Motivational Strategies

This path helps you build your skills as a powerful and effective communicator. The projects focus on learning strategies for building connections with the people around you, understanding motivation and successfully leading small groups to accomplish tasks. This path culminates in a comprehensive team-building project that brings all of your skills together—including public speaking.

Level One

This foundational project is designed to introduce you to your club and the skills you need to begin your Toastmasters journey.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech.

Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other style that appeals to you.

This project includes:

■  A 4- to 6-minute speech

This project addresses the skills needed to give and receive feedback. You will learn about giving, receiving and applying feedback.

Purpose: This project comprises three assignments – the delivery of two speeches and an evaluation. The purpose of this project is to present a speech on any topic, receive feedback, and apply the feedback to the second speech.

Overview: Choose any topic for your first 5- to 7-minute speech. After your speech, carefully review your feedback. At a different club meeting, present a second 5- to 7-minute speech in which you incorporate feedback from your first speech. You may choose to present the same speech again or a new speech. Your second speech should reflect some or all of the feedback from your first speech. To complete this project, serve as an evaluator at a club meeting and deliver constructive feedback about another member’s presentation.

This project includes:
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech
■  Another 5 – 7 minute speech that incorporates feedback from the first speech
■  Serving as a speech evaluator

This project addresses topic selection strategies, suggestions for research and methods for producing a wellorganized speech.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn or review basic research methods and present a well-organized, well-researched speech on any topic.

Overview: Select a topic that you are not already familiar with or that you wish to learn more about. Be sure your topic is narrow enough to be an effective 5- to 7-minute speech. Research the topic and begin organizing the information, as described in this project. Practice your speech and continue to refine its organization. Present your speech at a club meeting.

This project includes:

■  Researching a topic
■  The Research Worksheet
■  The Speech Outline Worksheet
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level Two

This project focuses on recognizing your preferred communication style and understanding how your style impacts your interactions with others.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn about different communication styles and identify your primary style.

Overview: Complete the Discover Your Communication Style questionnaire to help you identify your style. Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting about your communication style and its impact on your professional and/or personal relationships. If you are uncomfortable discussing your communication style, you may speak about the communication styles you have encountered and how they impact you. Your speech should not be a report of the content of this project.

This project includes:
■  The Discover Your Communication Style questionnaire
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project covers the difference between hearing and listening, and steps for exploring the ways listening helps build strong, lasting connections.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to demonstrate your ability to listen to what others say.

Overview: At a club meeting, fulfill the role of Topicsmaster. As Topicsmaster, comment on each speaker’s Table Topics® speech to demonstrate your active listening skills. For example, you might say, “Thank you. That was a compelling opinion on the benefits of gardening. I understand you feel strongly that everyone needs to spend some time doing something they love.”

This project includes:
■  Serving as Topicsmaster at a club meeting

This project introduces the value of mentorship and the Toastmasters view of mentors and protégés.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to clearly define how Toastmasters envisions mentoring.

Overview: Write and present a 5- to 7-minute speech about a time when you were a protégé. Share the impact and importance of having a mentor. This speech is not a report on the content of this project.

Note: Every member in Toastmasters Pathways must complete this project.

This project includes:
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level Three (Understanding Emotional Intelligence + Two Electives)

This project addresses elements of emotional intelligence. It is designed to help you understand your own emotions and the emotions of others.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to cultivate an understanding of how your emotions impact your relationships. It is also designed to help you identify how others’ emotions impact your emotional state.

Overview: For a minimum of two weeks, keep a journal about your emotions and how they impact you and others. Discuss the impact of tracking your emotions in a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. (Note: You are not required to share the intimacies of your experience.) Finally, submit the signed Project Completion Form to your vice president education to indicate you completed your journal.

This project includes:
■  A journal you maintain for a minimum of two weeks
■  The Project Completion Form
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses storytelling techniques and descriptive skills to help make every speech relatable and interesting.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice using a story within a speech or giving a speech that is a story.

Overview: Choose an established story, a story about your life, or a fictional tale of your own creation. Deliver the 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting.

This project includes:
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project focuses on different audience types and how to address them effectively.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to connect with an unfamiliar audience.

Overview: Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that is unfamiliar to the majority of your audience. Because you deliver this speech in your Toastmasters club, you are familiar with the audience members’ preferences and personalities. Selecting a topic that is new or unfamiliar to your club members will allow you to practice adapting as you present. As you speak, monitor the audience’s reaction to your topic and adapt as necessary to maintain engagement.

This project includes:
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses effective methods for choosing the best visual aid for your presentation along with the creation and use of each type.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice selecting and using a variety of visual aids during a speech.

