28 Feb 2018

Icebreaker, in French: Brise de Glace

It is strange, and a bit sad even how fast we read through a text and easy do not realise all that it does say. We remember some, and forget some other suggestions.

A pal, asked me to find for her the French Pathways Ice Breaker. I learned, that French was introduced already in October, when Canada launched, so asked some clubs from Montreal. No answer.

I decided, it is worth to buy a French language Path: Dynamic Leadership and learn the "pathways language". This morning I read and copied to Page, some sentences from it, to look at them in parallel with the English equivalent. I was rewarded in my effort!

Discovered what I overlooked when I passed the English Icebreaker, 5 times already.
For example: it is written in both, as they are new (if they are new I would say) do not give notes (numbers) that could discourage the new Toastmaster. Just write in the observations near the different skills of page 2. 

"Le Bris de glace étant le premier projet qu'un membre effectue, il peut être bénéfique de ne choisir que la section des remarques et pas la notation numérique."

Because the “Ice Breaker” is the first project a member completes, you may choose to use only the notes section and not the numerical score.

And, if you are giving it the second or third time, remember what you wrote at the Pathways Assessment - choosing the path - and instead of the suggestion "why you become Toastmaster" speak about "what you want to accomplish now". In this path. Or any other dreams and goals you have so that those present knew you better.

"Quand vous avez effectué l'évaluation Pathways, nous vous avons demandé d'identifier vos objectifs de base pour la prise en parole en public et vos objectifs de leadership : la raison pour laquelle vous êtes venu à Toastmasters et les gains que vous espériez en retirer. Il peut être utile de repenser à cette expérience et de parler de certains de ces objectifs dans votre discours « Bris de glace ». in French.
When you took your Pathways Assessment, you were asked to identify your basic public speaking and leadership goals—the reason you came to Toastmasters and what you hoped to gain. It may be helpful to think back to that experience and share some of those goals in your “Ice Breaker” speech. 
And this comparison to learn how to say it in French:
Votre discours peut adopter une approche humoristique, informative ou tout autre style qui vous plaît.
Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other style that appeals to you.
As I read with attention in French, word by word and paragraph by paragraph, I got a new understanding for my next speech: I do want to give an Icebreaker in French! For the moment, I do not know where I will be able to do it, but I will find a way to go through a whole path in French! 
In fact, it is not a "must": one can speak in any language in a pathways speech and tell stories in clubs that understand it. 
Deeper and more attentive reading, also made me realize, it is proposed to finish with a personal anecdote. And, there is no "make a point" as I seemed to remember it. Just "make it personal" and learn to organize and, different proposed rehearsal methods. 
"Commencez par vous présenter. Dans le corps de votre discours, communiquez les informations que vous souhaiteriez que les autres membres connaissent sur vous. Concluez avec une anecdote amusante ou intéressante qui a trait à votre désir de devenir un meilleur orateur et un meilleur leader. 
Si vous avez déjà prononcé un discours bris de glace, concentrez-vous sur vos objectifs pour votre parcours actuel."
And this one, I did not read with enough attention either!
"Écoutez votre évaluateur, soyez courtois et ouvert aux commentaires. Remerciez votre évaluateur et prenez en compte tous les commentaires lorsque vous préparez votre prochain projet et votre prochain discours. Après la réunion, posez des questions à votre évaluateur pour clarifier tout élément que vous n'avez pas compris. Parlez à votre mentor pour obtenir des commentaires supplémentaires que vous pourrez utiliser dans des discours futurs"
Use the feedback given for your future speeches! Already there, even before the next one, specific to feedback..
All this realised, understood and now I will be able to explain it better, because... a pal needed a French Icebreaker!

27 Feb 2018

Pathways Ambassadors? Pathways Guides?

We, the Volunteer Pathways Ambassadors have been "there" and ready : 2 years now. 1500 of us and even when we did not know yet what to say, we begun spreading the word.
Before "launching" in each Region, we got more precise tasks for 6 month. I did not see, but indeed the sentence not copied here is "communicating with each club" ... at least...
Each gets 8 or more clubs. To visit in person, together with a Pathways Guide: to co-present the Educational program about which we know more now to all members. I went to 9 clubs so far. Points 3 and 5 above. We answered members questions : more questions will come after the "rollout".

Communicating with each club "at least once a month" up to three month after the rollout, in person or email or social media? 

