31 Jan 2018

80% pathways club : Witty Storytellers Online !

I would like to know, how many clubs are already between so many existent word wide, whose members are already, Witty Storytellers Online is 80 % on Pathways already. 

I have dreamed to inspire others, after I begun 25 March 2017 my Pathways journey, ten month ago. Excited, I spoke about it, explained it in my club and other online clubs I am member or visited. All the while, Brian Dodd, our treasurer and also President of Firebirds collective, then of Great Communicators, and now still of Royal Road Toastmasters was with me. 

Let them POP UP! all the projects, tutorials are on a popup
As much as we did like the content, we had problems with user interface. He tried to speak with the programmers, tried to entice them in vain to see what is the problem on his computer. I found a computer guru, fellow GC remote member, who come to my computer all the way from Toronto! Matthew showed me what I had to do to CLOSE A PROJECT. And later, close my first Level, get the certificate. Looking at him working, I become an expert! 

Not in visiting other's computers, but understood what has to be done and how. As I always say, since, it is enough to be one step ahead. Zoom shared with Brian, and he allowed his popup to pop, closing his popup blocker. From then, we were two advancing in the Club. Then three and four and five. Sometimes, as VPE I invited specialists, other times my VP PR did it, and step by step, as dual (at least) and advanced toastmasters, more of us begun to use Pathways. Either Pathways come to their District or they joined, as me a remote access club already in Pathways Region. Some clubs, President were our members. Others became Guide, Technical Support for Pathways in their Region. 

Becoming 80% on Pathways was a Team work. I learned more of teamwork in Pathways, and practiced it in the club I am VPE, have been VPE from the day we created it.

Here is my story, told in an usual 5-7 minutes speech, ending my High Performance Leadership project from my path Effective Coaching. Well, almost ending it. Nothing was too easy with that path that I let lay and wait.

The HPL from Pathways, need only 2 in the committee and a few in the team, but at the end, needs at least one 360 degree 6 page formulary filled by at least one in each of them. Have send it to a few of them and now waiting for them to have time to fill it.

Let me tell you, again, the Effective coaching begun 9 month ago, is not my preferred path. But I am now on level 5 and have other three finished.

For level 5 of EffCoach I also have to organize a Panel. It is decided! It will be: Storytelling Tips. 

30 Jan 2018

15 min Preparation for Officer Training

Delivered at one of my three 100% online Toastmasters club, called Global Trainers Online, this is a "rehearsal" Saturday: 15 minutes

from the actual 30 minute delivered yesterday to the Officers Training of two Areas 59 and 31 together yesterday (not recorded alas)
One of the areas is "my area" in many ways. I participated in creating it and was it's first Area Governor, as they called it that time. The other area was part of my Division, when I lead the Division, two years later, after having assumed the role of assistant division governor. 

Here are some of the slides in QT format so I could include them here. I have yet to work on them!
30 seconds each or click to get to next. I wonder, why bullet points transformed to "4"

My presentation was well received, between the online club Trainers, as also by the Officers.

The questions posed where mostly details on the parts I did not have time to deliver. 

We get a free... what? a project? icebreaker? ---> No, a whole path with all its 15 projects!
So a newcomer, as our club who begun 3 month ago, can continue the CC manual and the pathways at the same time? ---> Yes, if he wants. But I believe, will switch fast to Pathways. Getting a lot faster awards and more material provided. 

Relatively new Toastmasters, get a lot more interested about Pathways, faster acceptance also then from the relatively Veterans, who have to "leave something" behind them, to which they were used. A Toastmaster who knows only Competent Communicators, and is at the beginning of it, switches easy.

Here is a faster version, but best for computers then iPhones: should I leave both in this post? Half of those reading this blog do it through there smart phones!

So much for me to learn each time I visit a club! Or offer a training. Or presenting a slide show in this blog! Let me know which of the two works best for you. They show exactly the same images, but I believe in big format easier to read.

Pattricia, friend helper and VPM of my London club, who come with me to both my presentations, the first as Ambassador in a club and this one to officers of areas, told me after it "this one was a lot better then the first one". It seems to me as again, my veteran toastmaster, telling me the beginning "It was great!" and a year later "so much better then at the beginning" and a year later... "how much progress you made in a year".

True, we make progress each time we speak, each year, and with each new workshop or delivery.

29 Jan 2018

Tonight, Presentation at Officer Training

Officer training for two Areas together: in areas where I knew years ago everyone. Visited each club at some time, in each of them, or helped out, or created them. Gave workshops, hold officer training and contests in many of their club places, as AG or DG - before I broke my leg.

To prepare for my 30 minutes, I have created a minimal 15`Power Point presentation, with images taken from many places, from a Presentation that initially Andy Hammond, the Chief Pathways Ambassador send me. 
Here is one of the pictures I added to it, how neat the printed manuals can look, the one's printed by us. To explain, why not buy or suggest printed manuals.