Overview: Choose a speech topic that lends itself well to using visual aids. Create at least one but no more than three visual aids to enhance your presentation. Deliver your 5- to 7-minute presentation at a club meeting.

This project includes:
■  Creating one to three visual aids
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses the skills needed to compose a speech for a social occasion including a toast, eulogy, an acceptance speech and a speech praising an individual or group.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice delivering social speeches in front of your club members.

Overview: Develop two different social speeches—each 3 to 4 minutes—and present them at two separate club meetings. You may choose any two types of social speeches that appeal to you or that you would like to practice.

This project includes:
■ The Social Speech Basics resource
■ Two 3- to 4-minute speeches

This project focuses on how to recognize body language used when speaking publicly and how to use gestures to enhance speech content.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to deliver a speech with awareness of your intentional and unintentional body language, as well as to learn, practice, and refine how you use nonverbal communication when delivering a speech.

Overview: Prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that lends itself to expression through your movement and gestures. Video record your presentation and get feedback from your mentor or another reviewer before speaking to your club. If you do not have access to a recording device, perform your speech in front of a mirror and make adjustments before your scheduled speech.

This project includes:
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses strategies for improving your personal interactions by understanding the impact of your attitudes and thoughts on daily interactions.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings, as well as the impact of your responses on others.

Overview: Keep a daily record of your moods and attitudes for a minimum of two weeks, noting when you feel positive or negative, your successes and efforts, and three things for which you are grateful. Record and evaluate any changes in your behavior or the behavior of those around you. At a club meeting, share some aspect of your experience. You may choose to schedule a 2-to 3-minute report or a 5-to 7-minute speech. After completing your speech, submit your signed Project Completion Form to your vice president education to indicate you completed the journal.

This project includes:
■  Recording your daily moods and attitudes for a minimum of two weeks
■  A 2- to 3-minute report or a 5- to 7-minute speech
■  The Project Completion Form

This project addresses how to present a speech in an enthusiastic and inspiring fashion to establish a strong rapport with your audience.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice writing and delivering a speech that inspires others.

Overview: Select a topic with the intent of inspiring your audience and prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech for your club.

This project includes:
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level Four (Motivate Others + One Elective)

This project focuses on how people are motivated. It is designed to help you build your leadership skills by effectively motivating team members.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to motivate team members through the completion of a project.

Overview: Build a team of three to four people to help you create and complete a project to benefit your club. Use the information in the project to develop motivational strategies for each team member. After the project, you may choose to ask team members and at least one club officer to complete a 360° evaluation to give you feedback on your communication and leadership. Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting about your experience. Your speech is not a report on the content of this project.

This project includes:
■  Building and motivating a team to complete a project that benefits your club
■  The Team-Building Activities resource
■  The 360° Evaluation resource
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

 

This project includes:
■  Building and leading a team to the completion of a project
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses how best to use different types of online communication. You will create and maintain an online profile to promote yourself or an organization.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your understanding of social media to enhance an established or new social media presence.

Overview: Use this project and your own research to build a new social media presence or enhance an existing presence. You may focus on a personal goal (such as connecting with old friends or promoting a blog) or on a professional goal (such as promoting a business or organization). Use the tools you identify as best for you and your purpose. After you achieve your goal, deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech to your club about your results, experience, and the benefits of social media. Submit the Project Completion Form to your vice president education to receive credit for completing the project.

Note: With the vice president public relation’s approval, you may choose to create a social media presence for your Toastmasters club.

This project includes:
■  Establishing or enhancing a social media presence
■  The Project Completion Form
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses the skills you need to develop a podcast, create interesting content and organize a cohesive program. You will learn how to record and upload it to the internet.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce you to the skills needed to organize and present a podcast.

Overview: Use this project and your own research to create a podcast. Record a minimum of 60 minutes of content. You are free to divide the episodes as you choose. Each separate episode must be at least 10 minutes, but may be longer if it fits your topic and style. After you record all content, play a 5- to 10-minute segment in your club. Introduce the segment in a 2- to 3-minute speech..

This project includes:
■  Recording 60 minutes of podcast content
■  A 2- to 3-minute introduction speech

This project addresses how to effectively conduct online meetings and webinars, prepare and organize necessary visual aids, and lead with confidence.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice facilitating an online meeting or leading a webinar.

Overview: Conduct a 20- to 25-minute online meeting with fellow Toastmasters or a 20- to 25-minute webinar with visual aids for fellow Toastmasters. You determine the topic of your meeting or webinar. Research and use software that best fits your needs and geographic area. Invite your evaluator to participate in the online meeting or webinar. If you complete your assignment with non-Toastmasters, you must receive approval from the vice president education and invite your evaluator to attend.