I counted, if it was so, it would have been 6 X 10 = 60 visits! Take out 10 done, at least 40 more! Email does count, so I emailed from December at least once to each club. But it is not enough. What TMI means by "Social Media"? I found it out, yesterday: only then did I think to open the level 4 Project "Social Media Presence". Hurrah! Blog IS considered too! 

What are Pathways Guides for ? "Integral member of the Pathways team. First point of contact" supporting, after the Presentation Visit the VP Education from the clubs through online "virtual support session". Term of service six month.
For those six month, Pathways Guides suddenly seem "more important" then the Ambassadors and TMI does offer them very special treatment. In fact, in many districts, Ambassadors become Guides. In our district we work in team! In those six month, the Guide earns a "District role" and indeed a lot is asked from him or her.
Of course, the Ambassadors read also the Navigator (but the one online is so much better), and we got also the "Training Basics" manual. We Ambassadors, also have to read the Slide deck presentation in order to be able to present it. Guides follow up with VPEs to "ensure that they and members of their clubs are comfortable operating Pathways and Base Camp." 

Am I comfortable? What is the difference between Pathways and Base Camp operation? Interesting, that they are asked to select a path "as soon as Pathways launches" from Guides and not from the Ambassadors. Are we supposed we do it anyway? Of course!

I was told "it is the Guide who arranges the visit" by two guides with whom I worked : but when I read now with attention, it is only written in their tasks: "Coordinate with the Ambassador to conduct one visit at each assigned club". Is the rest said through the special webinars that TMI conducts with Guides only?

A lot is expected from the Guides in a short time: half a year! 

But they get special treatment. They arrive in our clubs we visited already through the last years, work hard for 6 month, then some of them will fade away. The best Guides will of course not abandon "their clubs" after the time finished. "I realized they still need me, they are my people!" told us one of those special Guides. Her six month run out, but they needed her more. And I know another Guide who offered instead 15 already 30 VSS !

I was confused what is the difference between Ambassador and Guide. Why in some Districts they work together and in others only the Guide goes out alone. "The Guide is more technically oriented" I heard or read somewhere. Is he? Really?

Above are the Resources the Ambassador gets, but not all yet! Why? I tried the Interactive Navigator, from here (I can have access to it through my Base camp) and it said "only for Guides enter your password" ! Confusing. Why? The Navigator is so much better then the printed material! 

I found from where come the pages Pathways Path and Core Competencies: the one my fellow Guide printed big size, offered to me and we showed at each Presentation. Here is the page for the path I Dynamic Leadership : I am now on Level 4. So happy, I did not wait for Pathways to launch in London !

Managing Change is not so easy! For no one. That is why I chose Visionary Communication path as first : all about change. But it seems to me now that this path is also about change. In plus, I understand now better the projects and their importance.

I am very enthusiastic and love Pathways but still do not understand, why those deciding what to show us and what not at some stage are not listening to their own Projects and involving all concerned without trying to hide one part or other. "Involve those concerned" is written in the Project I am studying now "Building Skills" required project in my current path the Dynamic Leadership that I enjoy more and more.

Perhaps, after reading all the material seen here, you understand better then me the difference between Ambassador and Guide ! The important being, that we both work together (when not the same person) to introduce the new program as smooth as possible.


26 Feb 2018

Level 4 of Dynamic Leadership : where I needed to be

Early on Saturday, with my story on Negotiating with a club VPE, I finished my Required Project in the Dynamic Leadership path. This Monday morning I woke up; my Level 3 completion having been approved.
Applause! 


But let us dwell on this for long. After finally my arduous negotiation was resolved, with everyone having gained from it. Us who negotiated; and the club itself. I could then give my speech about my negotiation.
Now, I could finally see my Level 4 Projects differently! I have access to them! 
As you can see, before they were there but no "Activate or Launch" on the right.
How different they look now! As you can see, quickly I Activated a few projects, and they are seen as Launch now. 

1. Managing Difficult Audiences, I will soon have as I present more and more Pathways.

2. Managing Online Meetings or Online Webinars, will also be needed soon. It is my choice which Project I will begin first: Facilitating a meeting with members interventions, or moderating a webinar as Facilitator with Presenters and Slide shows. I can do one, or try a second one that I have not tried yet. Most importantly, it is to care for the Agenda and Logistic, not be the main speaker or presenter. Or try both roles.

