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  • Writer's pictureBarbara J. Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND

How does Toastmasters help you grow? Through educational pathways.

Gentlemen standing at podium giving a speech at a Toastmasters meeting.

Are you looking to grow as a communicator and leader? Do you want to build your knowledge, put that learning into practice, and get valuable support and guidance along the way?


Do you want to meet these goals without spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars?


Toastmasters could be your answer! Check out the first posts in this series to get up to speed:


In this post, we will explore the Toastmasters education program, which is known as Pathways.


What is Pathways and how does it work?

Pathways is a self-paced education program accessed through the Toastmasters website. It is designed to help members build public speaking, communication, and leadership skills.


When you become a member, you are given access to Base Camp, the online portal where the pathways are accessed. Toastmasters provides two ways to choose your path, one based on descriptions and the other using a self-assessment tool.

 

Each path has 5 levels and each level has 2 to 4 projects for a total of approximately 15 projects. The first project in level 1 of every path is an Ice Breaker Speech. Higher levels have both elective and required projects, allowing you to tailor the pathway to your goals and preferences.

 

What are the different Pathways options?

Toastmasters has designed 11 different pathways, which are available in multiple languages, and over time pathways are updated and changed.

 

In 2024, a major update to the Pathways experience is taking place and the 6 pathways that will be available in their updated versions first are:

Presentation Mastery - Build your skills as an accomplished public speaker

Engaging Humor - Engage with humor and improve any speech; deliver a message with laughter.

Motivational Strategies - Emotional intelligence and team building; Practice motivation and leadership.

Dynamic Leadership - Negotiate and manage change; leadership skills for any situation.

Persuasive Influence - Conflict resolution and high-level leadership; develop skills for every situation.

Visionary Communication - Communicate change and develop your vision; build skills for visionary leadership.


What are the foundational characteristics of the Toastmasters education program?

The Toastmasters education program is based on these growth principles:

  • Experiential learning – Practice and improve your communication and leadership skills by giving speeches and fulfilling club roles.

  • Peer feedback – Grow and nurture your public speaking and communication skills through honest and supportive peer evaluation.

  • Mentoring – Gain support from experienced mentors in your club and achieve more than you ever thought possible, both personally and professionally.

  • Self-paced program – Develop skills at your own pace and experience long-lasting growth.


Toastmasters provides more than Pathways to growth.

Completing levels in Pathways is not the only way Toastmasters helps its members grow. In the next post, we will look at how peer evaluations and mentoring are key to achieving excellence.


Leadership growth is enhanced not only in the Pathways experience and mentoring but is also achieved by taking on meeting roles and officer positions. Stay tuned for future posts describing these important aspects of participating in Toastmasters.


Get more information about Toastmasters or learn about our club, the Tippecanoe Talkers. Take the next step… visit a club!


“There are no absolutes in public speaking.” ~ Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, Founder of Toastmasters International


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