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Toastmasters wants your feedback on Pathways

When you complete a project Basecamp will email you with a request to evaluate the project
the email is from: BaseCamp@toastmasters.org
the subject is: You completed your project—evaluate it
sample text:

Dear Matthew Kleinosky,

Congratulations on completing the “Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring” project on 1/23/2018 2:28:00 PM! Did you know you can help improve Pathways by evaluating your experience on this project? Member feedback is a fundamental component of Toastmasters and aids the ongoing effort to enhance the learning experience for every Toastmaster.

Visit your Education Transcript on Base Camp, and select the Evaluate button next to your completed project. This project evaluation will only be available for the next 10 days.

Evaluating your project is optional and will take approximately five minutes of your time. Your input is valuable—please share it!

Sincerely,

Toastmasters International

The ONE thing everyone needs to learn about Pathways:…

The ONE thing everyone needs to learn about Pathways:…
How to complete a project in Base Camp.

Put simply: complete and submit the “Assess Your Skills- After” page of the course

  1. After you take the course training on BaseCampordownload the Project pdf and training using the printable version …
  2. After you do the speech required by the project (95 % of projects require at least one speech)
  3. Go back into Base Camp (login / start Pathways) launch the project
  4. Navigate to the last page of the project “Assess Your Skills After”
  5. Answer the Assessment questions – ALL of THEM, when you have done that you WILL see the following type of Confirmation Page that tells you that you have completed the project.
    I wish it said “NOW YOU HAVE COMPLETED THIS PROJECT”
    It doesn’t – but that is what it means

 

I got StageTime – and tried something for 1st time

Toastmasters District 60 has an online system where clubs can request speakers and evaluators to come to their club as visitors and fill a role called StageTime2.

A few days ago I applied online for the advertised vacant speaker slot.

Today, at SALUT (The UT is University of Toronto) club when they had an empty 2nd speaker slot and expected slightly lower attendance at end of term and holiday season approaching, I did a Part 1 speech of Evaluation and Feedback in Presentation Mastery path.

There were nine members – all roles were filled, the small, yes, intimate setting was warm and welcoming. The club also had a member do a Pathways IceBreaker today.

My speech was informational and I tried something I have never done before. After my opening I had the audience vote which of two themes they wanted me to proceed with – the scientific or the social/ethical side of the story of Henrietta Lacks.

The vote was 5-4 for the ethical/social side of the tale. I got lots of written feedback and a great oral evaluation by a member doing his first Pathways speech evaluation.

If you are in Toronto I highly recommend visiting Salut Toastmasters, if you are in District 60, I highly recommend making use of StageTime2, and to all I challenge you to try the “audience votes” for the thrust of the speech approach some time!

A value added TI Education award report

Yes, I wish TI would consider enhancing their dashboard reports – by adding column filtering and column specific searches (so people did not need to download reports and run spreadsheet software on their phones to do that) – and by adding optional versions with some summary data/calculations included.

I made up one example: The Education awards for a District, my example includes a little table at the top which shows how many of each award are in the report – divided into traditional and Pathways awards too.

Why, because some people are interested in the “uptake” of Pathways in their District or other Districts. This data can help them see something about that

Of course, in 3 years the traditional awards will be gone from the report 0- until then – or until TI includes this kind of added data – enjoy the report here – just select the district of interest and click report:

http://kleinosky.com/toast/awardcounts.php

are there other TI dashboard reports you can suggest value-added changes to?

How will meetings change in pathways? part 1 of ?

All these blog posts are my opinion, unofficial and I may change my mind at any time 🙂

From what I have seen in Pathways so far in Levels 1-4 … I see few changes in how Toastmasters meetings are held, the agenda etc.

What I can see is a possible new set of challenges to filling roles and the types of extra-meeting activities that need to be done….

Let’s face it, now the vast majority (TI says 90 %) of members do not even finish a CC under the current program
So we would be reasonable to expect that majority (51 %)will not finish Levels 1-3…

Level 1 + 2 + 3 = one role as speech evaluator plus about 10 speeches (although one speech project elective could be as TableTopics Master commenting to each Topics speaker) – no matther what path(s) one chooses
And Levels 1 and 2 are identical except for maybe one project, depending on path ….

What does this (maybe) mean for meetings?

+ Ice Breaker(s) from all members – including experienced members when they start Pathways.
—  And for anyone pursuing a DTM that plural “Breakers” applies – they need to do *two* Icebreakers – one on each path they do…

– Evaluator is a required role once for each level 1 – that might make that role easier to fill than the others like Grammarian, Time, TopicsMaster, TMOD which (apart from Active Listening elective for TopicsMaster) get no credit in Pathways.
For clubs who ignore the CL manual now, this won’t amount to much of a change in role-filling incentives…

– TopicsMaster might be giving feedback – The Active Listening project is different from Table Topics Evaluator, and if your club only usually has 3 or  topics speakers, … you may need to occasionally change that to support the member doing this elective in level 3. (Probably 5-7 topics speakers or more is best for this)

I will address the many outside the meeting activities in coming posts….

 

How Mentoring changes in Toastmasters Pathways

“Virtual Mentor” new term in Pathways
“VIRTUAL MENTORING
A virtual mentor is an experienced member who shares knowledge and experience in a specific area via the internet. As with a traditional mentoring relationship, the goal is to empower protegees to reach their goals.
The requirements for mentoring are the same, regardless of the vehicle for communication.”