3. Question and Answer Session. I need this project too, and I already have the first one programmed. 

4. Building a Social Media Presence! That is what I needed now from March on as Pathways Ambassador and it is so well described in this project!

While only ONE of these electives is asked for at Level 4, I will do all four of them. I need the skills! 

As Ambassador I am asked to keep a Social Media presence for 3 month after launch and this pictures tells me what TMI means by it.
All this types are considered "social media" ! 
  • Collaborative Projects
  • Blogs and Microblogs
  • Content Communities
  • Social Network Sites
Not only the last one! For example, I could create a "miniblog" suited to my next task... while trying out different platforms which could help me to communicate. 

5. Manage Change Even more important, the Required Project of Dynamic Leadership is exactly what I need now. To read, to remember. I did have projects from the Visionary Communication about Change, but it is even better described in this Project. 

I read it fast this morning, so excited by all the others too, but what I retained most so far is to 'Involve those concerned to be part of the process, and communicate at each step'. So true, so important, so much to learn and do!

I am not sure how it happened but the level 4 of Dynamic Leadership arrived to me, or rather say, I arrived to it Exactly When I Needed it!

25 Feb 2018

My speech Evaluated: I was Test Speaker

Agnes evaluated me first today: what a great feedback! Then Krishn come: he got the first place with great specifics in his feedback about what he liked and what can I improve next. 

Then three others gave me their feedback: I learned something useful for all of them

Great feedbacks for my 6th path MS's Level 1 Project 2: Evaluation and Feedback. This was the first speech and next, I will have to add what I learned to my next speechWhat a great way to learn about Evaluation!

Not all knew about Pathways and I am sure Agnes not yet, she tried to guess what kind of speech mine was. Krishn, already in Pathways, understood, knew what I was trying to do and what he has to do. Listening very carefully while I spoke. Agnes also listened with all her being and ever reacted very strongly laughing, enjoying, participating while I spoke.


This project, Evaluation and Feedback, with it's three tasks, remains still one of my favorite Projects from all paths! We learn so much reading it, completing it's tasks. Let me repeat for those who would not know the task given for this project. 

A. Give a speech, any subject any style. Listen to its Evaluations. 
B. Incorporate the evaluation in your next speech. (Possible same)
B. Evaluate someone: now you learned how much a specific suggestion can help.

24 Feb 2018

You said "a team"?

While finishing 11 presentations, winter become spring In London
Finally, I finished 9 visits of clubs as Ambassador and 2 officer training presentations, all I will do for a while.

My legs did not get better but I did learn so much!

Of course, I learned about presenting the same material to different clubs: in very different ways. The members are so varied, from a club to other, their need not the same.

As Pathways Ambassador, I presented with a Pathways Guide. 

In fact, I did have three different. One begun very early. We went out twice together. One time to a full room and second time they were few, but very interested! Even the guest one of them got interested to join. So in all, we did a good job. The two others, we went out many times and were together also in Officer Training, learning a lot from each other, and perhaps a lot more about what IS a team. How a team can work together.  

What an Ambassador has to say? TMI gives each of us about 15 pages of material with slides. With time, depending how much time we were given, and who were in attendance, veteran toastmasters or more guests then members, we learned how to adopt it. Depending on place, we also learned when one of us spoke mostly or the other. I could say, I learned about team work even more then different presentations! 

With time we tuned to each other and worked better and better in our team!

23 Feb 2018

Taste your first Project, Break the Ice!

I hope, all of you reading this blog, have already "done" it: Tasted the Break the Ice offered by Toastmasters.org on the bottom (almost the bottom) of their Pathways/more page. It is almost the "real" first Project, named (or misnamed as it is at the beginning of all Paths not only the first) "Icebreaker". 

It is available already to all of us, and it is the first "must" project in every paths. 



Pathways Icebreaker is "more": it takes a new member by the hand, explains navigation, contains video, gives also to all of us a taste how much info you will get each time we will begin a new project. A lot of advices and not only for new toastmasters, but interesting to read, experiment and think for veteran toastmasters too. 

Take from it the advices you like. Ponder, think, reflect of the others.

I will never look in a mirror when I rehearse! And I write down my speech, only after is rehearsed in my head and eventually even recorded. To make the difference between a written story and a told story: not the same.

Great advices about how to balance the "learned" embedded beginning, and the more flexible, rehearsed by parts middle, to remain authentic! 

