31 Jan 2019

Toastmasters Navigator : NEW in January

I have already written about the "Pathways" new Navigator in a post, look it up.

Now it is called Toastmasters Navigator. I tried it out through my IPhone  at the beginning of this month, finishing today, I went all the way to Choose a Path, it works till after one chooses one. 

Today, I tried to look at its different features through my Macintosh. Toastmasters.org/the-navigator 

and here I am! 
Toastmasters Navigator

So much more! Each time I click on one option, it gives more choices. This time (again ?) I went to open the Pathways Learning Experience part that explains why and the choices. The paths with their specifics, required projects, and all the electives, then the levels.
We have to click on What are some of the projects included in Team Collaboration path? to see the list of required one first, then if we want the electives too. This way of showing gave me a glimpse on things to come. At same time.
These Elective Projects appear only when we click on the button "elective projects". Of course, these are same for all the paths in a the same level, and not specific to the Visionary Communication path.

Not easy to explain, there is so much interesting material in the new Toastmasters Navigator: go and discover it by yourself! It will be worth your time.

30 Jan 2019

Begin with one, two or maximum three?

This is sure a book all of us could read, even if not directly about comedy
After posting yesterday a few books I begun reading or read already, in other format, I looked up if I could find others.

Indeed, on Amazon, I found suddenly a lot, even new editions, even Kindle books on the subject of Comedy and Humour telling and writing. So much that suddenly, I felt overwhelmed. Exactly or more then when I got the Competent Communication manual together with Voice Variety, Body Language and even a third one. As much when someone gifted me the whole lot of Advanced Manuals, 35 years ago. Many of them, even if I took them with me as I moved, I never opened.

I fear, if or when the gates between Levels open, many will feel the same feeling. Too much! Too much at once.

Some old and seasoned and those liking to plan, perhaps will enjoy it, but I am not sure how many will read 36 projects of 20 pages each before planning their path.

Just finished in London a Committee meeting, the first we had through Zoom! One wisdom our President told us, about how to help New Members, is:  

Do NOT overload them with too much information. Tell them what is the "Next step". 

Or, at most the next three steps. Perhaps, at maximum, till they got there first role, assessment to take a path, and their Icebreaker, he said. And, of course, let us assign them a mentor who will help them with those first steps at the same time. 

I will add to it "show them, explain them" how to login and use, discover the NEW Toastmasters NAVIGATOR. Not enough members, old or new know yet about it. 

29 Jan 2019

Research preparing for the 11th path

From my kindle recently acquired or read
It does not happen often but when it does, it is really annoying! When I write a post, and prepare it "Save" is supposed to hold without publishing and even blogger is supposed to save me what I did write without me asking. I asked as I was writing through my iPad, and with one movement, which one? everything disappeared and I could not bring it back! Will I be able to reproduce all my great text? 

I am preparing Research and Present, Level 1 of my Strategic Relationship path, a project present in every level one of every path. I have decided to Research what to recommend, as good books to complement, and advices to follow, for the upcoming new, 11th path. I think it is called, Effective Humour? or similar. We will not be able to learn all from only 4 new Projects, and anyway, a skill, any skill has to be practiced. 

Yes, in 2011, years ago! I did read some comedy books, went to four or five long comedy workshops, and finally, toward the end of year went out alone in my firsts comedy clubs. Now about hundred clubs and gigs later, and only one where I "died" and was hued down, from all of them, I can look back. I learned what I wanted from the beginning "make laugh when I want and not just sometimes by chance", understand how I can do, cut out what does not work and add, slowly new bits to my set. 

At the time, I read some books, but even those I have, now I understand better, and some have new versions, others where written since then. 8 years seems so far now! I begun to research in Amazon the available books, downloaded free samples, eliminated some, did buy others. Here are in the front those I recommend, they do complement each other.

While each book has its own voice, exercises and advices, there is a common thread that goes through them. To give courage to laugh, an audience need perceive Stage Presence, Attitude, Playfulness from the Comedian, or Public Speaker or Pal. If it sees the least unease or fear, it will not laugh, fearing also to hurt. 

All Toastmasters are already ready, well, almost to have all that. We learn through our meetings, roles and speeches. Get courage to speak. Learn body language, more relaxed then at the beginning, as a playfulness with our voice. We get, even if with time, Stage Presence.

