Pathways – May 2018

Pathways Coming to District 65 in May 2018

By Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Sam Metha

Per the recent announcement (Oct. 10, 2017) by Toastmaster International, the Pathways rollout in Region 9, which include District 65 and five additional districts, is estimated to take place in May 2018.

There are eight separate Regions that plan to have their respective roll-outs, starting December 2017 through April 2018. Regions 8 & 9 are the last two Regions that will have their roll-outs planned in May 2018.

Some of you may know, that District 57 in Northern California along with District 27, in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area and District 51 in Khulna Lumpur, Malaysia, were among the first “pilot” districts where Pathways was rolled out in Feb., March and May 2017, respectively. The pilot program in these three districts was successfully completed in September 2017 and a large number of Toastmasters are already using Pathways in these three districts.

The selection and appointment process of ‘Pathways Guide” will begin approx. 3-1/2 months before the district roll-out date. The club visitation visits and virtual support session will begin approx. 6 weeks before roll out.

There are numbers of Pathways related materials and videos available on TI’s website. Toastmasters in D-65 are encouraged to visit TI’s website and see the latest information and videos posted by fellow Toastmasters who are already experiencing the Pathways educational programs and their benefits.

Here are some of the testimonials from fellow Toastmasters, sharing their personal experiences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPHILN_rjZo

There are several other pertinent videos available on TI’s Pathways website, showing for example “How to download your Pathways Manual.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXR-BO6E7qM

The Base Camp: The tools for your learning experience, including on-line assessment and tailoring your learning and meet your interest. https://www.facebook.com/georgedmarshall/videos/10154176158301188/

Visit https://www.toastmasters.org/Pathways-Overview and watch COO, Sally Newell Cohen’s 5-part videos on Pathways.

Also please review the FAQs on TI’s website. They are frequently being updated by TI, as new questions and concerns are being addressed.

Once the Pathways roll-out date for D-65 is finalized (currently planned in May 2018) members perusing various educational awards will have a 2 year transition period (through June 30, 2020) to complete. All new members joining D-65 after the announcement of the roll-out date will automatically go into Pathways educational program.

Pathways is finally coming to District 65 and I hope everyone is excited to receive and embrace it.

Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Chief Ambassador – Pathways

District 65

October 20, 2017

Toastmasters Volunteerism

Toastmasters and Volunteerism

by Sam Metha, DTM, PDG

Sam Metha

It is said that “if you can’t stand the heat, leave the kitchen.” A great majority of club and district officers take their job-responsibility seriously and execute them responsibly. I applaud them. However, from time to time, we have seen a handful of club officers and some district officers, attempt to take cover behind the term “volunteering” and/or serving in a “voluntary organization” etc., especially when things don’t fit-in their timetables and/or have some personal ongoing conflicts.

From time to time, they abdicate their officer responsibilities. Especially when they do not “feel” like complying with the Toastmasters International’s published policies and procedures and district’s directives. They tend to pick and chose what they like or dislike. In other words, they take shelter behind “volunteerism” and the “volunteer” part of Toastmasters organization, thereby covering-up their personal shortcomings and/or lack of personal commitments.

This especially holds true for a handful of club officers who voluntarily or involuntarily hold an office, year-after-year. This is unfortunate. They need to learn to step aside and encourage newer Toastmasters to take up the club officer responsibilities and support & mentor them in their efforts.

Toastmasters is an organization of policies, procedures, rules, regulations, protocols, mandates, compliance, and structure. These have been carefully developed over a period of years for a purpose and benefit of all Toastmasters. Non-compliance of these established policies and procedures is a violation of the very purpose in becoming a club or a district officer and impacts the integrity of the organization.

Strictly speaking, the only volunteers in a Toastmasters organization are its members. Once a member chooses and/or accepts to become an officer at clubs or district levels, he or she ceases in-part to remain a volunteer. As an officer, he or she now has duties and responsibilities to discharge; assignments to undertake and perform, and leadership to execute and deliver. The fact that he or she is not financially rewarded for the officer position becomes irrelevant.