Deliver it in a club meeting, ask to be evaluated with the Pathways Evaluation sheet given to your Evaluator, before the meeting, and as usual, asking for what to look specifically. In plus, this is the only speech that "counts" even if the Pathways did not arrive to you yet. When it will, you can make it "count" it and not have to deliver it again.

Hint: you do not have to login to try it out. Prospective members can also arrive there and 'taste it'. Did you? I hope none of you reading my blog posts will answer "not yet" : Here a direct Link again.

21 Feb 2018

Paths leading to same place in different ways.

Of course, as some say, and some days, even I recognize it, the TMI questions to choose a path often lead to one that is what you need. Even, when you do not believe it at first.

As many will have to choose soon, I revisited the Path studying their similarity and what makes the difference. Once we got our free path, or our two free paths, we do live with them a long time, so why not put all at our side and study and think?
On left Required projects on right all those from projects you can choose. Plus one of my certificates.
I divided the 10 paths in three categories : depending the Required Project they lead.

3 finish with High Performance Leadership not so different the one existing now.
  • Effective coaching (Reaching Consensus ; Coach three times)
  • Innovative Planning (Proposal; Manage Projects)
  • Persuasive Influence (Conflict resolution; Leading in Difficult condition)
3 finish with a project needing 6 month Leading a Team 
  • Dynamic Leadership (Negotiate, Manage Change)
  • Team Collaboration (Learn to Collaborate, Motivate others)
  • Strategic Relationship (Networking, Public Relationship)
4 only have very different Required Projects at Level 5 
  • Presentation Mastery, A longer presentation (Persuasive speech, Difficult Audience) 
  • Visionary Communication, Develop your Vision (Plan Change, Announce Change)
  • Leadership Development, Create a successful event (Create events with a Team)
  • Motivational Strategy, Team Building through an event (Emotional Intelligence, Motivate)
The titles of all projects I wrote above are not word by word, but that is what they ask from us. In parentheses are the 2 Required projects specific for the path (L3, L4). In the PDF called Paths and Projects a few paragraphs of description can be found of each Project, Elective or Required, Specific to a path or Same for all. 

As you see, even those finishing the same way, arrive there through different projects.

If I knew, if I have looked better, I would not have taken Effective Coaching, even if by now, I did succeed to finish my HPL project. Still two projects to go to leave the path after already 11 month.

I took Dynamic Leadership, attracted by the Negotiate and manage change, and even if it will take long time, I am happy to live with it, and perhaps, soon, lead a team for months. I am now studying about Negotiation ways, more to learn, when I thought I knew all.

And yes, I do have the other four, finished the first three paths and just begun the Motivational Strategy. Through all the path I finished or just begun, I learned a lot, and added a lot of "me" in them. Discovered also after a while, those I choose from title, where not the bests for me. Also discovered, that after a while, I could use all I learned from them! 

Better look well where they lead! You can personalize your path later .  

19 Feb 2018

Books discovered, Pathways better understood

Moderating panels discovered a few month ago: I recommended it recently. It was written by a blog writer, from there it's name. It is for everyone to understand deeper "Moderating Panels". And yes, as the Project suggests to us, we should also be panelist, we learn by moderating and also being in one moderated by someone else.
More then Blended Learning is the main book I study now. Slowly. So much to absorb! It all begun with asking myself, again, the question: what is "Instructional Designer" ? What they do? What is their task? 

What is Learning management system? LMS from which Pathways inherited a lot?

First, I read some articles and looked at some pictures, downloaded the free sample of beginning of many books on the subject. Designing a system for learning for instruction. How, what? 

There is a lot about how we learn, how different people of different knowledge absorbs and learn best. We are so different! It is not an easy job!

Even if nowadays so many different medias are available! Perhaps, even because of all those media one can use, "blend together" to design the best experience with most success for the learners and the organization who asked for it. 

What I understood it was a huge undertaking, changing our educational system. Got a deeper respect for those who created and and those who still have the task to improve it, after a while. It is said, as with learning, it is a cycle of trial and error and adjusting to improve it after a while. It is not something carved in a stone once for all.

All parts that have to come together! 

