is required in others). But then, it is added: Tell a Personal Story - a main story, eventually even a few shorter stories. As stories linger. Stories stick. Stories convince a lot more then facts.

Use your story to build a professional level speech. That is also what Witty Storytellers is about. In fact in my opinion, everyone has many stories to tell. But some no one else can tell then them. We have stories that are unique to us, and at the same time universal. Reaching all others.

How you make the best connection? Of course, body language, looking, voice count too, but mostly a personal story.

Here how it is expressed in the project. "Unique perspective" that does give your message.

On another subject now, as it is end of the month, I looked what posts were most looked at the last month. Here they are the visits (not all time but just last month).

How to arrive to Base camp, Managing time project, Suggesting improvement, and "me vip?" where the three most read posts. And I begun to have comments, and learn how to read/answer!
Preparing to be a Panelist, and "oups! my desktop is a mess", multiple path (after finishing the first, I would add now), The best time is NOW, are all from October, but But the tenth post is from July. Interesting mix of posts and visits. The other post were visited also, day by day, but by less.

I decided to try at least. Make a short video, from Level one on, project by project. Remembering. That is a plan, at least. Not going to happen soon, as I have still a Panel monitoring for 4th November, and wonderful panelists, each so different! We have to plan it together so we will be complementary and I have to menage to make feel each of them special, as they are.

I am no more in the sky but on the earth with legs planted on it, so it will have to work, and I will work on it. I hope, the video will be showing each in bigger size, and we will see the emotion coming from each of us as we recount, the story of your encounter with pathways.

27 Oct 2017

Pathways Panel Moderator George Marshal at Witty Storytellers

26th Oct 2017 Pathways Panel discussion
Moderated by George Marshal
Witty Storytellers Online
26th Octobre 2017

Video, Pathways Topics & GE Witty Storytellers Online

Witty Storytellers Online is a Speciality club. We tell stories, personal stories, learn to tell them better. And we are in many clubs. 60 % of us already in Pathways, and the number is growing.

This is the second part of our Special Pathways meeting, the first will follow tomorrow.
The first was a Panel discussion held by George Marshal, panelist Michelle and me.
Followed by Sudha last speech in Level 1 and her evaluation.

Mathilde offered the Pathways Topics, then Brian asked all guest who did not speak to do so, too. 30'

26 Oct 2017

Sudha Mani: Level 1 in Three weeks!

Sudha Many told us her story this morning, it was the last from Level 1 of Dynamic Leadership. With this, she achieved what she put forward her, in three weeks only she heard she could join Zald's Emperors, in Manila, from the north of England! Determination, work and asking every place "where may I give my next?"

One progress fast in Pathways, when one wants to. In plus, she made lots of new friends on the way. Today, this is the second post but I could not stop to publish it. So many helped her on the way: that is how toastmasters work.

Today, George Marshal also finished a project Moderating a Panel, and me, Planning and implementing by Organising a Themes meeting. Just one more ticked of for us, even if we worked on it
. But this achievement, Sudha's first level achieved is the very special, never forgotten.

Two 'Pathways Stories' meetings, one after other

Both meetings went well, and of course, differently. In one, I was panelist, in the second giving Q/A and demonstrating from inside, pathways projects and path ways.

For our Pathways Storytelling Meeting, I organised with the help of our President, Michelle also a Panelist, our VP PR Mathilde also Pathways Topic Master, our Treasurer, Brian, also co-member of club in District 27 who was a brilliant Toastmaster of our meeting.

We did have a good attendance, all the way from Japan and also from Australia to Virginia islands, Canada, were Brian lives. Our great timer come from Oregon, and Mathilde from Germany. Guests from all over the globe also.

And of course, George Marshal who lead the Panel with Panache and firm hands.
The Panel opened our meeting, and George showed us his first two and then his third path. Told us about his experience as pioneer and guide of guides of the pilot District.

The number of those "on" pathways is picking up now, acceptance also increasing at same time.

After him, he asked Michelle and me, alternatively different questions to which he, more or less prepared us in advance, we were complementary to each other in experience.
The 30 minute panel that finished too fast in my taste: so much more to say!

Then we had Sudha very animated story of her three weeks experience in Pathways, and how she got into it. How she went to Facebook, and asked a lot of questions and got answers from many sources, then, finally decided "I want in!"