What is the book about Obstacles doing in all those kindle books? It has its place! An important place. It is not what happens, but how we look at what happens. In comedy, we learn to look in different ways, to play with our Attitude about a given Situation. Obstacle is problem, dealing with what comes our way. Comedy?
Pain + Truth = Comedy
is written in the Comedy Toolkit. Our Attitude is explained in the Get Started. Getting out the truth, that is not always a sunny one, a politically correct one, being playful about it. Finding our Comedian Eyes, to look at any given situation. And the playfulness can show us that we can look at different angles about what happened. Trying out different angles, also teach us to take ourselves less serious and take more risk. 

I did not read yet all the books but begun all and collected a dozen sayings from them, here just published two. Unless I will add a third to them. I am still on research. Not only now, after about 100 gigs I understand better what is written, but can look back at my own sets attitudes and results to see what went well. The best was that I was able to trick myself with small challenges, that I could win, to take the edge of the fear "will they laugh" and how many times, how long, how strong. With the resulting playfulness I could surprise the audience and demonstrate, not tell, what I want all the time "Never too old".

Here are a few other snippets from the different books. I'll have to come back about tools for humor and attitudes and "afterthoughts" even if best each chooses and tries out to read the books that are more for them at this moment. 

Of course, Seneca lived in old Greece, thousand year ago his voice come to us. And bellow, almost the same is said in modern voice, from the book about "use your obstacles". A life without hills and valleys is not a life, we all have big and small letdowns. Let us open up, dare to use them, tell them, play with them. Develop Comedian Eyes and train our Funny Bones, comedy muscles. As any creative knows, any craft takes time to learn, skill has to be practiced and taken one at a time. 

28 Jan 2019

We are together in London. Elizabeth wanted to pose us with my Distinguished Toastmaster plaque in the background. Well, on my green screen here we are.

Elizabeth lives in Hertfordshire, and me, as you know in London. She came to visit me yesterday.

She will begin to blog, too as she soon will arrive to her second path's 4th Level.

Her blog is Tales from Toastmaster Elizabeth

Soon after she was in Pathways, she begun enthusiast and did command herself a Pathways tee shirt.

One day, I will have one similar as I think it is really cute and strong. The one I have is gray and one can barely see Pathways name on it.

What is funny is that even if we live both in UK, we met through an online club from Philippines, named Emperor Online. We met there many times, and somehow felt that we lived far from each other.

Online, of course, we meet people from all over the world!

I was online, last week every day, and in every club bar one, I did have some role or even a speech. Last time it was yesterday, I got the Evaluation job I needed, to close my Feedback and Evaluation Project. This morning, I even read my evaluation!
In the email, it was written also "I never give 5 to anyone so they get reason to improve". I already asked the right to publish that speech, an Reflect on your journey, really well done.

Here we are again, "together" Friday, at the last Emperors meeting from MANILA, and the pictures we took together with "normal background" bellow.

We got to have a fast lunch together.

Got some pictures to celebrate.

Then, begun the work on blogging.

I explained how important is to blog regularly, and know to whom you address. Be authentic. She is authentic, now just have to find her audience and voice.

I am sure, it will be a blog worth visiting soon!

Also interesting, she found that she did already had a blog, but did not figure yet out, how to add gadgets, but most important, how to ask "New Post" : it is up right in the menu, and indeed not enough apparent.

Discussion always needed, time to figure out as a Detective, what is the real problem someone has to progress. Communication is the key.

27 Jan 2019

Alas, three paths at level 4 !

How did arrive to this? Three path at level 4! One at level 1...

Level 1 Strategic Relationship begun again, and me, waiting to Evaluate. I understand.

I finished the two speeches this week, the "any speech any style" and then with the feedback, had the occasion to give the second.

I offered, but did not get yet to evaluate, which is what I need to finish the Evaluation and Feedback project. 

I asked one of my old clubs, and hope they let me Evaluate later.

I am not yet sure, but I think I will Research the new possibilities of for club officers, or, eventually the new navigator, or also possible, what book on Humor should I speak about.

At the other end, I have not one but three path, all at level 4 ! One of them is normal, as at Motivational strategy I want to make all the electives, and that takes time. Already some finished. Also have to make "motivate others" with a team.
I not only wrote one more month in my blog, but had it evaluated and speak of it. I did create online meeting, and answered to Questions and Answers at a separate time, and yesterday, I Managed Difficult Audience. Opened and begun to read Public Relation Strategies, interesting, so I will not hurry with it. 

