Saturday, 23 September 2017

The difficulties let me grow through my life and last six month

Region 2 got Pathways this Monday! Great. We have now more knowledge, also in our Online Clubs, as our President of Witty Storytellers Online and Global Trainers Online is now a Guide. And me, VPE in one club and Sg Arms in other, towards the end of my second Path, begun a third one.

For Toastmasters of Region 2 and also the Region 14 who begun two month ago, let me remind you my Post a few days ago, about how to avoid some problems you may encounter for the moment. I am sure, with time, some will no more come between you and being delighted in the projects that Pathways offer us.

The difficulties let me grow. 

From anything "bad that happens something good will come" told me my great grandmother when I was 12 and she 92, here as young married.

My grand mother taught me determination, writing diary in the worst conditions too. 

My father, the third photo, did teach me persistence in face of difficulties. "Sing, when it is heavy to bear, sing at least inside you. And do not let others make you abandon what you have begun, do not let them win over you thus," he told me when I wanted to run away from a situation. 

As for my mother, she pushed me to love reading, studying and continuing to learn by myself. She was a lifelong learner, from the age 16 when her father took her out from the school "girls do not have to" even when she was best in her class. She never gave up learning, reading, studying.

And yes, that young girl is the one whom I was when my great grand mother Paula begun to tell me family stories, her life stories, finishing always "you see, Julika, from everything bad, something good came." 

From all that I did encounter along my first Path, and did not like, mostly from the user interface not understood at some time, something great come. 

Firstly, I had help. A Toastmaster, Trainer, now, also Guide, come and took over my computer. Matthew Kleynoski came and "unstuck" me showing how I have to answer to all questions of Self Assessments in order to close a project. Then, how to close a Level. My first level.
Later, he let me alone to find out understand. Then again, come to the Panel on Pathways I managed during the last Toastmaster Convention and Participated.

I feel I have to thank also Brian Dodd, to have pursued with such stubbornness search of learning about Pathways, and pointed to me that we could belong remote to a club. He become later, its President. 

And all the remote and pre-charter and chartered Online clubs, letting me give a Pathways speech from one of my projects and giving me feedback and evaluation. Every day of the week there is one or even two some days, I could attend from home.

My first club then President now VPE, in Great Communicators, Nathan, let me join, then become Secretary so I can experience Base Camp Management. Encouraged me to grow. So many wonderful people met through my Pathways journey!

Because what I learned when I had to overcome a problem, I am not able to help better others. I can train or explain or speak about it. Because I was let to grow, to experiment on my own from time to time, remembering persistence my father lesson. Because from time to time I was helped and other times pushed to learn by myself. 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Old people can and does

From the first Level achieved to earning these badges bellow, it was a long and interesting road, path I went with help when needed from fellow toastmasters, like Mathew, and also many online clubs opening their doors to me, even when I was not member. Yes, I was in two 100% Online clubs already and, at the beginning one Remote access in Arlington, plus near me.

But to get from there to here, and if you look at some badges, I got that level twice already, it was also work. Discovery or reminder, sweet and pleasure. Communicating is a craft, in my opinion, and one has to work at our craft without stopping.
A small number 2 (or 3) shows only how many times "achieved", completed the Level
and instead of Level 5 I got "Proficient" for Visionary Communication

Without stopping at any age, yes now over 83. Age does not count. Never stop learning!.

I begun computers discovery in 1973, had my hands on the first terminal in 1977, and made my first program in basic, called AppleSoft then on Apple 2 in 1982. Some time passed, I never got good at scripting, a milder way of programming, but I begun teaching early "not be afraid of the mouse" by drawing on Macintosh for elderly. They loved learning while having fun!

Yesterday, after my "facilitation" about humour to my online toastmasters club, I called it Humour Workshop, a young, talented and hard working member wrote "I learned how much one can learn in an enjoyable environment". Even if Smedley said it too, he did not invent it, and I did not wait to hear  about him to understand.

When you dare to try, to play, to go for it, you learn faster, more as if only playing. At any age.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Adding humour or finding humour?

You are also all invited to our workshop, online. See in the picture how to join. 

So many talents from so many continents meet in an online club! See, what our President, also VP PR and very talented designer just created? 

I do believe, you do not have talent to make people laugh, or tell stories, but to make this kind of flyer, you do need talent for sure! To use our funny bones, our humour inside us, we mostly need to practice laughing for all the unhappy things that arrive to us. Laugh of our own problems, help also take some of the burden out from our shoulders. My standup comedian workshop teacher called it "look at life with comedian's eyes".

Not to win contests, not even so much to make laugh in clubs in and outside toastmasters, mostly to lighten our life. 