My personal opinion on the subject-matter of “volunteering” and holding elected/appointed offices at club and district levels are as follows. If an elected/appointed officer is unable to commit reasonable amount of time, energy, interest levels, and resources, towards performing the job as required and adhere to the by-laws and constitutions of TI, the district and the club; the officer in question, is not only doing a disservice to himself or herself, but also to the fellow Toastmasters, who depend on him or her for providing the service and leadership.

The key word in all volunteer organizations is “commitment.” Naturally, there are degrees and levels of commitments. Club and district leaders are consistently required to provide service and leadership during their term in office. That is the primary reason why they have been elected/appointed. Officer positions are not ceremonial or default positions. Officers cannot “volunteer” to serve when they feel like it and “not volunteer” when they don’t feel like it. In other words, they don’t have a choice. They have made their choice of commitment to serve for a specific period of time.

Commitment is not like an electric switch, that one can be turned on and off arbitrarily and discretionarily. It seems that when things become dark and problematic, the switch is turned off and when there is light and things are going well, the switch is turned on. I believe that as a club or district officer, the switch of service and leadership must stay on; clear and bright, for the entire term in office.

I congratulate all those who have stepped up to-the-plate and volunteered their services at club and district levels. I also congratulate all those Toastmasters who plan to become club and district officers, going forward. Your commitment and hard work are admirable as are the rewards that you receive in form of self-enrichment, fellowship, and personal success.

Sam Mehta, DTM, PDG

Just Say Yes

Just Say Yes!

By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

For many of us, our toastmasters journey started with fear, anxiety, dry mouth and sweaty palms. We knew we needed help, we knew we were uncomfortable in our own skin and we knew that to overcome it, we would have to step outside our comfort zone.

Caroline Organ

Recently my mentor, Caroline Organ, gave her final speech in her journey to reaching her DTM – Distinguished Toastmaster. She shared how she would panic in High School and College when it was time to get up and speak. She shared how her job required her to train groups and give presentations, but she dreaded the process.

Then she saw a flyer for a new Toastmasters club in her office building. She decided to give it a try and said YES when they asked her to join. It took 6 months for her to give her Ice Breaker and she confessed that she became the best timer at every meeting until then.

When Dennis Gauda and Kevin McCue nudged her along and “Volun-told” her it was time to give her Ice Breaker, she finally said YES.

Then several months later, the club lost some members due to a corporate restructuring. They needed club officers badly and they asked if she would help out. She said YES.

After filling several officer roles, she was asked to be an Area Governor (Director). You guessed it… she said YES. Then she was asked to be a Club Coach… She said YES.

Since then, Caroline has mentored and helped so many people throughout Western New York that she forgot to receive credit for all the seminars, workshops, speeches and roles that she completed, or helped others to complete.

Shortly after I met her in 2012, she got married, gave birth to 2 handsome young boys and became a great mom. This took her away from her pursuit of that elusive DTM for several years. But when we needed her… she always said YES.

Late last year, I asked her what she needed to finish her DTM? We took a look and found out it was only a few more speeches and roles. I asked her to prepare a few pocket speeches, just in case a speaker backed out at the last minute, and of course… she said YES.

At a recent meeting, we had 3 speakers scheduled. At the last minute, each of them had a conflict and were unable to attend. Caroline walked in the door 5 minutes before the meeting was to start. I asked her if she could quickly prepare a speech… she said YES. It was funny, entertaining and had a great message.

Her final 3 speech projects were scheduled well in advance and I was thrilled when I heard the title of her final project. You guessed it. It was called – Just Say YES.

She delivered a moving, inspirational and motivational presentation that encouraged everyone of us to “Just Say YES” the next time we are asked.

Your life, work, career and family can all be enhanced when you step outside that comfort zone… and Just Say YES.

Paving Road To DTM

Paving the Road to Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)

By Dan Ferens, DTM

Dan Ferens
With Pathways coming early next year, Toastmasters will only have 24 months after that to get a DTM under the current educational program. Since DTM is the only rank that carries over into the Pathways program, quite a few of you in District 65 have shown interest in getting it. We are doing several things to help.