This project includes:
■  The Online Meeting Agenda resource
■  The Online Meeting Basics resource
■  Planning and conducting a 20- to 25-minute online meeting or webinar

This project focuses on skills needed to effectively manage a project, develop rapport with stakeholders and cultivate strong relationships with a team.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing a plan, building a team, and fulfilling the plan with the help of your team.

Overview: Form a team of three to four people and choose a project. Create a plan for your project and present the plan to your club in a 2- to 3-minute speech. Work with your team to complete your project. Present a 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience. This speech may be humorous, informational, or any type of speech that appeals to you. It should not be a report about the content of this project, but a reflection of your experience applying what you learned.

Note: When considering projects to complete, refer to future projects on your path. You may be able to use the assignment in this project to help you prepare for the completion of an upcoming project.

This project includes:
■  Building a team
■  Creating a project plan
■  The Project Plan resource
■  A 2- to 3-minute speech about your plan
■  Completing the plan with your team
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience

This project covers common behaviors of difficult audience members and how to address each behavior in a calm, effective and professional way.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to address audience challenges when you present outside of your Toastmasters club.

Overview: Prepare a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic of your choosing. You may write a new speech or use a speech you presented previously. You will be evaluated on the way you manage audience disruptions, not the content of your speech. Before your club meeting, send the Role Play Assignments resource to the Toastmaster and vice president education. As you present your speech, respond to different types of difficult audience members that disrupt you. The process of speaking and responding to audience members will take 12 to 15 minutes.

This project includes:
■  A role play assignment for club members
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project focuses on how to promote awareness of an organization, formulate a public relations strategy and use various public relations tactics.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to effectively use public relations strategies for any group or situation.

Overview: Create a public relations plan for a real or hypothetical group or situation. If it involves your club, it must be hypothetical unless you communicate with the vice president public relations and club president. Share your plan in a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. This speech is not a report on the content of this project, but an example of how you will or might apply what you learned.

This project includes:
■  Creating a public relations strategy
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project addresses how to prepare to answer questions and provide information clearly, concisely and with confidence.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn about and practice facilitating a question-and-answer session.

Overview: Select a topic of which you are particularly knowledgeable. Prepare and deliver a speech on this topic, followed by a question-and-answer session. Together, the speech and question-and-answer session must be 15 to 20 minutes. Use your time effectively to ensure both segments are completed.

This project includes:
■  A 5-to 7-minute speech
■  A question-and-answer session after the speech

This project addresses the basics of developing a compelling blog and successfully engaging a readership.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to review or introduce the skills needed to write and maintain a blog.

Overview: Post a minimum of eight blog posts in one month. Your blog may be new or one you have already established. You must receive approval from the vice president education to blog on behalf of your club. Deliver a 2- to 3-minute speech at a club meeting about the impact of your blogging experience. You may choose to have your blog evaluated by members of the club. Submit your signed Project Completion Form to the vice president education to receive credit for this project.

This project includes:
■  Maintaining a blog and posting at least eight times in one month
■  The Blog Evaluation Form
■  The Project Completion Form
■  A 2- to 3-minute speech

Level Five (Team Building + One Elective + Reflect On Your Path)

This project addresses the benefits of team building. It is designed to help you build a sense of collaboration and trust within a team completing a project.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to build a cohesive team and host an event

Overview: Build and work with a small team to design and host a team-building event, either in your Toastmasters club or another environment. Any non-Toastmasters event must be approved by your club’s vice president education and attended by a member of your club leadership team. Before the event, deliver a 2- to 3-minute report at a club meeting to share your plans. After the event, deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech to your club. The content of the speech is up to you, but needs to be about your event, the impact of leading on you and your team, or the impact of building a team on you as a leader.

Note: When considering projects to complete, refer to future projects on your path. You may be able to use the assignment in this project to help you prepare for the completion of an upcoming project.

This project includes:
■  Working with a small team to design and host a team-building event
■  The Team-Building Activities resource
■  The Team-Building Event Evaluation resource
■  A 2- to 3-minute report
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

This project is designed to give you an opportunity to share your experience at the end of your path.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to reflect on your growth during the completion of an entire path.

Overview: At a club meeting, present a 10- to 12-minute speech to share your experience completing your path. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on how far you have come, summarize the skills you have learned and developed, and to celebrate your achievements. Your speech can be humorous, informational, or any style that that appeals to you and supports your speech content.