But somehow, I arrived even in the Team Collaboration path, at the same level 4. 

In this case, I just arrived, and did not "do" either the motivate others, a team I have to create, nor any of the elective projects.

As the Managing Difficult Audience is fun, and I did not do as well as I hoped, I think I will repeat that project, when I got the occasion. 

Some day, some club.

A place, where they are ready to organize the role play of interrupting me when needed.

The fourth path open, is my French Leadership Development, and somehow, I am also at level 4 for the moment. I hoped, I will have occasion to do it in French, at least, I can read it in that language. So here it is again, something to do, to decide.

I did lead my team, but did not get yet the evaluation. Or perhaps, not lead to a special meeting? I have to look it up again. 

There are many "leading your team" or similar in different paths, but all ask something else. 

At least, I did complete my elective project, as I see, and it is only in one path, MS that I want to do more then the minimum, the maximum of electives. 
With all that, I now feel, I have to finish some, or at least level 4 to arrive at level 5. At least to make "place" for the new upcoming path! Create special events! Panels at level 5, and finish this French path I hoped to do mostly in French. Many things are as I hope, not all and that is life.

26 Jan 2019

Managing Difficult Audience with Feedback

Difficult audience, same tee-shirt same blue background. I love that my hand and face and hair can be seen, and nothing else stands out. 

A year ago, I was told, blue on blue does not work, it does work, does what I want to do. The three or four interruptors where all fantastic! Difficult Audience is not only useful but also a fun project. Bellow are two different videos of the same event.
This is the "gallery view" all from Global Trainers Present on the screen

Here is the "screen view" in fact, a Speaker view
Same meeting and speech - and interruptions - different rendering. In this case, and many times, the Gallery view where we see the audience reaction is more interesting.

These are two ways you can record to zoom directly. When we record to our computer, we can change during the speech and the meeting different views many times, and we record, what WE see.

25 Jan 2019

Busy days, feeling better

Wednesday at Lewisham Speakers, at the end of the meeting, the president presented me festively my Distinguished Toastmasters plaque.

Then asked me to give a speech.

I should have been prepared, I was not. Told something, but was not as good as could have been. In my opinion, even if true, it sounded more like boasting. In plus, I was searching for one or two of the words. Next time, better.

Instead of taking home, I have given the plaque to our Area Director, who was visiting to offer it to me during the upcoming officer meeting. “Really, I can take it with me now?” She asked me. I did not atell, indeed, then I will not have to carry it.

It is not best picture, but the only one I have of that day and event.

Wednesday was Lewisham Speakers meeting. Thursday, we had a super Witty Storytellers Online Meeting, early morning, and at 2 pm meeting also online with a prospective protégée asking for help with her already advaned path.  Friday noon, I have a programmed speech, second after my evaluation. Till some time to write it down and polish, even if in my head it is already almost done.

24 Jan 2019

Humor path, for Chinese New Year!

It is true, the path will be coming, even if, for the time only in English. We got confirmation through a letter received to Singapore Toastmasters.

This was taken by me another year, in London's Chinese Quarter. At the same place, I also met a Flickr photographer, and we discovered, we were in one of the same group! "After 50 year old photographers"

I am not sure if it is "funny" or not, but it reminds me of the day and place. I am not sure, this year, my foot will let me go out. Or is it my courage? 

Any way, I am sold, I will have that path!

"Looking to create funny, engaging speeches? 
This Humor path offers strategies on writing humorous speeches, using effective timing and pacing, crafting strong openings and even how to cope when your jokes bomb. 

Currently available in English, the 11th path in the Pathways learning experience provides an in-depth study of humor and works the same as the other paths, with required projects and electives throughout five levels that increase in complexity."

That is how it will be released, very soooooon.

Perhaps, this will make me have too many paths at the same time, true, but I still want it. Wait for it. From now on, will dream it! 
Never two without three. So here is a third picture. 

23 Jan 2019

Posters for our clubs

When you start on a path, it is important to know where it leads, here are the answers.

The same story about the different paths and where they lead, that I already published, but I think better, more clearly explained where they lead. I would have put the yellow ones at the beginning and the red at the end, but it does tell the same story.