Saturday, I rehearsed a Presentation of 15 minutes to get Global Trainers Online Toastmasters members opinion about it. 

They liked the three point speech:
1. What remains the same 
2. What changes 
3  What do do before launch
Still, it is the first time that I am "on my own" to present Pathways to a special group: the club officers. So I can not say that I am not a bit anxious about it. Not about the content, not even about the images (less the best) or the audience. Then what? Sometimes, a word just does not come to me, when needed. But this time, I rehearsed enough, wrote it down again, and do know well what I want to convey. So...

Wish me luck! Do not tell me to "Break my leg!" - again. 

28 Jan 2018

Transition to Pathways IS a transition

This is not an advertisement.  And it is already in this blog. I add it again, to remind myself and you that so far, between many I read from April last year, while I joined Pathways wagon, it seems to me the most useful.

What it says and teaches is necessary to all of us in our times of Transition, from one education system to another. All district and club leaders, all guides and ambassadors, all toastmasters where the Pathways already arrived or will arrive in the coming month should read it. Use it. Put some of its advices in practice.

Yes, it explains the greaving process but also how to make it less painful for those involved. It does get into that zone where the passing of desert by Moses is remembered, and in that place of feeling lost, needing time, how much creativity can also arose, as we are no more tied to old traditions. How sometimes, even new beginning can be difficult, for different reasons. 

Most important speaks on how organisations should handle change, if they want it to become a success. 

One of the most important is to communicate, again and again, not thinking "it is too early" or "they will know in time" or any other excuse not to give out information. Or reserve it to few. 

Other is different methods to handle transition for those feeling they will loose something. Position or expertise or even perceived awe from others. How important it is to involve them in the transition process and also prepare all for what will come.

As I hear complaints or reasons why some veterans are unhappy with Pathways arriving, or wait after arrived instead of trying it out, I feel I have to read it again and again. We all have in my opinion, veterans, new or older, young or less young, experienced or less experienced. Think, what part could we apply? Consider? Try out?

The book has a companion, I just finished reading again, Transitions, also by William Bridge. It describes more what happens inside us all. It feels to me, the two books are complementary. 

Yes, I have already wrote about it in this very blog, and even used the same picture. Another time, one without from where I found it. In fact, I have now two different copies: one on my Kindle, the other near my computer, to be able to show it from time to time when I speak online. And yes, I love to handle books too, even if my eyes these days love them less.

Level 1, beside the Icebreaker, and the great second project with a speach, then another incorporating the feedback, and finally offering a specific feedback another speaker could add and improve with, has a third project. Research and present. That is then, in my first level last project that my vision arose. After many paths, levels and projects, it never disappeared. Beside discovery of Pathways, study of change and Transition become my goal since then. 

Here are two links of blogposts, where I spoke about Transition, one from May 2017 the other from November 2017. I learned a lot in those months. But if you type Transition in the search, more is about the book and the process of transition in this blog already. 

My vision develops: how I can help the Transition to Pathways 

Told in May, Witty Birds - I was waiting for Level 1 to be approved

Told in November, Royal Roads - I was at Level 5 of my 1st Path

27 Jan 2018

Pathways Celebration at Witty Storytellers


A background can be important!

In Zoom I learned not only sharing my screen, so I can show  inside by Basecamp my path, levels and projects, but also how to add a "green screen" : digital background behind me.

It was almost last minute! I was looking for the "proper" background for our special meeting, and remembered this. All Guide Club presentation begin and end with this picture.

So I made a screen dump fast of a presentation, with a simple click on + sign had a new and very apropos background. 

25 Jan 2018

I am still alive, and more then ever.

Three exciting meetings, one after the other, this whole week in fact was so full for me, one Toastmasters meeting after the other, and the last three really challenging.

Let me begin with the middle: WednesdayWhat? who begins with the middle? I am in this post. Vive la difference! From time to time when we do know the rules well, we can change them. My 2nd presentation, a collective effort with pals I knew from long time. 

In fact, my club was once part of Area 35 and I was back to present there to one of the club I went already when they were just starting. In the picture with me is an old pal, Paul, Area Director and Pathways Ambassador who come to listen to us, and one of my three Guides, Samir Malek that I do know also from online toastmasters: I introduced him to it. Together, me as Ambassador and Samir as Guide we functioned as a well rolled team, taking the lead from each other and speaking showing explaining, sometimes me, sometimes him. We convinced all Toastmasters present Wednesday. All questions where about their new roles and when they can begin. That is the most important, but warmth present too.


Monday, I met with my Guidance committee, they were satisfied by my HPL project.

Tuesday, was my first Pathways Presentation, I was so anxious and also a bit tired from my long trip all the way 2 hours walk, bus, train, another train, car to the club's location, that I forgot to take pictures. Another great guide come to pick me up at the station, at first lost, finally we found the venue. Lots and very different audience. Many guests, many new members and a few experienced toastmasters. 