Her story, evaluated then followed by "Pathways Topics" given by our TTM Mathilde, wanting to learn more, but also decided to get in, soon. Many of our guests answered also her questions, and after the meeting, 3 of them decided to find a way, and not wait any more.

What more to ask for the success of a meeting? Well yes, there is more! We recorded the meeting and we will be able to show it. That was also on line with our Mission we have given our club, Witty Storytellers Online, a year ago, when we chartered. Mission achieved. We got lots of new ideas too!

I did not stay, this time, for the after meeting party, as Carole, guide in Australia, asked me to demonstrate Pathways "up close and personal" to other Guides in Australia too. One hour meeting. They were 100% happy as the pool said after it with my demonstration and answers to their questions. And yes, I was able to answer them.

As I said to them too, it is enough to be one step ahead and you become Expert! Find one person in the club who with enthusiasm will go into the new program, and will help others who then can help others. Once begun, we do continue, as Paul White, our GE in the Witty Storytellers said "we fell in love with the new way to see Toastmasters Journey".

25 Oct 2017

Preparing to be a Panelist : George Marshall moderating it

this was designed by Sudha Mani
I planned and organised the meeting as VPE but with the special theme "Pathways Stories". Tomorrow morning I will see how it will be "implemented" : I hope all goes well.

Our special guest, George Marshall, Chief Guide of first Pilot District who got "pathways" will tell us about his experience and also will be the panel moderator. I am only one of the panelists, but still have to prepare for the questions he and the audience will ask from me. Michelle is Pathways Guide in her District. Sudha just begun pathways 3 weeks ago, and tomorrow, with her speech will finish Level one! She will be Evaluated by Carole, a Guide and Trainer, followed by, instead of TTM ,: Pathways Topic Master, Mathilde. All to end by a feedback of Paul White, Chief Ambassador of the Second Pilot District, and also member of our online club.

If any of you who read this want to come as guests, the link zoom number is in red, the time too.

I will try to have a project advanced, Planing and Implementing, in my Leadership development.
Planning and implementing is the Required project in my level 3, and implies to create a small event with a team, for example they propose a Themed Meeting in the club. That is what I am doing. Pathways Stories, the theme of all the meeting. 

Already completed my two elective Projects, so with this, tomorrow I will be able, by noon, to go Level 4. For almost every occasion, there is a project helping, suggesting and advancing the knowledge of how to do it. I discovered what is inside "planning and implementing" only when I got to level 3, till then I could not open it. But in short, all are described in the resource called Path and Projects available online, that I also saved to my disk. 

24 Oct 2017

It is good to work on multiple path

With multiple path, I can attribute my speech when occasion comes, to one or the other, what is of course needed to a club I visit, or a speech I am asked to make.

1. I organised the Thursday special Pathways Stories Themed meeting: it fits with the next required project of Level 3 of my Leadership Development. I am not getting any recognition with being a panelist, but do get for having planned, and organised it together with many, the Themed meeting.
2. Only one hour later, I was asked to do a Q/A session for Pathways Guides and show them my path. In the 4th level, at Leadership Development is the Q/A as an elective: wonderful.

3. I will monitor a Panel Discussion the 4th November, one of the requisites in my Presentation Mastery Path Level 5

4. Offered to visit a club in Oregon and was asked if I want to speak about my Pathways Experience, a few days later in November. Reflect on your path can be interesting to them and at the same time, it is requested to close the Level 5 of the Presentation Mastery path.

5. In another club, as I visited, last week, there was a place left and I could tell the story of my very firsts Leadership role in my work, at age 33. The first project from the Level 2 of Effective Coaching path: they liked it a lot.

So it is good to work on different levels and path, even better of course to have one Path, for me Visionary Communication completed, because I could not read some of the Elective Projects before I get there... but can always go back, even if I did not download them all, and read, be able to prepare toward the end of a Level what will come next. Here is what I work on these days:
Mentor program not a path: from Level 3, 3 then 6 month

Of course I am so lucky that I wander around in different clubs, all around the globe. Some already on Pathways, in Oregon, or Malaysia, others to be soon in Australia or New Zealand. 

And each time I met new toastmasters as well as known one, already my pals. Learn something new listening seeing, as well as I can take roles in the meeting as needed.

