My Third DTM
Decision To Make
About five years ago when the Pathways program was first introduced in our district I had a decision to make: Whether to continue in the old program to complete my Distinguished Toastmaster Award in the two-year grace period, as I was halfway through my Communication and Leadership manuals (older toastmasters will recall these fondly), or switch to the new Pathways program. This would have been my third DTM and I wrestled leaving my work uncompleted on the old program versus taking on the challenge of the new Pathways program. I recalled the often-heard phrase in Toastmasters “to step outside your comfort zone to experience growth” which led me to decide to take on the new challenge in Pathways as this was totally new to me. This also would provide me with experience in Pathways to better help the newer members of our Fifth Avenue Place Club navigate some of the idiosyncrasies in the new Pathways program.
I began with the Effective Coaching pathway which was a good choice as I had experience mentoring individuals both inside Toastmasters and outside of Toastmasters, in my professional life and in my volunteer activities. I learned a lot comparing and contrasting coaching and mentoring. I would recommend it although it is one of the pathways not being continued in the new revamped Pathways platform. I started my second pathway when I completed my level 3 in Effective Coaching to give more frequent speeches as levels 4 and 5 have longer projects. I chose Presentation Mastery which will continue to be offered on the new Pathways platform.
High-Performance Leadership Project
My most difficult project was my High-Performance Leadership project as my required level 5 project for my Effective Coaching pathway. I chose to promote Toastmasters at a career and guidance counsellor convention. I modified an existing brochure for the convention delegates, and organized a booth and staffing, handouts and a draw prize; then along came COVID. This postponed the convention, then cancelled it, and then a year later the next year’s convention was held but only in the virtual world. The waiting not knowing when it would be rescheduled was difficult and then to change all the planning from an in-person convention to an online convention. I learned a lot from switching all my planning over to the digital world and working with a great guidance committee.
My most enjoyable project was my Prepare to Speak Professionally speech which is an 18-22 minute keynote-style speech. To speak that long seemed formidable at first but looking at it as three 7 minute speeches strung together made it feel more achievable. It was great as I had the time to fully develop my points along with personal examples while in a regular 7 minute speech I have to streamline my material to fit in the time frame. It was wonderful to be able to more fully express myself.
There are additional requirements to achieve your DTM, the ones I completed were 12 months as a club officer (VP Membership), one year as a district officer (Division Governor), Club Coach, Club Sponsor, and my DTM project. These requirements challenge and broaden your skills and abilities. Achieving a DTM takes a lot of work although it is worth it in the end.
Glenn Malcolm, DTM