This project includes:
■  The Your Toastmasters Journey resource
■  A 10- to 12-minute speech

This project addresses the importance of recognizing the effect of decisions that impact ethics, best practices for making ethical decisions and developing an ethical framework.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop a clear understanding of your own ethical framework and create an opportunity for others to hear about and discuss ethics in your organization or community.

Overview: Define an ethical framework for yourself. To do this, you may need to complete personal research beyond the contents of this project. Then, organize and moderate a 20- to 40-minute panel discussion about ethics, followed by a question-and-answer session. If you have never facilitated a panel discussion, review the “Moderate a Panel Discussion” elective project.

This project includes:
■  The Ethical Framework resource
■  Organizing and moderating a panel discussion as well as a question-and-answer session

The focus of this project is to design and complete a project with well-defined goals, lead a team and be accountable to a guidance committee.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your leadership and planning knowledge to develop a project plan, organize a guidance committee, and implement your plan with the help of a team.

Overview: Select a project to complete with a team of at least three other members. Form a guidance committee and meet at least five times through the duration of the project. Deliver a 5-to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to introduce your plan and vision. After you implement the plan, deliver a second 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share your experience developing and completing your plan.

This project includes:
■  Selecting, leading, and completing a project with a team
■  Forming and meeting with a guidance committee at least five times
■  The Guidance Committee Introduction resource
■  The Meeting Agenda resource
■  The Project Plan Overview resource
■  The Project Plan resource
■  The Vision Plan resource
■  The Event Planning Worksheet
■  The 360° Evaluation resource
■  Two 5- to 7-minute speeches

This project focuses on the skills required to lead in a volunteer organization and the importance of recognition and reward in motivating volunteers.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply the skills needed to successfully lead in a volunteer organization.

Overview: Serve in a leadership role in Toastmasters or another volunteer organization for at least six months. You may complete this project based on your employment, but a volunteer organization is preferable. Ask members of the organization to complete a 360° evaluation of your leadership skills. Create a succession plan to aid in the transition after you leave your position of leadership. After your six-month term, deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to reflect on your personal experience.

This project includes:
■  Serving in a volunteer leadership role for a minimum of six months
■  Conducting a 360° evaluation of your leadership skills
■  Creating a succession plan
■  The Succession Plan resource
■  The 360° Evaluation resource
■  A 5- to 7-minute speech

The focus of this project is to design and complete a project with well-defined goals, lead a team and be accountable to a guidance committee.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your leadership and planning knowledge to develop a project plan, organize a guidance committee, and implement your plan with the help of a team.

Overview: Select a project to complete with a team of at least three other members. Form a guidance committee and meet at least five times through the duration of the project. Deliver a 5-to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to introduce your plan and vision. After you implement the plan, deliver a second 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share your experience developing and completing your plan.

This project includes:
■  Selecting, leading, and completing a project with a team
■  Forming and meeting with a guidance committee at least five times
■  The Guidance Committee Introduction resource
■  The Meeting Agenda resource
■  The Project Plan Overview resource
■  The Project Plan resource
■  The Vision Plan resource
■  The Event Planning Worksheet
■  The 360° Evaluation resource
■  Two 5- to 7-minute speeches

This project addresses the skills needed to successfully moderate a panel discussion and how to be an effective participant on a panel.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your skills as a public speaker and leader to facilitate a panel discussion.

Overview: Plan and moderate a 20- to 40-minute panel discussion. The panel discussion can be on any topic and may take place at a club meeting or outside of Toastmasters with the approval of your vice president education. Toastmasters who participate as panelists do not receive credit in Toastmasters Pathways. When you have the opportunity, volunteer to act as a panelist for another member completing this project.

This project includes:
■  Planning and moderating a 20- to 40-minute panel discussion
■  The Panelist Basics resource
■  The Project Completion Form

This project is designed to help you define the attributes of professional speakers and apply that understanding to your own skills as a speaker.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing and presenting a longer speech

Overview: Write and present an 18- to 22-minute keynote-style speech. Exemplify the point of view or message you would convey as a professional-level speaker. You may choose to use visual aids if they fit your speech and your style. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any style that appeals to you and supports your speech content. If you receive advance approval from the vice president education, you may present your speech to a non- Toastmasters group.

This project includes:
■  The Speech Outline Worksheet
■  An 18- to 22-minute keynote-style speech

Ready to Aim Higher?

Completion of this path puts you well on the way to achieving Toastmasters highest honour – the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. To reach that goal, you need to:

  • complete one more path
  • serve a term as a club officer
  • serve a term as a district officer
  • become a club mentor or club coach
  • be a club sponsor, conduct a Speechcraft Course or Youth Leadership Program

Good luck with your journey!

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