Should I say, or you would guess? At the end, it was one of the Veterans who played the role of the toastmaster unhappy with what is coming; for reasons, I already heard in discussion groups. 

Do we really have to begin Icebreaker again and again? --> it is never "same"
Do we loose our ACB and can not jump in the middle of a path? --> too different
Do we have to go level 1 instead of higher level? --> good to have beginners eyes

It is easy to know the answers, it is easy to feel them true, it is less easy to satisfy someone who did not try yet pathways in the just few minutes we have to answer all different other questions also. 

The public, the club was alive and great, the presentation went well too, and I met Toastmasters enthusiastic and understanding. In fact, I found this morning, two days later, an email from the club's VPM asking for more informations to give her along the weeks to come: and she is a great speaker! I heard her evaluate. Finding someone inside a club who understands and will help others is the best gift that can arrive to each Pathways Team. 

I also met the president to the club we will visit soon. He was very interested and cooperative. And it seems, he already "knew about me" having found information about my whole life. Googling me. If it was not so far, I would return with pleasure as they invited me. As it was, we returned to London late at night, in an almost empty train, and I arrived home towards 11 pm so tired... that I could not go to sleep still for almost two more hours! And next noon, had to present again (to that club I begun my post).


I found last minute a Pathways background to add behind me
Well, you would understand, by Wednesday afternoon, even a young one would have been tired. Thursday early morning we had a wonderful meeting that I organized, Pathways Celebration in Witty Storytellers Online, where I am VPE. We celebrated 82% members in Pathways.  What? 

Pathways arrives to 100% online clubs only in May. True. But we are global and all our members dual. Many of "s" also members in clubs where Pathways already rolled out. Others, like me, joined remote clubs to be in Pathways. We inspired each other. My passion took them "in" one by one. Private conversation helped too. And others joined us already being Pathways Guides or Tech Support. 

This image is a Gallery view, will most speaker on it, from: we had 7 Pathways Project speeches about pathways or paths. A timer who just joined Pathways and begins now his journey, Guide explaining her ups and downs till she finally could enter, and begin "in" and not only speaking of it, and so much more! One after other wonderful and very different stories, recorded, and yes, I will add them to a next post. Did not have yet time to process the video recorded by Zoom on my computer. 

I am in awe how wonderful is to have a speaker from Germany, applauded from Australia, introduced from Philippines, timed from Mauritius. A speaker from Canada, listened then followed from Uzbekistan, and evaluated from Scotland and so on. For some of us was still Wednesday late evening, for others at the other end of the word already Thursday afternoon! In spite of all, we were together!

And together, we are now the first 80% members already working on their Pathways paths and Projects online toastmasters club! One of my dreams, vision realized now. And you know what? At the end of the meeting, I heard one of our members, Guide and Ambassador tell "this meeting convinced me to go deeper and faster on my pathways journey!" 

I hope, as we will distribute the video, it will make other toastmasters feel the same. It was how each perceived very different ways our journey through paths, projects and potholes. And yes, we come out of all smiling and wittier. More alive then ever.

24 Jan 2018

We only have two choices

I could not say it better! Justin Trudeau said it here so clearly. "We only have two choices" 1 minute. Listen, I will not write it out, he does say it so well!  

What Justin Trudeau said about Artificial Intelligence and Automation coming, can be said also for us, Toastmasters about the Pathways Education System arriving and our response to it.

What we want to do "try to resist it, or lead and shape it?"

I heard the same explained by him longer and deeper, but that short video already could make us stop and think. Do we want to be leaders? Leading and shaping the change? 

Recorded with Replay Video Capture software, that I acquired when we still used GoToMeeting, now used to capture short snippets from youtube or video conferences. Zoom does not need it any more, as it has its own video recording incorporated even in the free version. I went, not so easy, I have to admit to Zoom now, and could not go back, would not want to go back, but change was not easy at the first. And now, more I use Zoom more I realize all I can do with it. Indeed, it is worthwhile to embrace change, lead it. 

While at the beginning, when I hold my first Panel Moderating, I almost did not know why we change to zoom and what we can do with it, soon, after a few month using it, I will be able to show many others some important things we can do with Zoom. 

23 Jan 2018

District One TLI Jan 20 18 Pat Johnson & George Marshall

One moment from the video which follows captured for me (and you) to remember with Pat Johnson happy
If I were me who edited the video, that is the picture I would have put on the top! Makes us a lot more eager to look at it, does it? I think it does. That is how I do remember Pat Johnson. 

Who is she? Well, she tells a lot about herself in her 15 minutes part and I a bit in this post, under the video. There is also another video with her in this blog, an interview.


15 minutes each : take the time, you will not regret it!

Did you hear about Pat Johnson, International President of TMI 2009 / 2010 ?
Pat Johnson come to London, and spoke at our May District Conference in Windsor.