“The Benefits of Virtual Mentorship
Virtual mentorship has a number of unique benefits because of its reliance on technology for communication.

Create a Global Community
Virtual mentorship creates a forum for Toastmasters from the global community to share experiences and support one another.

Expand Learning
Connecting with members from other cultures presents a chance to learn new methods, skills, and gain a better understanding of the world.”

And “Mentee”  is called “Protegee“…

“THE PROTEGEE
A protegee is any member who seeks guidance and support from a mentor to reach his or her goals.”

And TI makes a clear distinction between coaching and mentoring…

coachigmentoring

Pathways Level 1 Insights (Toastmasters)

Level 1 is the same in all 10 paths and has 3 projects which require four prepared speeches and one role as Evaluator

Level 1 – Project 1 -IceBreaker – Prepared 4-6 minute speech

Level 1 – Project 2 – Feedback and Evaluation – has 3 parts

2.1 Give a 5-7 minute speech on anything and review your feedback
2.2 At another meeting, Give a 5-7 minute speech (same speech or different) and incorporate some or all feedback
2.3 Evaluate a speech

Level 1 – Project 3 Researching and Presenting

3.1 Prepare and present a 5-7 minute speech for which you did research

VCL1_certificate

 

Gracefully Handling a contest protest (originality)

originality
Although protests for originality in Toastmasters speech contests may be rare, it would be nice to have rules/guidelines on how they are best handled.

I could not find an official guide to handling a protest for originality in a Toastmasters speech contest, so here are my initial suggestions.
THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT OFFICIAL! They are also a first draft. How would you improve them?

(I am not sure anyone if anyone could claim the individual did not “… alone prepared [their] speech …” so this addresses only protests of originality)

1. Anyone in attendance may believe that a contest speech is not “substantially original”. (From the 2104 speech contest rulebook: “Twenty-five percent or less of the speech may be devoted to quoting, paraphrasing, or referencing another person’s content. Any quoted, paraphrased, or referenced content must be so identified during the speech presentation.”)
Although protests may only be lodged by contestants and judges, anyone may request to speak with the (identified to everyone) chief judge or contestant and present the information specifying the published source of what they think is the original and uncredited source of a substantial part of the speech.
Note: Only contestants and judges may file a protest! If they receive compelling information that a speech is not original, it is their duty to file a protest.

2. The chief judge (or contestant or judge who is protesting or received the protest information from an audience member) would write down the evidence presented to them by any person, whether a contestant, judge or audience member.

NOTE: a protest can ONLY be filed by a contestant or judge – but a contestant or judge they may decide to file a protest if they receive evidence from someone who is not a contestant or judge. This is allowed, despite the fact that judges identify is not openly publicized. Most likely someone would tell a contestant to file the protest, since they have a strong interest in the contest being judged fairly and the rules followed fairly.

3. The contestant or judge officially lodging the protest with the Chief judge presents the evidence to the chief judge verbally and be given some time (maximum 10 minutes) to prepare a written originality protest. The Chief Judge informs the Contest Chair that a protest is being lodged and that some time is required.

3a. If the contestant has been disqualified for time, the chief judge ends the protest process here.

4. If the evidence alleged is not available in writing at the contest (this is probably close to 99% likely) a web search via computer or mobile phone could be done. Bear in mind that not all information on the web is accurate. The chief judge could allow an additional 10 minutes for this online research.
The contest chair is to be advised if this time is required.

5. All evidence collected is to be duplicated/photocopied if possible, with enough copies of the written protest and any printed evidence/references for each judge and the challenged contestant.

6. The chief judge convenes the judges and the challenged contestant in a private area. The chief judge chairs the meeting and maintains control (including passing control of who is the speaker and time limits.) The Chief judge reads the written protest and distribute copies (if available) to all judges and the challenged contestant. All attendees are given “adequate” time to review any written material. Do NOT include or identify the tie-breaking judge – they are NOT of this process.

7. The contestant is given 3 minutes to orally make their case defending their speech as substantially original. If they chose to withdraw from the contest, that is done in front of the chief judge and the convened judges at the meeting in progress. If the challenged contestant has already left the contest meeting for the duration of the contest and is not available, the process should be completed without them present.

8. The judges are then given 3 minutes (total) to question the contestant if desired.

9. The Chief Judge asks all judges if any of them prefers a written ballot. If ANY judge requests a written ballot, then all voting done by having each judge take a piece of paper, print their name, sign their name and write “Contestant Disqualified” or “Contestant OK” on their paper. The Chief Judge collects the ballots, tallies them and announces the results to the judges. One judge is selected to audit the counting.The Chief Judge  does NOT get a vote.

If ALL judges agree to oral vote, the judge polls the judges for an oral Yes/No vote on the protest. Each judge gets one vote and may abstain. If a majority of the judges (more than half) vote for the disqualification, the contestant is disqualified. There is no requirement to inform anyone, audience or contestants about any originality protests filed, voted on or enforced.

10. If the Contestant is disqualified, the chief judge revises the final standings of the contestants.

From TI judges training pdf:
“If the Contestant is disqualified, the contest chair will notify the contestant of the disqualification prior to that announcement before the meeting at which the contest took place is adjourned.”

This process needs to be done in the event of a protest no matter what the results of the voting are.
This process is not to be skipped because someone believes that “it doesn’t matter in the results”. There are many cases where runners-up further down and the top three have been eligible to compete in the further rounds of contests.
Of course all protests on originality must be done before the results are announced.