I will not write now "all", but from 7 to 77 I did believe I am just not funny. 
Then, my storytelling audience begun to laugh at some of my - sad - stories, and I begun to be more playful as I loved it. Decided to take workshops. To read books. To try it out. 

When one does not use it, one loose it. Perhaps true, but I begun using, trying, practicing. Learning. After the third workshop, I went out alone to the Standup Comedy circuit and, at the beginning, was happy with 6 laughs in 5 minutes. After a while it did build up to 36 and lauder and longer. Taking out what did not work, adding new material little by little, I developed longer repertoire and being paid to be filmed. 

I love to demonstrate to all how they can improve their skills in humour. There are techniques and tips as in all kind of craft. And of course, then one has to try out what does work and to which audience. 

One does find the humour in what happens to us, around us, it is possible.

What better way to celebrate my first Path and the first anniversary of the Witty Storytellers Online club then with this workshop. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

New region begun! Some advices for newcomers to Pathways online

Pathways projects are wonderful.  Do not wait to get started!

Let me add, you will have a few problems at the beginning.  Here are some of the most vexing and how you can "deal with" them."

1. Check the compatibility of your Computer system and browser.  Pathways explains how to do so.
   --- Allow Popups! Pathways depends on popups.  If you don't "allow popups," they will not open up.  You do not need to fear popups.  In six months using my Mac I have not been bothered with popups.

2. Open up Projects in popup windows.  First they open very small and you cannot see the navigationarrows on the left and right.  When you open on "full screen" in your browser you will be able to see the navigation arrows.  Make sure when you click to open a project or evaluation that you open it in a new tab so that you can close it, save it or print it.  When you are at "full screen" you will see the navigation arrows - <--- at one end and ---> at the other end. 

3. You do not have to, but I believe it is best to save projects to your computer so you can easily reread them later, or print them if you want to read a hard copy when you are not near your computer.

4. Learn how to fill or print the evaluation forms.  There is free software on your computer - it is different depending on your system and computer.  Apple is different than Windows.  You can also copy the text or take a screen shot" and print it like a picture.  CAUTION:  Do NOT download the test "Adobe Acrobat Reader DC."   If you do, it will quickly revert to a very expensive program that you have to purchase to use. 

5. Perhaps the most important point follows:

 --- Answer all Self Assessments questions and save them.
           There will be an assessment before you begin a project and another when you complete it. You can then compare the two in a pop up.  That also indicates to Base Camp that you have completed a project.   

6. End of a Pathways Level. At the end of a Level, the VPE must approve the completion.  After you have finished, you can evaluate the Level.  They you declare that you have finished the Level.  At that point, the VPE will be informed by Headquarters (almost immediately).  Only the VPE or Base Camp Managers can approve.  Also, the projects must be entered into Club Central in order for you and the club to receive DCP credit because TI has not yet linked the Base Camp information with the Education Award information on the website. 

7. If a click does not work, try under the title or near the window (it is not always in a consistent place so try one or the other).  Sometimes you advance the screen by clicking on "MORE" and other times there are navigation arrows that help you move forward or backward.  Sometimes there is a small window at the bottom of the screen that allows you to skip to other parts of the project.

Most important of all, JUST DIVE IN! ENJOY the program.  The various small quirks that you encounter may be frustrating at first but TI is working on them so over the near term just get use to them. With time, perhaps many will be changed but that may take time.  The good news is that the program is very functional as it is, even with the small quirks!

Whenever a problem surfaces, first discuss with your VPE and Base Camp Manager, and with your Guides and/or Ambassadors.  If necessary, they know the proper channels for contacting World Headquarters.  You can also provide written feedback on the TMI website.

And of course, if you want:


 ASK me! I am happy to help out. 
So far not too many asked but I am ready, willing, and able to help you online.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Visionary Communication Proficient

Yesterday, almost by an afterthought, I went to look in my Base Camp folder called Badges. 

Here it is what I did found.

It may be only an image, but I find it not too bad finally. Do all "proficient" badges look alike, or are they all different, depending on the path?

Could be different, because this gives an impression of "vision" of look farther. Did I learn to look farther in the last six month? What did I really learn? 

Even if I did not go as far as I aspired at the beginning, and I realised that I have gone as far as I could, depending on me. I gained friends and knowledge. 

How did I gain "knowledge"? 

Some, by reading and listening and looking. Most, I did overcoming obstacles. Overcoming frustrations. Overcoming roadblocks. All let me grow, and be able to help.

From now on, I can better help others getting through their obstacles when they begin and also giving some useful practical tips.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Life inside and outside Toastmasters?

How life and Toastmasters, interact on each other?

Every time we finish a project in Pathways, we are asked as last question of auto assessment : "Do you understand that this project will be useful outside Toastmaster?"