Pat had a profound influence on me.

At that time, I was VPEducation and considering : Can I be a club President? Will I be able to do it? Am I good enough to lead the club? 

Pat Johnson in her wonderful keynote speech told us in May: I have just arrived now to know how to be International President! It took me many month to learn how to deal with the board, how to...

Suddenly, I was decided. If she can take her time to learn, I can too. Perhaps, I do not know how I will do it, but towards the end I have learned it! And, true. At the beginning, I had huge difficulties with my committee, as one member was against my propositions. Do I have to listen? Do I have to make vote? Do I have to ask the club members to vote? I had to learn, how to persuade... nicely. 

At the end of the year, the club grew and thrived and those who suggested me to become President told me "I told you Julie, you will be a great president!"

I would have never tried, if I did not hear Pat tell, even she had to learn how to do it. 

Pat Johnson initiated and lead the Pathways effort from 2010 July on. But I will not tell you more: listen to her! Want to know how Pathways was created? Here it is! Video taken at the District 1 TLI's Officer Training, with the two coming in to tell about Pathways each of them from their own home, and at the end, even answering to audience questions all together in a huge hall. 

It is because of her that I become to be interested in REP how they called it then, and waited and waited to arrive. Now, Pathways is arriving, everywhere! 

22 Jan 2018

It is never too late to learn: Search Base Camp

This was and still is my Facebook Page now, as indeed I wanted to remind myself "It is never too late to learn!"

I believed, I do know "all" that is to learn about how to use Base Camp : I did use it now for 10 month, almost day to day.

Well, I was wrong. I still can learn a lot! 

Not speaking now about the next Projects and Paths I did not yet do, but of how to use Base camp and all that can be found inside it! Just discovered that beside our own Paths and the levels and projects inside is, the Base Camp is a whole Cavern of Ali Baba! 

Firstly I discovered the use of the Global Search Box: how it is that I never used it till now? In a Tutorial, and I will speak about it bellow, it was suggested : "better put only one word". So I tried. LEVEL - and here is all the different results! 

There is a Video, two in fact, and also a Tutorial Quick Reference Guide: "Completing a Level", that can be saved, printed, passed around. Till now, I have only looked at Videos, a bit too fast for me but very interesting and informative also. And for some reasons I believed the Tutorials are in a totally different place then my Tutorials. But through search, they can be fast accessed!
I did knew one can access many Tutorials, but till now, did not try to choose, launch, read and save (or print) a Tutorial Quick Reference Guide. 

This morning, while I was supposed to coach, instead I learned something new. The Australian Guide told me "I gave away when visiting the clubs to all members present, some short handouts from the Quick Reference Guide, all are just a few pages, on a specific item." After we finished, me learning more then her this time, I fast went to my Base Camp and opened, launched a few. 

I read first all about Search Base Camp. The names of files are from me, but the PDF is the Quick Reference Guide I saved on my computer. 

Then I saved the Access my Path, and the Print a Project : it tells what I knew but so clear, where and how to access in a Project the page from where it can be Printed (and saved).

Then, I wanted to see what is in the Quick reference about Completing a Project. Not bad at all! 

Well, had I read all this last spring, it would have saved me sorrow and waiting and worry.

I did believe, I will have to make short videos about many of these subjects - and there are many many more available in the Ali Baba cave of Base Camp - and now, I realize: they are all there already! Available to choose, to launch, to read and save or print and hand out to those who may need it.

Indeed, it is never too late to learn! 

Rushing through my projects, levels and path, is one thing, but now as I have to explain it, better get all the material possible in my bag and offer it, point it out, know about them. 

Tomorrow, first official visit to a club to explain Pathways!

21 Jan 2018

We will all be in Pathways in May!

image by Brian Dodd
Toastmasters international published the last dates for rollout now. 

Region 3 and 5 the 13 February
Region 1 and 11 the 20 March
Region 4 and 13 the 24 April
Region 8, 9 and undistricted clubs and Online clubs in May

For me, 20 March in London and May for my 100% online clubs, two important dates.

This Image was published in the Pathways Discussion Forum. The rollout published on the Pathways page of Toastmasters International. It is great that there is always some of us that follows some of the news and publishes details!

The 20 March, will be also for me the anniversary of 1 year since I use Pathways. Sometimes, being impatient can be also an advantage. I still remember how it happened! And it was also by following information. 

At the time, following discussions in The Official Toastmasters Members discussion group, one member of the Competent Communicators club from D27, just going into Pathways Pilot program, wrote "I had to come to work in Germany, but was allowed to connect with my club Remote". She was opening a trail, Matthew followed and wrote "I become also a member from Toronto." That is when Brian Dodd and me decided: the time arrived to us! We both contacted Nathan the club's President a weekend. He answered. That weekend, end of March I become member. "If you wait a week, you will not be billed March" he told me but I decided: in for a penny in for a pound. And joined that Sunday! 