Chapter by chapter, the More then Blended Kindle book analyses the Learners, Learning styles, Knowledge levels, Available Medias, and sometimes, goes as far as Socrate, to remind us that Learning Methods go far in the history. 
One by one the Learners, the Learning and the Logistic are analyzed. Who we want to be taught? What skill or knowledge they need to acquire? What medias, and yes also money are available? Indeed, then the Social Context. Will be the learning Alone? One-by-one? In a group? Or, all those combined? How it will be delivered at any time?  Strategy and communication mode, and who can deliver, who can give feedback? So much to be analyzed even before proposing a solution!
  • Preparation: prepare the learners before the learning takes place. Some need short other long so their confidence "I can do it!" grows. 
  • Input: is the material we learn, and the interaction with those who teach or with the material. 
  • Application, is the practice needed to acquire the skill, with usually a cycle from Input ->Application -> Input -> Application.  And between them to reflect of what worked and what did not work. Improving our skills. 
  • Follow-up, is improving the skill and knowledge, using also research, google, books, internet and yes! groups of peers where we can discuss together. 

Why does it look as a juke-box? One of chapters speak about Video games theory and how it can be adapted to the creation of the learning systems. One example was to build, mostly for beginner learners in LEVELS of Increasing Difficulty, isolated from each other. 

The book explains why the levels has to be isolated. It is a challenge but also having to learn only so much, increases the confidence of the beginner. "I can do this!" Of course, the experts resent it. "I want to see the whole picture." So many difficult choices to make while deciding which way to go, specially when addressing a wider audience of learners!

So much more to say about designing a learning system. For sure, it goes far from the "small details" of user interface! Of course, with time, those have also to be addressed.

At level 1 we learn the fundamentals. And one of the Projects is Research and Apply. The Veterans can go each time farther in the Research of each Project, as often is suggested. The new one could mostly go out to find a subject for a speech (as if there were not so many around us day by day) and most important, learn different means of finding when needed.

 I found this book, and yesterday, I tumbled on the third one: Getting to Yes with yourself, and from it, even if I am yet at its beginning only, I found echos from projects I passed through, found useful but did not understand enough. Now I realize, with each project, I have to stay longer, each skill takes so much more time to become "unconscious", if ever. "Practice every day, at least a few minutes" writes William Ury. It has to be trained like a muscle. 

Learn to listen. 

First, most difficult, learn to listen to yourself! Learn to go to "the balcony" to see from afar, the bigger picture, learn to go deeper "what you really want" and learn to be "in the moment". I did not journal beyond the minimum two weeks asked, even so I learned to "think positive" and to study my reactions. I should begin again, written or not.

Second, listen really what the other needs, not only what says. Suddenly, the Active Listening of Level 2 which I took almost like a joke, begun to make more sense to me. 

So much went to creating our new Pathways Education System. Day by day I realize how much and why it took so much time. How much more I can learn from it.

18 Feb 2018

Competence : learning stages

First, we do not even realize a skill is difficult. "I could do it too!" we think. That stage is called "unconscious incompetence". We try it, then we realise: not so easy as we believed!

Second stage arrive: "will I ever be able to do it?" Called Conscious Incompetence in the Learning Systems Manuals and articles. At that stage we need to be given confidence that yes, with practice and thinking about how and what we do, skills can be learned.

Third stage we begin to realize: "Yes! I arrived! I can do it!" Conscious Competence arrived, but we still have to think while doing it, practice and think, practice and think. 

Finally, arrives a stage when we do without needing to think about it, freed to think or do something else at the same time. The stages are not so clear and net and, we arrive all the time to a new stage a new level when we add something new to what we knew.

Till we did not arrive to the top of one pair of stairs, we can not see what is after the next corner. The horizon opens up, once we are up, only then we can see farther ahead.

The path and the levels were carefully designed by educational experts, knowing this and a lot more. I am reading a book that explains so much about the "why" the path, levels and projects are as we have them now. With time, I will try to describe them here.

17 Feb 2018

Is a path a manual? - I was asked

An experienced toastmaster, VPE now, President when Chartering years ago the club asked me after our presentation: "what IS a Path? Is it a manual?"

We did tell about having different 10 paths and each containing 5 different levels. But how to explain to him what IS a path? 

1. I could SHOW him one path with its levels. Here level 5 overview. 
No, it is not explaining what he wants to understand. 

Even if you can see the "Levels" and the "Required" project here I just did complete when I have taken the picture, and the name "Elective Projects" that were still waiting. And the last project, Reflect of your Path that was not yet available - could not activate it till all others done. And the slide we presented, about Levels does not tell the story either.
Yes, we showed this one but did not explain to him either. But perhaps, it gets me explaining a step farther. But first, let us explain the words used in this. 

