While I’ve been in Pathways long enough to complete four levels, today is my first day as an officer in a Pathways club. So what did I observe?
Choosing a path
The self assessment has more questions than from when I took it in December. You do have the option to skip the assessment entirely and just pick a path. I recommend taking it though. It’s interesting to see what the system suggests for you.
Once a member picks a path, you have the ability to submit awards for the levels. (Obviously nobody completed a level on day one.) For how to approve levels, see this blog post. Still, it is cool to see our VPE’s name having the option in Club Central.
Reports have lag
The reports in base camp manager get pathways “periodically”. I think it is every few hours, but hard to be sure. However you can click the triangle and refresh at any time.
Toastmasters is asking for an email account that three people can access for Pathways:
On April 25, TI contacted the VPEs, Presidents and Secretaries of all clubs in District 46 and advised them briefly of their roles as “Base Camp Managers” for their clubs under Pathways. The VPE will be responsible – with the President and Secretary as backup – for performing certain tasks in Base Camp. TI recommended the club establish a single email address accessible by all three club officers. Base Camp notifications will be sent to this email address listed in Club Central. Please review this April 25 email for more details.
So how do you do this? In a corporate club, you can use a shared mailbox and optionally set it up to forward to your actual email. Luckily, there is a free equivalent.
Creating a shared gmail account
Sign up for a new free gmail account. For example firstname.lastname@example.org (where 12345 is your club number). Or any other address that is free. Give this address to Toastmasters.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Who needs another address to log into. Or maybe your employer blocks gmail. Well no worries. You’ll never need to log in again. You can setup a filter to forward all emails from toastmasters:
- Go to the email forwarding page: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#settings/fwdandpop
- Click “add a forwarding address” and add the President’s email
- Repeat for VPE and Secretary.
- Go to the email filters view: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#settings/filters
- Click “create a new filter”
- Enter toastmasters.org in the from box
- Click “create a filter with this search”
- Click “forward” and choose the address of your president
- Create two more filters – one for your VPE and one for your President
Alternatively, you can see what actually goes there. I suspect that signing into Base Camp once a week removes the need for the email. But it is just a suspicion right now.
See my main Presentation Mastery Pathways page for some context.
The required project in my path is a 5-7 minute persuasive speech. I did mine about Pathways! There was good content on how to approach a persuasive speech.
Level 3 is where you get to start electives. See my pathways comparison for a list of the choices and what they entail. I chose “Using Descriptive Language” and “Active Listening”. The former is just a 5-7 minute speech that is similar to what we did in the old CC. The later is being table topics master.
I picked these two because my goal was to get through the first four levels before Pathways launched in New York so I would have access to all the projects for reference. So I wanted to pick projects where I already knew what to do. On my second path, I plan to pick electives that are new such as using presentation software or making connections through networking.
In my path, the required level 4 project is a 5-7 minute speech on managing a difficult audience. I really like this project. Before I presented at a public conference, I gave a club speech called “The Case of the Interrupting Audience.” I gave club member specific annoying/distracting things to do. This Pathways project is similar. Audience members get assigned roles and you have to practice handling them. Excellent addition to Toastmasters! I lost my train of thought twice during the interruptions.
There is one elective in this level. I chose holding a Question and Answer session since I was doing that anyway for Pathways. There are a lot of fun looking electives in this level like blog posting, running an online meeting and creating a podcast. There are some less technical ones like public relations and project management as well.