by Jim Jameson District Pathways Coordinator
When you first started in Toastmasters (or Pathways) you probably began by looking at your projects in sequence. For each one, you studied the project and then asked yourself: “What speech can I write for this project?” Perhaps ideas did not always come easily.
But then one day you woke up and said to yourself, “I have a great idea for a speech! How can I find a project for this?” And that is when the flexibility of the Pathways program became your friend!
Pathways projects can be done in any order! It is often useful to start with an Icebreaker in a new club or path. But you are always at liberty to follow your ideas and talk about whatever you like, without being constrained by a path or level structure. Most Level 1 and Level 3 projects focus on specific skills, not topics — you can choose any subject! (Level 2 projects suggest a general topic but are also very adaptable.)
Your four Level 1 projects and fourteen Level 3 elective options are the same in every path. At first, this may seem repetitive, but really, these are like wildcards, since you can adapt them to any topic or theme. These will often help define your Toastmasters journey!
After about ten speeches, you will have exhausted these valuable Level 1-3 slots, and that’s when you will buy another path to obtain a new set. (It’s nice to have these “free spots on your Bingo card” while working on the more challenging Level 4-5 speeches). Working on multiple paths gives you a lot of flexibility.
YOU are encouraged to think creatively as you craft your journey through your Paths — Have it YOUR Way!