Required projects. It seems explain by itself. In fact, this night reflecting on them I found that they are two different kind of REQUIRED projects. 

a) Required projects that are the SAME for all the path: Level 1, Mentoring at level 2 and Reflecting on your path on level 5. And I will add Level 2 projects to it also.

b) Required projects, SPECIFIC to the Path. Those are the ones after which we should choose which path to begin. (Here link to the post showing specifics of each)

How many Specific Required Project are in a Path? In all 4. 

Two really specific: one in Level 3 and one in Level 4. 
There is also a third specific and required project at Level 5 but it is shared with some other path having the same required: HPL in three path and Leading in any situation in 2 path. For the other 5 path, the Level 5 Required project is very important : I chose now looking at those. Do I want to Create a specific Event? Do I want to Speak as a Pro? so on.

But once, you have selected a path, the Required "ingredients" could go into a Manual. If of course, you disregard Videos, Quiz, Images, all the "plus" material that is specific to "on the web" and can be experienced only in the Base Camp.

What is an ELECTIVE project? 

Elective means : we choose. (Unless, you elected to get the printed material, then it is was your last choice. All is decided for you from then on. And all Electives same in all path too. Plus, no access to web to see the other resources.)

What do we chose? How many projects we chose? One minimum for Level 4 and one minimum for Level 5, and a minimum of 2 for Level 3. At first, we do not see the "minimum" : it means if we want, we could do more projects! We can learn more, even if we do not get more points for it and we can not transfer them to the next path. But we can Activate : read and see all the videos and pages of a project. All 13 - and more to come - for the Level 3 for example. 

We can Activate (the first time), Launch (see again) and then Save (using strangely PRINT my Project) on our computer or device, and yes, print if we want it. Or just go through it to decide, which 2 (or more) we want to work on THIS time. Here, some of the 13.
here just some of the Level 3 elective projects : all yummy! "Active: I did not yet opened them in this path
The four (minimum) elective projects (plus of course the speech we after them) do Personalize our Path and make it unique to US. Add to that the time we take, the research we do in plus, the way we approach them. Because this 4 elective projects, if we were to "print a manual" (forgetting that online is a richer experience), each of us had to Print a different one! Adding as Projects (or chapters) our own choices to the others. 

As in our life, no path is the same, so even if we chose the same path our way of passing through them is not the same. Wonderful! 

This are the Level 5 electives in a path where Lessons Learned, HPL, Prepare to Speak Professionally are not a Required project: you can still choose those if you want in plus. Instead of Required Projects they are offered as Electives for those who love them. I do love Moderating a Panel, and prefer it to the other choices, but once, I also did try also Lessons Learned as "elective". And others, when Required. 

After all this, I am not sure. Did I succeeded explaining to someone not yet on Base Camp and not having experienced it, "what is a path" ? But for sure, it is NOT a manual! 

Online experience is a lot richer, less intimidating also because you can see projects from the Level you are, not the one's you are yet ahead of you. As much as at the beginning I did regret that decision of the TMI education team, I understand it now. 

Many looking at a 350 pages manual would run! "I have no time for it now" Plus, how could we chose when not yet... there? Which chapters to add inside here and there? And even if there is 20 to 26 pages for each of 14 Projects in each Path, to achieve the task given can take a very different time. Higher level  we go, more time required. 

It is not the same to learn the Fundamentals, and yes, same in each path: but as we progress we do understand them better, different, more specific to us and our needs, build Skills, or demonstrate Expertise. 

Going from "I thought it was easy" -> "Ah, I have to learn that skill" -> "Practice, think about it, practice again" -> "Now I can do it even without thinking about it while performing it". It will take in fact more then one path to achieve true expertise. 

I discovered, there are so many skills I have yet to learn! 

16 Feb 2018

Svetlana comes with me on the glass bridge

Svetlana stands up even when we meet online and speaks with all her body: it works!
She was the first president of Witty Storytellers Online and now formed Witty Birds, online club. We are having fun even before the speech begins!

She uses her iphone to connect online to the zoom platform we use - from Uzbekistan. Noon there, only six and thirteen in the morning in London, where we 

Dragging her by hand through the glass bridge. There is a door with a switch now. From 4,30 minute she tells about her new club, and the HPL project to build it up, rehearsing the story she will tell at Witty Birds. Svetlana is also a great poems lover. 