Of course, the Paths in Yellow are the one's we should choose as one of the first one's, then, well it depends where you want to go and what you need. 

And the D27 send me this big poster, that could be in big size in all clubs, and if not, in your own desktop as an image perhaps.
So much important information in it! And it is valid, as it is... till 5 February or around, this year, when the 11th path will come out to us. Of course, it will not change all the rest about the ten first paths.

I like to read a lot, and still think the Pathways Companion pdf by Mark Snow offers more, but not at one glance like this one's. And yes, I cut the first image of this post from the second, in order to be able to see it better. 

From the "yellow" path, I am still working on the Motivational Strategies, as I am going through all electives in there, the others I finished. From the red one's, finished Effective Coaching, not attracted personally to the two others. From blue, finished Dynamic Leadership, on different levels on the two others. 

Perhaps, this weekend, I will be able to do the Difficult Audience Project, to be seen. It is such a fun project! Being interrupted (more or less staged interruptions) and handling it "professionally", it can happen to all of us!

22 Jan 2019

Level 2, the first small differences

Someone asked me in a comment, when I described my favorite paths, Levels and Projects “but you said nothing about Level 2” good observation.

I never really liked it, even if I may understand that it is good to stop and reflect on what and how we do. For me, the Level 2 projects, identical in my first two paths, had too much flavor of High Education slang and buzzwords, not enough for normal people like me, and, in plus, tried to put us in a box, stereotype me. 

I was so relieved when in other path, one of the three Projects was replaced by something arriving in fact from the Level 3 Electives, and even for one of my path so far, by a Project I enjoyed about Time, that should be also included in all electives Level 3. 

Why no one of us would choose a path because what is different at level 2, nevertheless it is interesting to have this list, that was NOT compiled by me. We do share with each other, and you all can borrow from any of my posts, or save a post in pdf and share it freely.

21 Jan 2019

Mentor, good and not so good

Graham Cairns goes back all the way to Greeks where the word Mentor come to us. Told us this story in an online meeting at Global Trainers Online, 9 days ago.

And here is the video.
Graham send me the video of his speech Level 2 Project “Intro to Mentoring”

20 Jan 2019

Humor Path arriving soon

Every path has three to four specific Project. I wonder what can be in the new path that will be arriving, it seems the 5 February, for the Chinese New Year. 

I decided to study Humor, Comedy, Standup end 2010 and spend almost all my year 2011 for learning more. 

My first Comedy Workshop took 6 Sunday afternoons at the Comedy School, finishing with "graduation performance" before 120 at the Pirate Castle. With 9 boys beside me, who called themselves man, but misbehaved like adolescents, I did finally well, because I learned with Toastmasters 2 years by then and with Spark London Storytellers podium and audience presence. 

And read lots of books. Here are just a few of them. 
Judy Carter wrote the first Stand-up Comedy book, and later, I went to Las Vegas to her joint Standup comedy workshop held with Darren Lacroix. It was the gift I offered myself for stepping into my 80 year, at my 79 birthday. 

Be a Great Stand-up, decided me to go to Logan Murray workshop, in London, my second workshop, also 6 weeks 4 hours each time. I learned from him how to held a great workshop where all work together and to look around the world with Comedian's eyes. 

My third workshop, with a great toastmaster, David Jones, propelled me finally out towards 20 comedy performances, we promised him. Of course, after 20 I could not stop. Some others stopped after one or two, not enough. 6x4 hours.

I begun to learn about humor and standup when I was 76 year old, till then I was convinced I can not. Before, if people laughed, it was by chance mostly, after, it was a lot of work, writing writing, trying out in 77 plus comedy clubs. Succeeding to make them laugh a few times in 5 minutes, and sometimes 36 times toward the middle. Longer, stronger, towards the end. 
`Both the DTM plaque in 2013, and the 2012 Silver Comedy Best Newcomer 2012 winner gave me the same joy, for one of them I worked from 2009 January, four and half year, for the other, "only a year" but a very busy one. How can be that we are expected to learn a skill with a Project or three, and a few speeches? I am very curious, what the new path reserves us. 

Of course, I will buy it as soon as it comes out! Never too late to learn more.