The club not only gained new members but also got President Distinguished with all the awards that mostly the Remote members, finishing Projects and Levels with gusto, and speaking in different parts of the word offered them. 

Hurray! We were inside Pathways! It was a great joy! 

From then on, we did have ups and downs, "normal for an early adapter" told me my mentor, Matthew who helped me out from my Icebreaker prison by breaking the doors through a visit into my computer all the way from Toronto. After I understood, that we have to answer ALL Before and all After Self Assessment questions and how to navigate them, I was able to show to the other following us. Giving a hand when needed.

You can be also begin before rollout to sample your first project and learn a lot already.


Fast, learning from all that happened at the beginning, we begin to be seen as "Experts" That is still available. As the rollout come to each region, district, club, if you are one of the first to begin, be between the firsts to finish a Project, to get a Level, to understand some user interface hurdles, iron out their wrinkles, to look at some tutorials before others, perhaps even, read this blog and the discussion groups answers, you will remain or you will become EXPERT. 

The name is not important in fact. Someone angry about my comments wrote me on a discussion group "Julie, perhaps you are experienced but not expert". Yes! I will be forever a beginner, trying, experiencing new things and continuing to learn. Important is being able to give a hand.

Sharing what I learned and experienced, helping others, what a joy!

20 Jan 2018

Basic structure of any Path

Yesterday evening, I had a meeting with Toastmasters, and realized that some - or would it be many? do not have yet and idea of the Basic Structure of Paths on which the new educational Pathways program reposes. 

In May last year, George Marshal gave us a Q/A 30 minutes for my online club, Witty Storytellers Online, I published the video in this blog, and somehow believed from now on, "all know" as I did ! And never spoke about the 10 path having each 5 levels with increasing difficulty. And I have written a post How to choose a Path, with a great overall description too, explaining more in detail with pictures. Click on it, a new window opens.

One can not reach the next level, till one did not finish the one we are in. 

Other then the Icebreaker, first we have to finish, the projects INSIDE a level can be done in any order. 

Almost all projects finish with a 5 to 7 minute speech, but some projects can be done fast, as fast as preparing a good speech - some times meeting some criteria, other time a lot of work is involved at higher levels with increasing difficulty.

Level 1 and Level 2 of any path are very similar or same. 
"Do I have to do it again?" the answer is "Yes, but you understand it better!"
In plus, there is a lot more about our life's story then we could put in 5 minutes!
At Level 2 sometimes, one of the 3 project changes to something funnier... 

At Level 3 we have only 1 "Required Project" which now is different and specific for the Path, and then we can choose 2 "Elective Projects", at minimum (or more if we want) from 13 yummy projects. By the way, we can open, read, save and print all the projects at the level we are on, or those we have been if not yet done before. 

At Level 4 the Required Project is a more involved task depends on the Path chosen, followed by the usual 5-7 speech, and only 1 Elective Project ( by us from 7) Those are longer to complete. For example, creating this blog and posting for a month (8 posts minimum or in my case I posted 30, every day one), but there are other choices depending of what you like or want to learn. Only ONE Elective mandatory. 

Of course, at Level 5, would be Prove your Expertise... and also interesting, practical electives to chose from, and each path finishes with the obligatory Reflect on your path.

A path can not be thought as equal to any advanced manual, or any two either. The old education program, called now "traditional" by TMI and the new "pathways" educational program are too different. It is best to understand how it works, not to try to make a parallel. Also because the leadership tasks and projects are very blended with communication there are no two separate from each other. I would remind you, that before a few years ago, when I started first and when I started even second time, Toastmasters, there was no such thing as Leadership Manual! 

As my blog goes from me not knowing and then discovering the program, it is best to be read from May (when I started it) towards today. But it can also be searched from the search box at top right. Alas not visible on smaller devices, but on laptops or bigger. 

I accumulated some experiences through the last months, finished three path and am now with two others, one at the end and one near the beginning. As at the end I always have to wait, for a longer project to finish (two this time) I buy a new path on which I can work and tell my stories in my, yes, for the moment seven clubs. Sunday, evening will give one and with it, will get again to my favorite place, Level 3 where there are so many interesting Projects to chose from. Will be able to do again, one I liked specially on a previous path, or discover one I did not yet try. 

Life is interesting, with paths and projects!

19 Jan 2018

Remote Access is not 100% Online

100% Online clubs these days use - almost all - Zoom. Every member is connecting through their own computer or tablet or smart phone. A meeting, looks a bit like this.
Here it was the beginning of a meeting, fast we become more attending from the globe. Carole, from Australia, me from London, Brian from West Canada, Mary from Oregon, Michelle was in Philippines that day, and Graham, in another part of Australia. We all interacted as if we were sitting near the same table. Seeing and answering to each other. 