First of all, there is a group that meets once a month on Zoom to discuss various activities and to address any questions anyone has. The next meeting is Sunday, October 15, 7:00-8:30 PM, and will feature a presentation on “planning a DTM using a personal DTM mentor”. There will also be a Zoom meeting on November 19. If you want to join the group, please send an e-mail to Dan Ferens, the group leader, at DTMDanF@yahoo.com. Dan will also answer any questions you have via personal e-mail.

Second, there are resources available. The District 65 web site has a tab “Path to DTM” which will include useful information, including a paper titled “Paving the Road to DTM” that addresses some questions Toastmasters often have. Also, there is a 29-page ”Road to DTM” document available on the Select Toastmasters club web site; the link is http://selecttoastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org/. There is also an appendix on selecting advanced communication manuals.

If you are working on your DTM, take advantage of what is available. Of course, many members of our District are always willing to help.

We’d like to invite and challenge you, our advanced toastmasters to take that extra step to earn your DTM before the change. Then you can earn another with the Pathways Program moving forward.

Mingling Open House

Mastering Mingling at an Open House

By Carina Paton

Carina Paton

Yet another wonderful opportunity to practice your mingling skills is nigh. That’s right, it’s Open House season again! As a club member, you have one of the most crucial roles at your club’s upcoming open house… to float and interact with guests.

Every club is unique because it is composed of unique individuals. And because you are one of those individuals you are the ideal spokesperson. Is your heart suddenly aflutter because you have no idea what to say to guests? Never fear, your mingling mastery guide is here!

By simply attending your club open house, you move up the mingling mastery ranks from a Notworker to a Safety Networker. I encourage you to use this upcoming event to push yourself to progress the next level in mingling mastery, which I call a “cabinetworker.”

The cabinetworker takes standard items that are stored on the shelf in their cabinet and uses them to help network. These are the building blocks that can help you make a new connection. Standard items many cabinetworkers have on their shelves are:

· Hi, I’m (name). And you?

· What do you do for a living?

· Where do you work/study?

· Where are you from?

These are great questions to pull out when you are making your first courageous foray into mingling. They are easy to ask, and because they are so commonly asked, generally easy to give a well-rehearsed answer to.

In the open house environment, we can stock much more valuable questions on our cabinet shelves:

· How did you learn about us?

Not only is this an extremely easy question to ask and answer (and therefore an easy way to begin a conversation), it’s a simple way to find out what marketing and outreach methods are working for your club.

· Why did you decide to come to our meeting today?

Asking about a guest’s motivations help us frame how we can help them. Rather than rattle off the myriad ways that Toastmasters is beneficial, it’s much more effective to listen to the guest’s motivations for coming, and then aid them in understanding how your club can help them meet their goals.

· What did you think about our meeting?

Asking this question one-on-one helps threefold: 1. It gives us immediate feedback on meeting from the perspective of a guest. 2. It gives the guest an opportunity to practice giving an evaluation in a non-threatening environment, and they feel that their opinions are heard and valued. 3. It can often serve as a bridge to further conversation on an aspect of the meeting or the club that they are interested in.

· Can I answer any questions?

Remember that guests are in an unfamiliar environment, and they may be afraid to speak up. Asking this lets them know that it is okay to ask questions. Even if they can’t think of any questions right at that moment, it lets them know that you are willing to help them understand what Toastmasters is all about.

· Would you like to join our club?

This is the question that guests are often waiting to be asked, so don’t be afraid to put it out there!

Now that you have the tools to be a proficient cabinetworker at your upcoming open house, go and give your club all that you have. And remember: You can practice these mingling questions year-round. Every time there’s a guest at your club meeting is one more opportunity to push the boundaries of your comfort zone that little bit further. You might be surprised just how flexible those boundaries can be!

This is the third installment of a series encouraging fellow District 65 Toastmasters to take every opportunity to develop their mingling skills. The first two articles are Making Large Groups Less Scary and Push Past Your Safety Net.

Club Meeting Roles Cheat Sheets

Club Meeting Role Cheat Sheets

by Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director

TM Cheatsheets

Every club has their own New Member Orientation program. When I was a new toastmaster, I remember being anxious about stepping up for meeting roles. My mentor, Caroline Organ, helped me to identify the specific items that each role entailed.

