by Greg Pick, DTM – Pathways Coordinator

Do you have new or existing members who are slowly progressing through their Path? Perhaps they have not even started. The key question you are trying to answer is how to engage them.

Best Practice #1 shows a great way to get anyone committed to their progress is to provide individual attention. This step confirms one key thing the member must believe – we care! Individualized attention demonstrates three key factors: we take progress toward their goals very seriously, are committed to helping them achieve their goals, and are a trusted partner in their personal growth.

Once engaged, we also know their attitude changes in a positive way. They become more confident and have a greater sense of belonging to their Toastmasters family.

Best Practice #2 requires that an experienced member or club officer aid them in navigating the relevant websites. I recommend coaching them about choosing a path and completing the Icebreaker project, opting into and understanding your club’s website, helping them identify speech topics, and ensuring they understand how to perform the club roles. Your guidance goes a long way towards properly engaging each member.

It can be overwhelming for a new member who joins a Toastmasters club. They are learning to navigate Pathways on the Toastmasters International website which is not always easy for many veterans. They are learning club protocols and communication at their company or within your club’s website. Finally, the Zoom environment; can include using chat to vote and downloading virtual backgrounds of green, yellow, and red to be the timer. This list goes on.

Best Practice #3 involves teaching them about their Path requirements and assignments. Our District 25 website has listed all the required and elective projects for each Path here. It is quick to access and easy to study.

Reviewing the higher levels and projects can help a member plan out their progress for their respective path. They may need to serve as a leader in their club or another volunteer organization or they may need to organize an event such as an open house or club contest.

In summary, I recommend the following best practices: #1 – provide the individual attention that demonstrates we care, #2 – have a club officer or veteran member help them navigate websites to reduce anxiety, and #3 – make sure they have the best understanding and overview of their Pathways Path to ensure a positive experience.

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