Speeches & contests

Pathways Learning Experience

What is Pathways?

Pathways is the Toastmasters education system. It is designed to help you grow as a speaker and leader. You begin by logging onto Toastmasters International and completing an assessment. This assessment will give you a suggested Path for you to follow.

If you decide you want a different Path, you have thirty days to change your mind. 

How is it designed?

There are ten Paths from which to choose. Each Path contains five levels. Each level contains a number of projects. An easy acronym to remember is P—L—P.

  • Path
  • Level
  • Project

 What does a project involve?

A project might be:

  • A speech
  • A number of speeches and an evaluation
  • Completing a role as an evaluator, Table Topics Master or the meeting’s Toastmaster
  • Creating a blog
  • Creating a podcast
  • Moderating a panel discussion

This is just a small sample. There are many electives from which to choose. You will also find that many of the electives are repeated across the Paths so you may encounter the same elective on a second Path if you don’t choose it the first time.

The links below (and branching off this tab) take you to each of the Paths. There are in-depth details about what each Path, level and project entails. 

How long will it take me to complete a Path?

Each Path comprises of around twenty to twenty-five projects.

This might take around two years to complete a Path although Toastmasters is a self-paced program. It might take you longer. Alternatively, if you’re enthusiastic, you might be a member of more than one club and complete your Path in half that time. 

What do I do after I complete my Path?

It depends on your own individual goals. Toastmasters is a big organisation with many opportunities. You may want to take on leadership roles in your own club or within your own Toastmasters District.

You may wish to work towards achieving Toastmasters Highest honour – the Distinguished Toastmaster Award. To receive this award, you need to:

  • complete two Paths
  • 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

What is in each Path?

Here are links (courtesy of the Western Australian Toastmasters District) that take you to a summary of each Path, Level and the Projects they contain:

Presentation Mastery

Dynamic Leadership

Effective Coaching

Engaging Humour Newly released!

Innovative Planning

Leadership Development

Motivational Strategies

Persuasive Influence

Strategic Relationships

Team Collaboration

Visionary Communication

Speech Contests

Annual competitions are held at club level in English prepared speeches, impromptu speeches and speech evaluation.

Entry is voluntary. The winners of the club competitions go to the Area competitions, those winners to the Division competitions, and those winners to the District (Southern African) competition. The winner of the International Speech contest at District level will participate in the Regional Semi-Final competition via a video of their speech. The winners of the Semi-Finals are sent to the International Convention to participate in the World Championship of Public Speaking.

District finals are held at the District conference in May.

Please note that the primary goal of Toastmasters is self-improvement, that is, comparison against oneself, not against others. However, competitions allow you to learn by observing proficient speakers, and these speakers can gain valuable experience in contests.