We did know, that while it was middle of night for me, for the others it was morning or middle of the day, summer in Australia and winter in Canada, but we did feel together. 

We could add, Zoom permits easy, different backgrounds behind us: I demonstrated a few. In Zoom, we can look to all together or have the speaker on a bigger square under others picture or only the speaker at each time.

Remote access, or Hybrid, or onsite plus online, means a club meets in a Toastmasters District, in one location, a room. At least half of those meeting are together, in a pub, a hotel, a place they meet at least once a month or every week. Through an internet connection, web or hotspot, others can access also from remote places from their computers or devices. A meeting can look like this.
That is my view of the room under the pub where Yaquina Toastmasters Oregon meet every week at 7 am for a common breakfast and meeting. That morning, my eyes hurt, so I put on my sunglasses. There is a TV or Screen on the other end that those in the room can see us. Those in the room are in the same place and time, those who come remote, arrive from where they just are now. If well arranged, the interaction is great. 



Hillary created a new club, in a Zoom room, with great screens for on-commers, and a few video cameras so those from other locations can see the speaker nearer, the audience also and varying the views so they seem immersed, as if there.

Zaldy in his club, uses a special directional microphone, to filter out other noises, and told us he just discovered also how all other mics can be muted through zoom software of one computer or ipad. 

Brian, uses in his club a small camera that he carries around, to show those in place, and to go farther or nearer the speaker. Others, use just an IPhone, I have yet to visit them. 

A bus can get us late, a web can crash, a computer can use sound for other things, problems can happen, but usually Zoom takes us back where we were. GoToMeeting, less, and some other softwares used, do not let to hear well each other. But with time, we learn how to do it better. I have yet to experience how it feels to be inside the room, as for the moment I arrive to each meeting from my living room. 

I am member of three 100% Online clubs, and visit many others, some very often even. Member, for the moment of three Remote access clubs (all already in Pathways), and one ground "brick and mortar" club near where I live. Too many! I know. It happened, one by one. In April, I will have to make difficult decisions. It will not be easy.

Yaquina Toastmasters VP PR, Lauralee, conquered us through her blog first. Then, going to their meeting, by their laughter and joy attracted many of us to their club. And when they realized, the sound did not work well at some time, decided to change location they meet. Wanted to be able to welcome us the best possible way. 

TMI calls the hybrid clubs "Virtual" even when in we meet in real time and interactive. Both kind of Toastmaster clubs, permit me, who can not walk easy and do not go out often, to feel connected, to meet a lot of wonderful and different people! 

Become a club coach to a club near Vancouver, sponsor a global trainers club that chartered now, mentor someone teaching in Mexico and someone other from New Zealand. Show my Base Camp to Pathways Guides in Australia in November and those from Norway and Germany in January. All from home!

In London, at the club I joined in January 2009, I am Secretary, so I will be one of the Base Camp managers from March on and be able to help when needed. I have been also Ambassador for Pathways (REP they called it first) from the beginning, more then two years, and now as our District in near the launch, my calendar is filling with visits to many clubs, one by one. Exciting, challenging, and of course not easy. I'll have to walk more. Not only in my imagination to far away places, but in real. 

Find a way to approach each club members as they need, leave some positive impression. I found some stories that I could tell, stories linger, I believe strongly in personal stories. More about the stories I remembered I could tell this night, in next posts.

18 Jan 2018

A small walk inside my Base Camp

Yesterday evening, I gave my Introduction of Mentoring speech (about how it was to be a Mentee or Protégée) at my Lewisham Speaker club, they loved it! Indeed, the only problem they found that I went over the time to finish it. 8 minutes instead 7:30 

As I learned, not to protest, it is only as we were going out I did tell: remember! I am DTM, do you know what it means? It means "Don't Time Me" : they laughed. 

This morning, I logged in to my TMI account then to the Base Camp to signal I finished my project, here are the two images. Yes, one has to login (and out) twice. 
And then to the Base camp - to one of the clubs I am member now.
After I logged in we find ourselves, you with me this time, inside the Base Camp.
I can access my path through the TILE or directly click on it under it. What I did.
I have now the Effective Coaching waiting, on Level 5 for two projects to finish, and the Dynamic Leadership, where I am again, a beginner. Each time I begin, I look with new eyes and learn something new. My Level 1 was finished, as you see here.
And now I am doing the projects and speeches from Level 2. As I understand better what they want to teach, it is easier to go through them and speak as expected. Of course, telling stories, my way.
Did I speak yesterday about the difference? Understanding Your Communication Style was waiting to Evaluate it. Introduction to Toastmasters to Activate (before I read it) and Understanding Your Leadership style to Launch again. I mixed them up, because for my club with many guests, I needed to speak about Mentoring, and the Leadership Style I will speak about this Sunday only. 