19 Jan 2019

Matthew’s blog, umeryouknow.com a must

You need information about Pathways? Mentoring? How to go fast to your Path? What are the specific level 2 projects? What is the one most important thing to know? Go to umeryouknow.com of Matthew Kleinosky - my mentor from Toronto. Short, clear great advices, to be found with great titles and screens too. And so many different answers!

If you learn only one thing, is after you finished your project and speech, go back to your project Auto Assessment- After, and answer to ALL the questions! That is how to got to know each other, when he come from Toronto and showed me on my London computer how to do it.
Today, I went and read 3 from many pages, and was enchanted how clear and well his umeryouknow.com answers to very different questions posed about Pathways.

18 Jan 2019

Two images with having, perhaps even publishing again

This was already published, and then another toastmaster shown it “cleaner” nicer looking, but I think not enough of you had seen. Those are the four paths I recomend as First path.

17 Jan 2019

Team Collaboration 4 reached by both of us

Yesterday afternoon, I met through Zoom, a Polish Toastmaster, Base Camp Manager and preparing an Area QA Project, from the Team Collaboration's Level 4 Electives, to help his fellow officers to understand better and begin Pathways. 

This above is my Level 4 of Team Collaboration, still "virgin": I did not yet do any of its projects, but I did open and read the Motivating Others Required Project, yet again another small team to create, motivate and go through a common goal, a common project. 

From the Elective Projects, he choose "Questions and Answers" and will have 30 minutes (only!) to speak to his fellow officers about Pathways. I choose "Create a Social Media Presence". 
At least, this one I could do alone, all by myself! In plus, there are so much to learn, to do on "social media"!

Reflecting, I had many options. 

1) was to make better know my Blog, this one, and blow the horn in many places about it. Or adding better keywords to posts.

2) was to improve and care about the relatively new Pathways Storyswatch Facebook Page. 

3) Infusing new life to an old Facebook group, that I almost forgot, that we created in 2012 for our Storytelling Workshop. It is called Story Telling. 

Was it not that a Toastmaster posted a video in it, I would have forgotten it! I decided, for now to do this third option, for this project. Of course, so many uses and possibilities! 

Other difference, between us is the knowledge of the Tutorials and Resources inside Base Camp. Because the grey fantom like button, my Polish Toastmaster did not click on it, did not even know it existed, till I had seen him hovering then told him, he can find there answers to two of his different questions, topics about he wished to speak. Dare to click on the Grey : it is THE button!

When we dare, we discover a whole new world of Tutorials, Videos, Resources, Evaluation forms, Project description and so on. Understanding what is there is important, so we can use them when needed and suggest to others when they need it.
It is so rewarding helping someone else understand all that they can do and all that IS available!

And I hope, in some near future, that Fantom Button many do not dare to use will be replaced and we will be able to use the Name in the red background, just click on it. 

16 Jan 2019

New Tutorials with videos! New tools for Club Leaders

Yesterday, many new things discovered, yet spend the day to recuperate. My hand wound is healing, my leg soaked then massaged. I did not write a blog post! 

This is for yesterday, even if I write it now, I will put it as if it had been done a few hours before. Not only we have new Club Officer Tools, but even new Club Central Tutorials. 

Those new tutorial videos, are so similar to those found in the Base Camp Tutorials! Gifts we got, tutorials we got, in my opinion because the Pathways Education System begins to permeate all the other aspects of Toastmasters advices and help. 

There are new tools and they are new tutorials for all the Toastmasters who are club officers. I did not discovered or used yet all, just a few, and both me and my Toastmasters pal who is VPE where looking at it yesterday morning, excited. 

All those new (I think many are new) tools for club Administration to discover and use! Explained each of them by a sort video animation, demonstration with voice behind. I will have to go through them, one by one. Bellow, is a video moment frozen.

In fact, it does not say much in this one just how the hand moves, other window popped up before and that this video is almost at its end. From time to time we see all the screen, other times, like here it gets bigger so we can see details.

How are the new tutorials related to Pathways? Of course, one of the requirements towards Pathways DTM is a year in a Club's committee. 

As for now, I am in the committee of all the three clubs I am recently member of, in two of them even Base Camp Manager, as Secretary in one and President of the other club. In plus, with the new year's Officer Training, it is a good idea to discover all this material and show them to others.

15 Jan 2019

Let them Popups or not ?