Not once, have I seen, but it must be somewhere, for sure in the project Prepare to speak professionally "How much what you learned outside Toastmasters helped you to prepare and deliver this project?"

Yesterday, a fun Zoom meeting online with 23 participants!  

As I was preparing to deliver for my project "Handle difficult audiences" at Firebirds Collective. 

What a fun project! 

Was I prepared for it? Of course. And they were too, my interrupters! Skilfully they did interrupt me from time to time each in his or her way. That was also so well organised and it did look so natural! 

Was I able to handle the Hacklers? 

You bet! I did have experience, after hundred different standup comedy clubs. Once, we even made a night, when the audience was asked before the hackle us. Some, could not finish, they were so distracted. Others tried to speak lauder. I had no problem even then. Not only because I had twice as much material then time, and when interrupted, I took lines to answer from that part of my repertoire, but also because... I learned to answer on my feet in the Toastmasters Table Topics.

I do not remember each interruption, but I enjoyed them and it seems, after my feedback that I handled them all very professionally. 

And here it is, a Table Topics question about "will you surf" ?

Well, Susan answered in a very funny and surprising way. Yes, I will at my age, even if I did not do it till know, learn to surf!!! I will. In fact, I already begun it: surfing the web.

So, yes, Toastmasters and Real life interpenetrate each other, and with Pathways more and more. Pathways offer fun projects, that can serve again, outside the clubs.

While I will receive a formal evaluation from Krishn also, he was my evaluator yesterday, through the chat, I received (and later again) already thanks for my presentation, as you see. A bit like the small slips of paper that I loose usually. This time, I did a screen dump on some of them.

In fact, even if I did have experience in Hacklers, I did not in the Keynote Presentation software, so presenting a speech about the Zoom Digital Background or Green screen, was a real challenge for me. As with the Panel Moderation, for which I got taste now, learning to use Presentation Software better will be now another of my focus. 

Also, some wrote me that from now on, they got courage to try the zoom green screen. They understood what is needed in plus of handling what zoom offers. I also managed to begin with a story and make them laugh three times during my 20 minutes. 

Yes, that gave me courage to try next time again. 
Inside or outside Toastmasters.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

I was asked: who will be "Advanced" now?

Perhaps this could help as I found it through an Article linked to Pathways FAQ. 

Completing Level 1 is for sure not yet equivalent to CC, if your club calls itself "Advanced Toastmaster" but Completing Level 2 is equivalent to CC, if we look at it as in DCP one point is added or by 2 CC or by 2 Level 2's. 

Then, it becomes more complicated, as there is need of 2 times Level 3 for one ACB or ALS, and 1 Level 4 or 1 Level 5 for one ALS or CL or DTM.

This is what is needed to become in Pathways DTM, Distinguished Toastmaster.
Completing two paths and a DTM project
Serving as club officer 12 (and not 6 month)
Serving as club Mentor AND club Sponsor (or..)

Serving as a District Officer a Year, or if I understood as Pathways Guide (or Ambassador) for the 6 month as Pathways reaches the District, helping at least 10 clubs to start.

I am not sure I want a second or third DTM in fact, I did stop at the second Advanced Communicator Gold that I finished, as I swear to myself, never ever one more CL ! Not that I do not take a lot of those roles, I just don't fancy that new manual that dropped on our heads after I begun TM second time.

But, yes, I am happy to be a club Sponsor, just begun and also a club Mentor to an yet unchartered club in the future possible. As I am in one District where I could be a year Area Governor, and in another "Undistricted Online" where I could only be Guide or Ambassador, I am still asking myself "which"?

My legs, will they permit me to go to 10 clubs in London?
Will we have Guides for Online Clubs?

I am sure that I could help, I would like to meet again clubs and members!

I become from Friday, Visionary Communication Proficient, even if my VPE did not yet put on the award to the Club Central, it will come. I am already at Level 4 of my second path, Presentation Mastery: today will have a fun presentation "Managing Difficult Audience": four members interrupting me! I should learn to handle, I hope I will do as in Standup Comedy that went well for me. I also prepare for Thursday, a "Funny Bone" workshop Online.

My last project from Level 4 will be thus about "hackling" but I am sure, I will try it a few more times, as being hackled can be funny, if we find the right answers fast of course. I did realise that Table Topics helps to do it.

Meanwhile, I am struggling with my original presentation for today as it is in Keynote (Apple Presentation Software) and as I go I realise that I do not know it enough. I finished my slides yesterday, then later on, I discovered, I could direct my Mac laptop presentation from MacPad and even see the next slide (or notes) on the macpad : exciting! If and when I learn to do it well. 

There is also a project "Learn Presentation Software" in Pathways, that I did not yet learn or done, thinking "I know that!" Well... for next time. I do hope by then I will indeed know better.