District 26 - Serving Colorado, Wyoming and Western Nebraska

What’s in it for me?

Many experienced Toastmasters have asked, “Why should I give another Ice Breaker in Pathways? I believe, the Pathways Learning Experience is not just for new Toastmasters. It provides opportunity for tenured Toastmasters to learn new things in a new format. How often have we heard those words “Never stop learning!”

Many exciting elective projects in Pathways address skills needed to communicate in today’s world, for example – blogs, podcasts, presentation software and networking. Even more importantly, the traditional elements of communication are evident in all Pathway projects. The favorite Ice Breaker speech, given by every new member, is considered the basic building block for all that we do in Toastmasters. It can be a place for long time members to start anew with revised goals and objectives.

Experienced Toastmaster Beth Boaz shares an example of how the Ice Breaker is valuable for ALL of us:

“When I was scheduled to give an Icebreaker last October, I wondered what I could possibly learn from the experience. I’d been a Toastmaster for more than 35 years, earned a Distinguished Toastmaster and given at least 8 icebreakers…including another in Pathways.

I was impressed with wealth of information that Pathways provides for the icebreaker: The Speech Outline Worksheet makes the icebreaker simple to write; a comprehensive set of slides describes practice methods; there’s even a video featuring members talking about their icebreakers. While they’re aimed at new members, they’re also a valuable review for experienced members.

How could I make my 8th icebreaker a challenging learning experience? First, because I was starting the new “Engaging Humor” path, I decided to give a humorous icebreaker. Then I decided to match my speech theme to the meeting theme of “Pets”. It challenged me to apply my creativity to the project. What resulted was a story of how I always asked for a pony for Christmas, with the real hope of at least getting a puppy. I shared the humorous tale of the pets in my life: a canary as a kid; goldfish and an avocado tree as a college student; finally getting my puppy as a working professional. The evaluations affirmed that an icebreaker can be effective without being a standard biographical recitation of your life.

To get the most out of Pathways as an experienced member, add your own challenges. For example, you can tie the theme of the path, whether it’s humor or coaching or leadership, into every project. Refresh the basics and take advantage of the elective projects that were never covered in the traditional system. Challenge yourself to take advantage of all that Pathways has to offer!”

Let’s Break the Ice and get started in the Pathways Learning Experience today!

Toastmasters Susie Overton – MS4, PM2 is the Pathways Advisor for Toastmasters District 26. She has been a member of Toast of Inverness for 6 years and also belongs to DTC Speaks. She was a Pathways Guide and Ambassador at the launch of Pathways in 2018.
Distinguished Toastmaster Beth Boaz has been in Toastmasters for 38 years! She is a member of Dawn Yawn and Evening Stars. She has served as the D26 District Governor (Director) and fulfilled a 2 year term as the Toastmasters International Director.
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