Pathways combined with Online roaming, visiting, is a winning combination!

23 Oct 2017

Going from one place to another

Is going to place to place is named "rooming"? Meandering? I like to do also specific things, go back to see what is new, but often while going from place to place I discover wonderful things.

There is a new Facebook group, called "Pathways Discussion Forum" 

Brian Dodd, with whom I discovered 6 month ago a way to access remote GC and begin Pathways, asked a question there. He wanted to find a club in Oregon that allowed Remote Access. It must have been late night his time, in Vancouver, it was early morning in Europe for me. I read the answer to his request, and went to see what I can find about the recommended club, who meets, as I have seen first from the TMI at 7am in the morning, Pacific Time. From there I went to their website, their blog. 

Of course, ;-) blogspot as this blog! here is where their blog lead me later, Yakuina Toastmasters club's guide presentation.
They begun the club's blog January 2016. I already found a wealth of information in it! They have lots about pathways, and that is how I discovered, going from month to month backward, from title to title, a 30 minute presentation by their Guide! Here is the youtube pic of it.

Also found in other posts, two recorded zoom sessions, "pathways support" with the Guide : questions asked, and answered as well as the Guide could, and when she did not know the answer she come back with it later. 

So much can be discovered and learned from going from place to place, blogs and posts! I hope, you discover some useful information also in this blog. 

As for the 30 minute youtube presentation by the Guide, I published it on my Facebook page (and my own club Fb group). 30 minutes of it, even I felt too much to absorb in one time, I will have to go back later and listen to the whole. 

After seeing the short Q/A videos in the same blog, I am more then decided to do something similar. One question, one answer each. Short and sweet... Anyone of you did already do ? We have to complement each other. 

For the moment, preparing to be a panelist Thursday for George Marshal at Witty Storytellers Online.  
One of the things we were asked in the Panel Project, is not only to lead a panel, but return the curtesy and also become a panelist. Only those leading get a project completed for it, but we learn either way and help others too. Those of you who read this blog post could also attend to it. 

At 8 am the same day, I will be answering Q/A from some Pathways Guides in Australia; showing how I navigate inside my Base camp, through Zoom's Screen sharing. A very busy morning! Coach Carole is organising it. She calls me "Pathways Pioneer" ! I felt, this more important then any TMI award I can get. I just try to follow the vision I set to myself, during the time when I become Visionary Communication Proficient: help in the transition from the "legacy program" to Pathways in any way I can. 

22 Oct 2017

"Now, what will I do?" - 3 years ago and now

It is good to stop, from time to time and ask oneself "What I really want to do, now? From now on?" That is what I did three years ago, and written a blog post about it, in from the moment neglected blog, CompetentCommunicator

At that time, I experienced different public speaking opportunities.

  • I was in train to perform my 77th Standup comedy, 
  • Had some experience in Professional Speaking, and also
  • Very rewarding experiences in telling personal stories before paying audiences
  • Creating Storytelling workshops in Toastmasters clubs and Area
What now? Which I prefer? I was asking myself. Indeed, we do need to stop from time to time instead or running and doing in different directions.

This morning, I got a message "When can I go to London to see you in a Standup?" I proved, when my grand-children visited or when I was filmed, I can still do it well. And I still enjoy to make laugh and use that open spoken persona. But nowadays, I prefer to add humour in my speeches. Sometimes, it even comes without any preparation. 

Telling some truths, can even make others laugh. I prefer to offer workshops "how to", nowadays. And, till I went to the material offered for Pathways Ambassadors now, too, I did not know that giving a workshop means you are "Trainer".  I "coached" many Toastmasters the last 7 years, for a speech, to become president of club, or simply a Toastmaster, I did believe I am a Coaching Leader. Preparing yet another "your leadership style" project from Level 2 I looked again at the styles attributed to me after the quiz. Almost same for many styles! Coaching, Altruistic, Authoritative, Innovative and so on, proving again that we can not be put in a box!

When asked if I had an experience as Trainer, I hesitated. What IS a trainer? And again, what is the difference between a Mentor, a Coach, a Trainer, a Workshop leader? In fact, more and more I realise, they are just words, and can be used often for doing the same.

I did offer a lot of Workshops, even some month after a month. So after the book I just read, I am a Trainer. Also, let us say, because I am now member of the Global Trainers Online Toastmasters club, where I went reluctantly "I am a trainer?" asking myself.