After I answered all "before and after" self Evaluation Questions, as I did deliver my story about being a Protégée, and was evaluated (remember : don't go over time, rest great) I received this letter from the BaseCamp@toastmasters.org (asking me to "evaluate them", the project I just finished)
Ok, I evaluated the project, that I found more and more useful indeed.
Now, my two from the 3 projects of Level 2 finished. I will begin to write (half written already) my story of my Leadership style. I logged out from the Base camp, logged out from TMI and begun reading my messages from Facebook.

Can all be ok in life? Never, alas. I received early this morning message with a complaint: "You did not change my title in the Easy-speak! do I have to spend my time?" Well, was I happy about it? She made me spend My time! I had to go and change her already done speech title, from last week, instead of her, the title, that no one but her will see anyway. I did, then put it behind me: positive thinking learned from Pathways.

Then I received another message that made my day! "Because you helped me I am first in my district to have gotten Level 1 pathways award! Thank you" Thank you, for taking time to tell it to me. I went away from my computer with a huge smile.

17 Jan 2018

What is the difference?

My level 1 was fast approved by the DTM Masters VPE so I am not at level 2. You see my screen: Launch? Activate? Evaluate?  What is the difference? you could ask. Indeed.

Launch, is present, letting you to read again a Project already downloaded for you. A project you have already "activated". Activate, is a Project you did not yet read and was not downloaded yet in your BaseCamp. And, when you finished a Project you are asked to Evaluate, it is for a Project you did complete, waiting for you to Evaluate it for the Toastmasters International, tell them what you think of it.

Level 1 - again? I got so addicted to level 1 that it is possible I will repeat it again, the same, not a new path (for the moment I do have enough). It does not have to be for getting new points! Any "old" project can be repeated as many times as we want. No one can ASK us to repeat a project, but we can do it ourselves. Better, or Different. Experiment, try, learn more by doing.


I got a new book, The Art of Creative Thinking, by Rod Judkins, professor at the Central St Martins Art college in London. Some of his advices, through many chapters (I am just at the beginning) but love it. 
"Be commited to self improvement. Express in different ways what you observe. " 
Find a place where I can make mistakes with freedom." 
Begin to do things in new ways, not like "it was always done". 
A beginner has a fresh perspective, for them nothing is "wrong" because they don(t know what is "right". Alas, "experts" see new methods as a threat to their expertise." Search for new ways of doing the same, search for an unusual way. Communicate your unique experience in different medium, different ways. Be creative. Persist discovering, going deeper, showing."
Do, try, experiment. Discover new ways of doing. Be Creative. Believe you ARE Creative! 

Here is my 5th Level 1 Certificate. I am still happy to having got it, even this time. But less then the first time. Less also because at some of my remote access clubs, they did not hear me well, so I am less sure of the impact of my stories.

I do need the audience!  

Thank you for coming and reading my posts! Now passed 31000 times: what a joy. And more of you leave me a comment, a personal comment nowadays. That means a lot for me.

16 Jan 2018

Every path is a different experience

A path is a path and a project is a project? True? No more then when you say, you entered the same river twice. The river changed and you changed even more. 

Yes, the first two Levels of each of 10 path are almost the same; only one project in Level 2 changes, from time to time. How we see them, but what we do them can be a very different experience. For me, each of the 5 level 1 that I traversed were!
I changed a lot from March last year and how I traversed my Paths changed also. 
Here are to different Badges I got from my pals along my way. In the summer last year, I got a badge from John Kendal: Collaborative. Last week, one from Graham Cairn: Inspirational. As in a blog post, the newest badge goes on the top of the oldest one. Collaborative, was I think when I helped John out and showed him how to finish a Project, a Level, as I was helped out before. Inspirational, must have been for a tale I told, or because I demonstrate that old folks can do and love it too. Of course, we inspire when passionate!

And here are my badges from the different paths and levels I traversed so far.

I finished a Level 4, in the right corner of the badge is a discrete 4 showing, "finished 4 times". It is in the first position, because I just finished the Effective Coaching 4th level last week. After it comes the Leadership Development Proficient, from end of December. Proficient meaning, I finished all it's five levels. This one was the shorter in time frame, in 5 and half month and the most enjoyable for me, will talk later and also in a different post even again about how a "path can be all for a goal and a theme, and traversed with a goal before you". 

Then comes the Dynamic Leadership that I have Activated (buy and begun), it's level 1 is not yet approved, when it will be, I will have a discrete 5 instead of 4 at the corner of Level 1. From March to now, I did achieve level 2, 3 and 4 also four times, and I do have two more "Proficient". Visionary Communication was my first Path finished, even if I am working still on some of its projects, repeating them, I love what I learned and also on my Vision: it does reach into the future. I also used it's projects later, at different levels to see beforehand when I needed. Closing us in only one Level works only for the first path. One can always take back a Completed Path, or even an Archived one. 