There was a recent discussion on the Pathways Discussion Forum of Facebook, which has now near 8000 members.

Some new members come up with very interesting questions, others merely to object about some feature, or even only to pester about the new program.

I appreciate all when they are specific. I ressent most when they argue for “our aged members” not themselves.

We are never telling, nowadays at least or open “women can not...” or other stereotypes. Why it is not forbidden to tell something happens because age? Anyone can be afraid of learning new, depending what their parents told him or her when young.

Back to the popup.

 “One of my aged club members, does not want to disable the popup blocker” so not want web Pathways.” Here is a great image, popup out of a children’s book, they all love it! And then a comment, explaining that the fear of popups finished a decade ago. No more problem NOW.

My own experience is in the last 21 month I disabled the Popup Blockers, on all my devices, I did not have a problem with them. Sometimes when I change systems, I have to tell again my browser “yes, let them pop up”. I do tell.

The only popup that bothered me lately was a blister on my hand. I had to get special treatment when it did pop up, opened. I was looking how to look at it with comedian eyes, here it is.

When you search my blog for “popup” some different posts come up, - pop up - then when you search for “popups” ! Both are interesting, try. Indeed, this is not my first post on the subject or, incorporating the subject.

14 Jan 2019

Nik: "Your Communication Style?"

The first time I see also the words translated to letter, sentences ! 

remember, in speaker view from Global Training Online, 
but in the video it is in view where all are on, and Nik is seen smaller only
Still a really interesting to look at as it is. I really liked this speech and it's delivery
I am sure, you will too. See how important, the expression can be!

13 Jan 2019

Interview about my journey, a storytelling toastmaster

Answering to an interview to my District PR, I realized that all my journey lead to what I did for the Pathways DTM Project, the Pathways Story Swap.

When I have told a very personal story for Icebreaker, as Mystery Speaker in Croydon, and fall in love with the audience. Audience, who throughout the years did reciprocate. Not longtime after, I read an article in the Toastmasters Magazine "you can tell personal stories all through the Competent Communicator manual projects". So I did.

From Photography to Screen-dump also normal step
The only time I did not, Project 4, because I was intimidated, "how to speak with short sentences? short words?" I was asked after "what this was about?" Photography and meeting people, but I did not succeed, because I worried too much instead of going into a moment and telling a story.

As I got to Inspiration, nr 10, I opened a blog called CompetentCommunicator, stunned, that this name was not yet taken. That was my Nth blog, dedicated to Toastmasters, Comedy and Storytelling, with lots of examples. Mine's and others.
Nik found a way to connect with his son

At the same time, in 2010, I begun to tell stories with Spark London, first at Canal Café Theatre, then wherever they went, even in Edinburg a year, Manchester Town-hall another. From there, it was normal to create Storytelling workshop, first in my club, then my Area, later an Online club specialized in Storytelling. 

More and more, all my Pathways Projects also resulted in a story, a personal story. And normally, my Pathways DTM Project also was Pathways STORY Swap. 

Here are two pictures from the video I did not get yet, the wonderful story speech from Level 2, "your communication style" that again showed me how many different ways we can use, not only a path, but each Project. 

12 Jan 2019

My Relation to Humor, recorded

Witty Storytellers Online Humor Workshop, this come after all the others told us, one by one, their "relation" to Humor. I wanted, as always with this convince that anyone can learn, me learning comedy at 76 (I already told 77 then till I was 80) was prove that never too late. And also prove, that we do have to work to learn, understand and exercise. 

I also took it out to ask for written Evaluation, for it. I did have some, telling me "already heard" and asking me "you have not new material?" but most of those present, did hear it first time, and no, I do not really have for now "new material". This is a Gallery view recording, the advantage is one can see the reaction of the audience (called Gallery) in it. 

Disregard the few seconds mess at the beginning, where my desktop can be seen. This is a Re-recording of part of the longer initial recording. While initially it was done with Zoom, during the meeting, I recorded out from it only my part, with Replay Video Capture program. 

Today, I heard three interesting, good and very different Pathways Project Level 2 and Level 3 speeches online, and decided (and got permission) to show one of them which I found excellent. Waiting to get the initial recording, and sorry I did not recorded it in the first place. I hope, it will available tomorrow. "Your Communication Style" : communicating with the son.