Here are some paragraphs (not in their order) taken from the Trainer Manual.
"As you help adults learn new information, do your best to maximise participation and interaction. The more involved we feel in our learning process, the more likely we are to remember and use the new skills learned. 
Create a hands-on learning experience. A training session is most effective when participants interact with you and each other. Encourage participants to take an active role in their learning through discussion, questions, and group activities.

Use humor. Don’t hesitate to make a joke or poke fun at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Share your experience, tell stories. Sharing your own observations, an relevant story, or even an article you recently read. Make information stick,

Show your genuine interest in the content you are delivering, make it fun and relevant for the participants. Ask the participants questions. Showing participants that you care about their questions, opinions, and contributions. Show pictures and videos, liven it up.

Plan for interruptions and develop strategies to address them. Demonstrate your understanding of the participants. Dealing with difficult participatns : The Talker; The Interrupter; The Chatterer; The Arguer; The silent type; The electronic device enthusiast.
 But... but, I have done all this, in my workshops! So I am a trainer? They liked it.

Notice, for those already in Pathways. Many of these suggestions are Pathways Projects. I did a month ago the Dealing with difficult audiences, when we role played interrupting me while I was presenting. I dealt with it "like a pro": of course I had my Standup Comedy experience also to bring in the project.

Storytelling, is another project. Indeed stories make information, message stick. Last. 
Humour? We will have a project for it soon, also: not so easy to write in in a few pages.
Presentation skills? a project. Using presentation software? A project. Questions and Answers? a project. Most of them all available from Level 3 already. 

Pathways helps you become many different things, you want to do, even if deciding is not easy. I did decide! Helping one by one, or helping a group, name it whatever "trainer, mentor, coach or workshop leader". Even if I also loved my hour and half storytelling too, but sharing what I know feels so good! Even through this blog. Or my neglected blog, Competent Communicators that popped up in Facebook this morning. 

Yes, popups allowed...

21 Oct 2017

Suggest specific improvements

I did find an important problem and I do suggested an improvement. 
In the printed Presentation Mastery manual Level 3 there are 3 projects: 
  • Persuasive speaking, 
  • Storytelling and 
  • Deliver Social speeches.
In the wonderful Storytelling project, "elected" for us by TMI: 
  • on Page 6: "see the Descriptive language Elective Project, available online"; 
  • on page 8: Consider reviewing Understand vocal variety, Effective body language and other elective projects available online, for effective speech delivery."

Alas, none of those above mentioned electives (or any projects) are available for a Toastmaster who selected and paid for a Printed Path in the Manual I received
Reading those hints to access online resources to improve delivery of a story, as to now, projects still not available for those with Printed Manuals, produces frustration. I was so frustrated I abandoned the printed path that day, hid the manual. Yesterday as I found and read it again, it still hurts me when I read those paragraphs again. 
Suggestion : Either allow access to these resources, to all on Pathways, whatever they use Base Camp or Printed Material, or take out from the Printed manuals all the paragraphs about accessing them. Perhaps, an editing software could do it? Then print a special version for all who need printed and can not access Base Camp on web.
I hope, if many of us suggest it, we will be heard. And the suggestion taken. I do believe, this is a very positive suggestion. Then no one will left frustrated. We can enjoy the Paths, even if we have no choices, "electives" to chose. We could enjoy them a lot less when we become aware all we can not do. 

Strangely, I am aware "this is life" but still hurts that what I imagined in my mind "Reading ALL Electives of Level 3 after I finished my level 2 Projects." did not materialise and that in the manual the hint to read them is there. Perhaps no more now? 

I am one of the lucky ones. Because I did buy very fast the Visionary Communication in Base Camp, as the Printed Manual I ordered and paid, did not come for too long time (I was between the pioneers then: they finally found out that the order from TMI to those printing and sending did not get through). 

Inside the Base Camp, at Visionary Communication, when I got to level 3, I had access to ALL electives. I did chose two or three even, but read many and can read them again and again. They do remain there for us, even after we completed all the path. We just have to Launch... wait a bit, then there they are!

