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ENGAGING HUMOUR

This path is designed to help you build your skills as a humorous and engaging public speaker. The projects on this path focus on understanding your sense of humor and how that sense of humor translates to engaging audience members. The projects contribute to developing an understanding of how to effectively use humor in a speech, including challenging situations and impromptu speeches. This path culminates in an extended humorous speech that will allow you to apply what you learned.*Not available in printed materials.

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 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 focuses on understanding what makes you laugh and how to share that with an audience.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to begin developing a collection of humorous stories and to present a speech that includes humor.

Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic of your choosing. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation.

This project includes:

  • A 5- to 7-minute speech

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 (Engage Your Audience With Humour + Two Electives)

This project focuses on using humor to enhance the message you deliver in your speech.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to determine your style of humor and apply it to a speech that centers around a central message.

Overview: Give a 5- to 7-minute speech on your point of view and what makes things funny to you. Your speech should include at least one anecdote or story intended to entertain or bring humor into your presentation.

This project includes:

  • 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

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

Level Four (The Power of Humor in an Impromptu Speech + One Elective)

This project focuses on strategies for adding humour to any speech, especially impromptu speeches.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is for you to develop your method for giving impromptu speeches and practice adapting rehearsed stories during a presentation.

Overview: You will deliver two 2- to 3-minute speeches. When you are ready to begin the first of your speeches, the Toastmaster of the Day will select a topic from the Impromptu Speech Topics resource. Your speech must last 2 to 3 minutes and include at least one anecdote that is related to the topic. When the first speech is complete, give a second 2- to 3-minute speech on a new topic. Both topics should be selected at random and without your prior knowledge.

This project includes:

  • The Impromptu Speech Topics resource
  • Two 2- to 3-minute impromptu speeches

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

Level Five (Develop Your Message with Humour + One Elective + Reflect On Your Path)

This project focuses on creating a keynote-length speech that effectively delivers a message and humor to an audience.

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

Overview: Write and present an 18- to 22-minute keynote-style humorous speech. You may choose to use visual aids if they fit your speech and your style. If you receive advanced approval from the vice president education, you may present your speech to a non-Toastmasters audience.

This project includes:

  • The Speech Outline Worksheet
  • An 18- to 22-minute keynote-style humorous 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

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
  • complete a DTM project

Good luck with your journey!