It is Base Camp that puts once you are "Proficient" and finished level 5 the path from the Active into the Completed folder, you can puts projects or even Path into Archived when you do not want to encumber the one you are currently working on.  

While Base Camp recognizes three of my paths finished, only two of them are in my Awards. The third waits for me to find it a good "home" club. Each club can declare only so many Awards for each of us a year, one of each Level I think.  

While I had a wonderful time - each time - at Level 1, (after I escaped from my first Icebreaker prison I could not break alone and thus found my first Pathways Mentor) and I found so many tales to tell and so many divers topics to research

At my first time on Level 2 I did struggle with its esoteric names "I am not inside a box!". I did not understand that being in many boxes is wonderful and still not like the special words the use for it, but as I have understood the concept and the conclusion, it did not bather me any more the next times. The impact of the different leadership styles I had and how they were used in different occasions of my life; or the mis-communication and how to speak so the others understand you. So many stories to tell! 

More difficult it was to tell about a Mentor helping me: till I begun Pathways, I did not think anyone - but my older friend - mentored me. Now, yes, I changed and now, I have tales as a "protégée" too.

I have been REP ambassador for more then 2 years, now Pathways Ambassador. And indeed, like this Toastmaster showed this slide, I am Walking The Walk, not only talking about it. 

Some path are more bumpy, perhaps I learned more even through it, and can tell cautionary tales about them, so they were valuable. Do not buy Printed Path! Others were in the joy of first discovery. Yet another, was an exercise of innovative thinking and collaborative walking along someone else to create together a great event and share our discoveries on the road. Each had its own Path, not the same, but we echoed each other's stories on the way and worked for the same goal. A creative way, to Pathways. 

I am sure, all of you will discover their way, will tell each other, will create new ways to use what is there now, as we will also have some new path and different projects coming : already in creation. 

15 Jan 2018

Tom Colling about Change and my feedback


This one is only an image to what will come as you read on: do not try to click on it.
This youTube screen showed me Tom on as he speaks at Road 2 DTM, Nebraska and my evaluation from London, near it a BaseCamp demo I've given at the same time!I 

With all this, plus a last speech yesterday, I did finish my Level1 as I gave my second version of my story at DTM Masters, Virginia, incorporating what it was suggested. They do offer to speak, 2 or 3 times a year only, as we are many, so I could not change to another month easy. As, my prepared evaluator did not remain, instead I got a feedback from someone who did not see me. But Graham, our wonderful TM of the meeting had heard me telling Breakfast in bed (that I published yesterday) the first time and told me I'll get a feedback from him. "You did incorporate in your great story what was suggested to you indeed".

The task that was still missing, from Feedback and Evaluation project was to give feedback, and I did it by Evaluating Tom Colling's wonderful speech about Change. Really happy to offer him a feedback for many reasons. Listening to Tom, I learned wonderful expression that I will borrow! I let you listen to him and discover them yourself.

This one is the video.
I've met Tom Colling as co-remote access member of another club, in Oregon, and we begun to chat after. He come to discover this blog, liked it, and finally, invited me to the Road2 DTM Omaha Club, from Nebraska where he is club coach

It was a pleasure, as I could really hear all of them very well and they me on the hotel's huge screen behind the lectern, and before the meeting, Tom went around and presented me all their present members one by one, through his mobile phone. but I could see them also while I spoke. The screen was behind the lectern so could even see myself, the audience filmed and the speaker when it was not me. Many interesting other speeches and feedback and table topics too. A very inspiring meeting!

Evaluating Tom's great persuasive speech: Change
From London UK to Road 2 DTM Omaha, Nebraska club

I did not ask them to let me evaluate: Tom Collins asked me to give feedback to his speech. As it happens, it was exactly what I had to do to finish my level 1 "Evaluation and Feedback". In plus, I learned a lot of great expressions from Tom. He is a great speaker and Club Coach.

So I finished yesterday, after my very busy weekend, yet another level 1, this time for the Dynamic Leadership. still to be approved by one Base Camp Manager. A lot in the weekend, my last 'quiet" one. For a while, it will slow down for sure, as I prepare for the club visits as Pathways launches in my district

Preparing and speaking in many clubs about the Pathways Education System launching to our District, will be a great task. My next six weeks very busy. In plus, I will be presenting at officer training too about it, in a different way. 

I am ready now to go to the divers Toastmasters clubs, as Ambassador, and tell them about Pathways, less afraid about "what I will say and how to learn it" now that I read a few times the text suggested by TMI for the Ambassadors and the Guides and looked at a few presentation done in other Regions. It is all about things I do know and in which I do believe. And interactivity with audience.

The only problem really will be : will my legs hold me? 

I did take care of my spirit soul and head but not enough of my body and left feet. Tomorrow, will see my physiotherapist as it was as far I could the appointment  but I did not do most of the movements he asked me. What I will tell him, how to get out of this? How can I expect him to help me if I do not do the movements I was told to do daily to improve?