20 Oct 2017

Discover almost... by chance

We were discussing on my Facebook pals, on my page, if you can or not read Navigator before you are "in" Pathways. So I did go to Toastmasters International Website (Toastmasters.org) and did NOT LOG IN, to try if without logging in, I can or not look at the two, different versions of Navigator.

I went first down Education, click then Pathways Learning Experience. No Navigator there. But I am stubborn and continued. I put then "navigator" in the Search. I got a lot of different false answers but finally, I tried one of the many: Volunteers. Then I was offered to chose Accessories. And from there, I did try Ambassador resources. I like to try; even when it is written "you have to have password" to get these data. Clicked one after other, like once my grand-son did when he was here, on ALL of the resources one after the other.

ALL of them but one could be accessed! Downloaded. Read. Learned. Printed!

The only one, indeed who was not accessible, was the Navigator Slide Show, from which I have taken some shots for the Wednesday posting, speaking about the Printed Material No Electives L3. Yes, they chose for you, Social Speech and Storytelling, but it is not your election.

But the Navigator PDF, where it does say on page 13 that in the second shipment you get Level 3 Projects plus Level 3 Electives, can be accessed for all. It does show also, that the meeting structure and roles, committees,  so on, does not change with Pathways coming to us.

Another interesting resource that is there, is Pathways Paths and Core Competencies. And also the manual about Trainer. I just got to read the table of matter yet, but in does contain inside one pathways project I did not long ago: Dealing with difficult audiences. And another, also from a Pathways Project. Plus a few more pages I will be happy to read. All there for me now.

And of course, I do believe for all of you if you go there and find them. So many precious information is there, on the Toastmasters International website, if only we find them!

As for the online Navigator, you will be able to see as soon as you got into Pathways. The funniest thing I just discovered in it was this:
You have a special screen and animation to explain how to navigate the NAVIGATOR

Indeed, instead of having just one way, there are so many! The arrows that are in the bottom. The arrows that are in black fiend inside as a blackboard. < > the "content button", the i information, the BUTTON button, and in plus the Menu. Lot different each doing something. Not easy to decide which one to click or try. Finally I tried one the Menu, holding it one can go directly to the "interesting part" (for me) the pages about Pathways and even there to the subdivisions. 

When (or if you are already on pathways) take time to play with it. Even if for the moment, some gave me contradicting information At first, a wonderful demo about how more interesting is to decide on Base Camp instead of Printed Material for a Path. Then, when I tried an "i" information - or was it a button? a big field with a text come up, where again, it was written: at level 3 you get Level three project plus Level 3 Electives. Without adding: 2 electives elected for you.

At any way, I suggest all of you, wherever you are, go and log in - or not log in, into the Toastmasters International web and go discover the wealth of information that can be find there. And also get used to login, discover the latest articles, and so on. One always come out of it with something.

19 Oct 2017

The best time is NOW, guest post by Magda van Rooyen

Magda van Rooyen, lives with her family in New Zealand. In 2 years she went from CC to ACG, from new toastmaster to mentor and Area director. President of the Three Kings Toastmasters Club in Auckland, New Zealand, and of Ablaze Online pre-charter which she is creating with Kevin Broughton from Australia. See here his design when I visited their club.

Magda realised, Pathways is arriving soon. Then she discovered this blog and begun reading all posts, one month at a time. She then invited me to speak at ABLAZE Online, see my post the 6th October, then… joined a club remote access to begun Pathways.  

Here is her post for us.
"In New Zealand, we are getting ready for Pathways to roll out next month. Some have the attitude of ‘I am not in a hurry.’ Others are eager beavers.  I am one of the latter. 
With the imminent New Zealand roll out in mind, I was searching for information on the Internet. I went onto TMI only to discover that the information is not that clear and I can’t really proceed. The Pathways system is not customer centric enough. I couldn't find my way by looking at the information on the screen. The next step was the “how to.” 