Now we have some great resources online through Toastmasters International that can help provide an overview of each role and guide your through the nuances that make them unique.

Here is a link to that page: https://www.toastmasters.org/membership/club-meeting-roles

But one thing that continues to create stress for new members is that club meetings are live. They are unpredictable. They are not as prepared as a video depicts them.

Because of that I decided to create a small cheat sheet that new members can use during the meeting to help them over the rough spots.

The good news is that I have shared these with many clubs over the years and now I am going to post them on the tmdistrict65.org website for anyone to download, print and use.

These are also great for recording the date, club, notes and information about when you did a role for the Competent Leader projects and award.

Here are the Club Meeting Roles Cheat Sheets that you can download, print, use and even upload to your club’s website.

They are just something that I have found useful and I hope you will too.

Timer’s Report Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Timers-Report-Sheet.pdf

WAG Master Sheet: (Word of the Day, Ahh Counter and Grammarian)

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/WAG-Master-Sheet.pdf

Dual Evaluation Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Dual-Evaluation-Form-1.pdf

Evaluation Workshop Booklet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Evaluation-Workshop-Booklet-06-27-2017.pdf

Grammarian Uses:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Grammarian-Uses.pdf

General Evaluator Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/General-Evaluation-Form.pdf

Toastmaster Role Guidelines:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Toastmaster-Guidelines.pdf

If You Fail To Plan

Tips From Our Past

If You Fail To Plan, You Are Planning To Fail

by Jared Kronenberg, DTM, PDG

Jared Kronenberg

This mantra was repeated over and over during club officer trainings and district leadership sessions. I wasn’t sure what it really meant until I became a club president. As I am sure everyone experiences, club officers come from one of two categories: those who are passionate and want to serve vs. those who were “arm-twisted” (or “volun-told”) to fill a position. Although each group has different motivations for taking on their officer responsibilities, both have the same goal: to be successful.

I have taken positions where I had a good idea of what was required (or thought I did…), but I didn’t have a handle on the year until I sat down with my fellow officers and began talking about our goals. Some people would emerge with their “big ideas” of how to completely transform the club into a beaming metropolis of constant visitors and engaged members. Others would use their past experiences—either as a club member, an officer, or both—to “correct” those wide-eyed officers to the error of their ways, identifying assumptions that will “never work” and serving as the devil’s advocate to all changes. Still, there are others who spent most of the time remaining quiet, listening to everyone, and providing opinions and limited comments that are usually profound and insightful.

In my lawyerly way, I submit that there is a place at the table for all of these officers. Knowledge of the past is instructive, openness to new ideas is vital, and a willingness to try something new is brave. No one likes to be the first to suggest that something isn’t working, but we should embrace those comments and recognize that they are not meant to be destructive, but rather an honest recognition that the club is not meeting a specific need of a member (or many members, as the case may be). On the other hand, a new year is not the time to throw out everything done by our predecessors. Just because our names are not attached to something doesn’t mean that it is wrong and cannot be touched.

We are all in Toastmasters to improve ourselves. Let’s treat this new year, with new officers, and hopefully lots of new members, as our chance to make meaningful changes and recognize that different does not mean wrong. Instead of letting the process play itself out, venture into this opportunity with purpose and create a plan that every member can be a part of and contribute to. Let this Toastmasters year be the year to embrace the past… and the new… together.

This… is a true plan for success.

Jared Kronenberg, DTM

Past District Governor (2014-15), District 65

PATHWAYS Ice Breaker – Training Module

Test Drive The New PATHWAYS Ice Breaker Training Module

Pathways - Ice Breaker Training Module

by Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director, District 65

Now we can all experience what the New Toastmasters PATHWAYS learning experience will look like.

Club Officers and mentors can now use this great tool to help prepare new members for their Ice Breaker speech project. It is very well laid out with some great worksheets, video content and a progress evaluation.

Even if you are already a DTM, take it for a test drive. I know I learned something new each time I reviewed it. I bet you will too.

Click Here to Access: (no login required)

Pathways Training Module – Ice Breaker

or copy this link into your browser:

https://www.toastmasters.org/websiteApps/Pathways/tm100101_SCORM12_20151004/tm100101/index.html