One of the Toastmasters really not happy when she heard at first about Pathways, she is now convinced and begun convincing others about its importance. We need to create Pathways Champions in each club and also that go out to other clubs to tell about it.

15 Feb 2018

Listen to Paul White at Pathways Panel while he shows his graphics


Paul is Chief Pathways Ambassador in the Pilot District 27, where I went to become Remote Access a member of the Great Communicators club as soon as they begun, end March last year. We connected with Paul through personal storytelling. Beside being a wonderful storyteller, and a great presenter, he also designs great graphics that tell the story in themselves. I already published the images with text and it is the second most read post in this blog. 

Here is Paul talking about the differences in a Panel beginning November, before launch in New Zealand. It was an hour long Panel, my first on Pathways, that I shortened to get from it only Paul intervention and added his answer to my question. 
I am slowly putting together, shorter videos, taken from longer meetings: more easy to listen and more penetrating also. Enjoy all this minutes! 

14 Feb 2018

7 clubs visited, 10 Pathways Presentations delivered

Behind me, 7 from my 10 clubs visits and presentations delivered. I learned again, the diversity of our clubs and the enthusiasm of members, some just joining others long timers needing a new elan that Pathways will give them. Three more to go next week.

I have given 10 presentations in fact. One - the very first was a Rehearsal presentation I gave to one of my clubs and got great advice on how to try to put all in three points I tell before and after, so it is easier to absorb. And two others Officer Training Events.
1. What stays the same - 2. What changes- 3. What we can do now
It worked well, each time all was left to me. Ex. in the officer training event. 
We have many slides to show, this one is one I like a lot as we go from club to club.
One of my preferred slides / Of course showing it when possible too is even better
When delivering the presentation that was send to Guides, with time, instead of my part, 15 pages (then guide's 15), after passed through feeling overwhelmed  I finally understood and summarized them. As I usually learn, all the way back to my university days, shorter and shorter summaries  Now, it is just on a page of a small carton that I even do not have to hold any more in my hand. 

As with anything, the beginning was the hardest, plus it was the club farthest away. With 2 h go and late at night 2 h come home. I was lucky to had a wonderful woman with me, while changing trains and even got to see me home before returning to her daughter. In plus, with time, she warmed up more and more to the Pathways educational program. 

In our district, we all go out to visit clubs in pairs. One Guide and one Ambassador. Two voices in duo for each club. Not all the clubs get the same duo! I am going out with three different "other". I feel that did teach me, perhaps even them a lot in itself. Learned how different team work, how others think, prepare each in different ways, how we can distribute who does what. 

I am not sure to be the easiest to work with, but as for me, I do appreciate all three of them. As the time goes and they have now delivered their Pathways Icebreaker, I have seen their enthusiasm growing. Their appreciation of me, having already three path behind me grew too. At least it seemed to me.

I explain, in the clubs :"do not count to finish as fast as I did, I am now a full time pathways addict and had been for almost a year." Beside, I am not in one or two clubs: I am member in seven for now. Of course, I do not add to it that I do deliver to three more too where I am club coach or club visitor and helper. 
Real path and levels with some of the electives: Launch I opened already and some delivered
How did it come to be member of so many clubs? Three 100% online, I will have to remain as well as my land based one I have been since 2009. But the others... too much time. Even if being member of so many let me speak a lot and advance fast.

Pathways did Revitalize - me these 11 month, not only Toastmasters Educational Program. And as I am delivering, visiting, pairing, and need of future plans, I understand better and better all that the paths and projects I passed by tried to teach me.

Waiting for next week to finish the last three club visits, then to plan - yes! now I begin to understand the need to plan, workshops, meetings, zooming, and revisits for the next month to come. See the pathways unfold after it does arrive to us, first in my land district, then to my online clubs, two month later. 

13 Feb 2018

Zoom for Pathways Virtual Support Sessions


Most Pathways Guides, and me also as Pathways Ambassador and Chief Pathways Guide, use Zoom Platform to connect online with others. 

So many features! so much to learn. Yesterday, I had my first Zoom 101 combined a little with a Pathways demo sharing screen and taking them into my paths and levels. Then we realized, all I had on my screen they did not on theirs. Indeed, some features have to be "allowed" first either in the General or the Advanced Features.