I did more searches. How lucky I was to discovered Julie’s blog posts
about her pathways experience. I started reading, life intervened and when I decided it is NOW or never, I tackled Julie’s blog sheer tenacity. It was a pleasure. Julie is clearly a hands-on person herself. I have made notes to come back to the technical posts again when I am doing Pathways. This blog is not only a guide, it is full of Julie’s wisdom. It is brimming with all the tricks she learned so far. 
Not long-ago Julie spoke as a guest at our online club, Ablaze Online Toastmaster Club. One specific sentence of Julie that is applicable to our NZ situation, stuck with me. ‘With a little bit of experience, you can help others. They will perceive you as the expert’. Keep learning, keep growing by sharing is what I have taken from Julie. 
Being a NOW girl, I shared Pathways 101 with our club members. Proposing them to try the Pathways Icebreaker provided to all by TMI. One of our members, Richard called me yesterday. He told me he can’t get access to the Pathways info from the TMI website. Richard was now in the same boat I’ve been in. With him on the phone, I went online to guide him through it. It did not work. He told me he changed his password the day before but it is already 24 hours past the time of reset.
I tried several things. Then Julie’s words came to the fore… ‘disable pop-ups.’ Richard said he is not sure how to do it. He said his son can help him that evening. After the call I went on to the website, copy and pasted the computer requirements and the steps on how to disable the pop-ups. I emailed it to him. My lesson for the future on this point? Send this information first before anything else. Only when it is done, proceed to help either in Zoom, Skype etc. or by phone. It will save a lot of time in future.
Magda already chosen her next path even
Later that same morning I realised that I am now in a club that is already in Pathways and that my information will look different on the screen to those members who are still waiting for roll-out. I then went into the TMI website and used the site as a new comer to TM. I quickly found the way. I have made screen prints to enable Richard to get his Icebreaker done. 
This morning I got an email from Richard to say that he has gained access according to the new screen prints. I am so glad. It is so energising to hear that I could help him. Suddenly I am the expert in a matter of weeks, just like Julie said!
My lesson for the future on this point? 
Investing a little bit of time in the here and NOW can make a difference in the life of someone else. It is like “paying it forward.” “Paying it forward” can only work with an action in the NOW. Therefore… I want to dare you. Start your new path on Pathways NOW. You will be so glad you did. "
Magda goes full spead ahead, now on Pathways, and she begun her first path the 10th Octobre through a club in Manilla. Already President of one ground club and other online, she also decided, her second pre-Charter club she sponsors TechnoSpeak will use only Pathways. 

Magda messaged me: "I am so glad Richard called me today, as I could work through it to find answers for him. It reminded me you saying us at Ablaze Online that a tiny bit of knowledge is suddenly seen as 'the expert.'  I did screen prints, they helped him out. It worked! Richard got into the Icebreaker and before it arrives to us he will get used to Pathways soon arriving to NZ!" 

It was the middle of night in Australia too, but Kevin Broughton just finished his online meeting with TM without boarders. VPE of Ablaze Online he creates also wonderful graphics. Kevin designed and send me this and the other images too. 

Want to know Magda and Kevin? visit Ablaze Online. The 4th November I will held a Panel about Pathways there.
How wonderful it would be if all club Presidents or VP Education send an email then help their members to try out the Icebreaker! 

18 Oct 2017

To Navigate the web Navigator? Slides great and up to date!

8722 The Navigator, I had on my hard disk. I looked at it six month ago, even asked someone to print it for me on her computer. I looked again. Even now, on the saved copy, page 13, it does say, the second shipment is : Level 3 manuals, + Level 3 Electives, and, optional, the Mentoring Program Manual.

Do you read the same thing as I did at the beginning of April and still there now? It clearly is written, in the second shipment, when you have completed Level 1 and Level 2 and VPI wrote to HQ about it, you will be shipped "LEVEL 3 ELECTIVES". It does not say, two of the 15 programs, without you could chose which you want. 

It does explain the trepidation with which I waited to got all those electives in print!

When I asked in a Facebook Online Club, "where does it say, who says that you get only 2 "electives" that you do not elected at the second shipment, I was answered "it is there", the clubs are told. Then I was told "The Guides tell it at their first visit in clubs." So much to tell at that first visit! Anyone remembers hearing it?

But now, as it is possible that I will also become a Guide, I was send a few places to visit on the TMI web, one of them was the NAVIGATOR Slide-Show, there before I go BaseCamp.
It took some time to understand how these slides work, and also to get used to look at the MENU discreetly up left opening up when clicked on it. We can jump the texts about meetings, committee, etc and go directly to the Pathways. Also, one can see different slides with to different arrows, one in the black "board" the other in the blue under all. And one can also navigate with MORE in red here. Does not matter how, but yes! I got to this page. It does say, for Printed copy you have to wait a time. Did I wait! 

This picture, which comes with a wonderful animation said all, or almost. Lot os things come with a Path in the Base Camp, and the other side, a lonely Printed Material.
When you see it: which one would YOU chose? Of course, you have to arrive and see.

And, we are not yet finished yet. I found the page where we are told, even if at that level not everyone understand its importance. With Printed material you got Evaluation Resources (there are in your manual anyway) and limited projects.
Here it is! The first (and so far only) place where it is clearly said: Using Base Camp, Elective projects are available, With Printed Materials, Elective projects are Limited

Only the two "must electives at Level 3" instead of 15! and probably even less at L 4 and L5. And you can not chose, which one. I say probably, as I did refuse to continue beyond level 2, when I got the level 3 manual without the promised level 3 electives. I did buy instead the web path, and there I have again all the choices, all the goodies I wrote about yesterday.

Even if it not said clearly in this last slide how limited the Elective projects are for the Printed Material, it is there at last crystal clear. Same day, if you save and print Navigator, you still got the page 13 telling you, they will send you the Level 3 electives with the manual at same time.

It is easier to change a slide then a paper copy, so in the paper copy this information is missing still. And one day, one more slide will be added, I am sure, that says how many so called electives (chosen for you) are in each level in the Printed Material. And perhaps, I am an optimist, which one's. 

I am curious, to know which electives are chosen for you at level 4 and 5 of Presentation Mastery, but not curious enough, to go and do the two electives I got, that are not my choices. Best go through other paths before, and you can bet, all will be inside the Base Camp. 

17 Oct 2017

What level you enjoyed most?

I did not hesitate when asked "What level you enjoyed most?" : LEVEL 3

Beside 1 required task, specific to the path, at this level three you chose 2 others you want, from 15 projects!

And, it seems, more preparing soon.

There is a CHOICE; before choosing, and even after, you can read any of those projects : one more interesting then the others!

At my first path, I opened almost all! I felt like a kid in a bonbon store when suddenly she can chose!

It was not so easy to decide. What do I chose? Storytelling that I know better, or Creating Visual aids, I am less familiar with?

Connect with the Audience, what is in this project? Is the Voice Variety interesting? Presentation software?
What means Active Listening ?

Some of the projects where really fun to implement. Active Listening, in the club near me was a role as Table Topic Master, and then telling what I understood from their answers combined with body language.

Connect with the Audience, even more fun, and was wonderfully prepared by a team working with the VPE of the club. While I spoke, I was interrupted a few times of different audience types played masterfully by my fellow toastmasters members. The feedback is not on my 20 minute slide presentation on Zoom backgrounds, important in itself, but on how I handled the interruptions. Want to see the results? The link takes you to the blog post & Video of of my Presentation.

It seemed not too bad, even the more vehement one!

In another path, I chose Voice Variety, and liked it so much, that repeated it. Not because the first did not go well, just to be able to try different ways, described in the Project.

Inspire your audience, was chosen for my other path, recently. Not an easy project, and I used it to tell personal stories about me and my pathways experience. The feedback was that I got here and there off the path. But the results were that at least two of the participants were really inspired and acted on that. When we can reach at least one person at each presentation, storytelling, change something in their lives, in any way, we did not do it for nothing.

Be aware: Do NOT BUY the Printed Version of a Path: NO CHOICES ALLOWED.
You are given, at level 3 manual two "electives" chosen for you without your own input. All the joy of reading all the different electives are taken away also. Nor reading, nor saving or printing, repeating. No choosing. So unless you have no access to the web, chose path that are not "printed" for you in advance.

I was asking many Toastmasters "Where it is written "if you chose Printed material your choices are limited?" They could not answer. "The Guides tell it to the club, when they visit." Well, not enough. But as usual, looking for something else, I did find the answer. It is written inside the NAVIGATOR. A guide book all the beginning of the pathways materials, before you enter Base camp, that I never really read. In plus, I think it was ameliorated, these six month sometimes.
Electives in Printed Material? Limited. I would say "none" because they can not be elected. This picture perhaps describes it even better.
So, which would YOU chose looking at this picture? As for me, I do not regret my switch to BC.

I have loved other Levels too, for different reasons, but most of the  joy came from Level 3 projects.