Even Change my Video Background is not there before you allow it, nor is File Transfer I needed later yesterday to send back a completed Evaluation Form. And, when I wanted to demonstrate Side-by-side mode during screen share, It was not available to me.

I forgot to 'allow' it in my settings. This two pictures I got from Zoom when I asked help, how to use the Side by Side mode. They answered very fast and clear!


Yesterday, we had 20 minutes together, speaking of different ways one can see and record a zoom meeting with two Pathways Guides from my District and me. Different experiences, and their Zoom configured in different ways.

We had fun, we learned together. I learned too. There are many levels of zoom to explain. I got to share my screen also and show them some of my levels inside my base camp. Also learned, again, how important is to add some humour and auto depreciation to lighten the mood. Here is the video result of the first 101 Zoom.


Another Zoom feature I discovered recently is Sharing files through Chat during a zoom session. But that also has to be allowed! Later yesterday, during my third meeting of the day, I discovered I could not send back an Evaluation Form through the Chat! Why?

It is this morning that I found my own image not yet shown in the blog, waiting, where is was shown that this feature also has to be enabled in the Settings.
Only then can I send a file while I zoom "inside the zoom". Meanwhile, I opened my mail and send it through mail after my Evaluation, the form back. It worked also, even if it was not so "elegant" and the speaker was happy he got my feedback so fast.

As versatile as it is Zoom, or perhaps because so much can be done with it, there is always more to learn and understand! So there will be Zoom 102 and Zoom 103 and even later, Zoom 201 and Zoom 202! Most important: to do it in a relaxed environment!

This was noon, yesterday. At 5 pm we went to a small corporate toastmasters club, and there also once they begun laughing and me telling some personal stories, the mood changed. Towards the end, I asked if anyone could help me to create a Facebook group and yes! That got a Toastmaster - or was she a future toastmaster? Very excited and happy. Asking to contribute and help, beside needing it of course, is a great mean to involve! Every one of us likes to feel needed.

12 Feb 2018

Popular Posts, Places and Paths

Who reads this blog and why? 

I started it 9 month ago as a Pathways project, and from 8 posts now are more then 200, as I did since then write day by day. 
The most popular post that each time a new Region launches Pathways is read again and again - and perhaps even between just before choosing a new path, is HOW to choose a path? 

What is different between Pathways and the program many used these last years, is the third most read. In a few images explains what we try to convey in an hour when visiting club after club. Of course, the "most read" varies month after month. 

Who reads them from where? That varies too, but here is when I look at 9 month.
I am still dreaming of the locations I have never visited. I have lived in US, and I live in UK now. Visited Canada, Germany and Ireland. But India, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand have only one things in common for me: I have in each of them Online Toastmasters friends. The only one I did not got till I begun Pathways were pals from Singapore! Now I do have them too and reading the blog and accomplishments of one of them. Other countries are also in a longer list, or in the monthly lists. 

This morning I updated a little, adding some of my latest experience the post Before you chose a path, different from How to chose a path. How so? In how to chose I concentrate in all the different texts and PDF available to you to study all the paths. In the "Before you choose" I do concentrate just at the Projects that really make the difference between path and path. They are called REQUIRED projects, I would say, only THREE required project are different from path to path, and make each SPECIFIC. 

Of course, other projects in level 1 (all same) and level 2 (almost same) are also Required but as they do not differ from each other they are not important to the choice we make. In plus, I found out that between those 3 that make the difference, in three paths there is one similar to each, and in 2 path there is another one. 

What makes a Path really different is also what you choose once you are in between all the wonderful Elective Projects available from Level 3 to Level 5. But there is more! 

Once I went to the discovery of my first path, project by project, I had all those available to me to look into, open and read, save or print, even after I finished them. 
That was the second draft, at third we took out most of the text from the flyer added it separately.

At my third path, I got a suggestion from Paul that worked wonderfully for both of us, also on different path, him and me: we did choose a THEME! Go through all your path, all your speeches with a GOAL in mind. For us that time it was TELLING PERSONAL STORIES and their importance. At the end, we organized together a Storytelling Event between many Storytelling clubs, onsite and online meeting together! 

I discovered, or we discovered together, that we can dedicated a path to whatever we want to make from it! It took almost five month, and we finished the project and our paths too. Of course, on the way we did learn also specific skills, achieved on the path the specific prescribed goal also, but had so much more joy!