Innovative Planning

The Innovative Planning path helps build your skills as a public speaker and leader. The projects on this path focus on developing a strong connection with audience members when you present, speech writing and speech delivery. The projects contribute to building an understanding of the steps to manage a project, as well as creating innovative solutions. This path culminates in a “High Performance Leadership” project of your design.

This path requires the completion of a minimum of 14 projects: three projects for Level 1, against 3 projects for Level 2, a minimum of three projects for Level 3, a minimum of 2 projects for Level 4 and finally a minimum of 3 projects for Level 5.

  • Level 1 and Level 2 are foundational levels. Their components are common across most paths.
    • Level 1 assists with learning and mastering fundamentals, such as building confidence and earning improved communication skills
    • Level 2 assists with learning about your leadership and communication styles and offers an introduction to Toastmasters mentoring
  • Levels 3, 4 and 5: their components are more specific and relevant to each path.
    • Level 3 aims at increasing knowledge in the domain relevant to your path.
    • Level 4 aims at building or consolidating skills relevant to your path.
    • Level 5 aims at demonstrating proficiency and expertise with skills relevant to your path.

Level 1: Mastering Fundamentals

Level 1, Project 1: Icebreaker

This foundational project is designed to introduce you to your club and the skills you need to begin your Toastmasters journey.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech.
  • Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other style that appeals to you.
  • This project includes: a 4- to 6-minute speech

Level 1, Project 2: Evaluation and Feedback

This project addresses the skills needed to give and receive feedback. You will learn about giving, receiving and applying feedback.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to present a speech on any topic, receive feedback, and apply the feedback to a second speech.

Overview: 

  • Project 2.1.: choose any topic for your first 5- to 7-minute speech. After your speech, carefully review your feedback.
  • Project 2.2: at a different club meeting, present a 5- to 7-minute speech in which you incorporate feedback from your first speech. You may choose to present the same speech again or a new speech. Your second speech should reflect some or all of the feedback from your first speech.
  • Project 2.3: finally, after you have completed both speeches, serve as an evaluator at a club meeting and deliver constructive feedback about another member’s presentation.

This project includes:

  • A first 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic
  • A second 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic that will incorporating feedback from your first speech
  • Serving as a Project evaluator (2- to 3-minute speech)

Level 1, Project 3: Researching and Presenting

  • This project addresses topic selection strategies, suggestions for research and methods for producing a well organized speech.
  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn or review basic research methods and present a well-organized, well-researched speech on any topic.
  • Overview: Select a topic that you are not already familiar with or that you wish to learn more about. Be sure your topic is narrow enough to be an effective 5- to 7-minute speech. Research the topic and begin organizing the information, as described in this project. Practice your speech and continue to refine its organization. Present your speech at a club meeting.
  • This project includes:
    • Researching a topic
    • The Research Worksheet
    • The Speech Outline Worksheet
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2: Learning Your Style

Level 2, Project 1: Understanding Your Leadership Style

This project is designed to introduce the different styles of leadership and help you identify your preferred style.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to identify your primary leadership style or styles.
  • Overview: 
    • Complete the Discover Your Leadership Style questionnaire.Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share some aspect of your leadership style or leadership styles in general.
    • Consider how your leadership style impacts the people around you and how you can adjust it to more effectively lead people with styles different from your own.
    • You may choose to discuss your style preferences when working with others, your style and how you can adapt it to situations, or leadership styles in general and how they impact a group
  • This project includes:
    • The Discover Your Leadership Style questionnaire
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2, Project 2: Connect With Your Audience

Project 2. Connect with Your Audience

This project focuses on different audience types and how to address them effectively.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to connect with an unfamiliar audience.
  • Overview: Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech on a topic that is unfamiliar to the majority of your audience. Because you deliver this speech in your Toastmasters club, you are familiar with the audience members’ preferences and personalities. Selecting a topic that is new or unfamiliar to your club members will allow you to practice adapting as you present. As you speak, monitor the audience’s reaction to your topic and adapt as necessary to maintain engagement.
  • This project includes: a 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2, Project 3: Introduction to Toastmasters Mentoring

This project introduces the value of mentorship and the Toastmasters view of mentors and protégés.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to clearly define how Toastmasters envisions mentoring.
  • Overview: Write and present a 5- to 7-minute speech about a time when you were a protégé. Share the impact and importance of having a mentor. This speech is not a report on the content of this project.
  • This project includes: a 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 3: Increasing Knowledge

Level 3, Project 1: Present a Proposal

This project introduces how to select key information to present in a proposal to build a case with supporting evidence and realistic solutions.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing and presenting a proposal.
  • Overview: Develop a proposal to improve any area of your life. It may involve your personal or professional life, or your Toastmasters club. If your proposal involves your club, speak with the appropriate officer. For example, if you have a proposal to increase club membership, discuss it with the vice president membership. In a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting, present your entire proposal or aspects of it.
  • This project includes:
    • Developing a proposal
    • The Write a Proposal Resource
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 3 elective projects

Choose two or more elective projects from the following list. The purpose and overview of each Level 3 elective projects can be found here.

  • Active Listening
  • Connect with Your Audience
  • Connect with Storytelling
  • Creating Effective Visual Aids
  • Deliver Social Speeches
  • Effective Body Language
  • Focus on the Positive
  • Inspire Your Audience
  • Know Your Sense of Humor
  • Make Connections Through Networking
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Understanding Vocal Variety
  • Using Descriptive Language
  • Using Presentation Software

Level 4: Building Skills

Level 4, Project 1: Manage Projects Successfully

This project focuses on skills needed to effectively manage a project, develop rapport with stakeholders and cultivate strong relationships with a team.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing a plan, building a team, and fulfilling the plan with the help of your team.
  • Overview: Form a team of three to four people and choose a project. Create a plan for your project and present the plan to your club in a 2- to 3-minute speech. Work with your team to complete your project. Present a 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience. This speech may be humorous, informational, or any type of speech that appeals to you. It should not be a report about the content of this project, but a reflection of your experience applying what you learned.
    • Note: When considering projects to complete, refer to future projects on your path. You may be able to use the assignment in this project to help you prepare for the completion of an upcoming project.
  • This project includes:
    • Building a team
    • Creating a project plan
    • The Project Plan resource
    • A 2- to 3-minute speech about your plan
    • Completing the plan with your team
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience

Level 4 elective projects

Choose 1 or more elective projects from the following list. The purpose and overview of each Level 4 elective projects can be found here.

  • Building a Social Media Presence
  • Create a Podcast
  • Manage Online Meetings
  • Managing a Difficult Audience
  • Public Relations Strategies
  • Question and Answer session
  • Write a Compelling Blog

Level 5: Demonstrating expertise

Level 5, Project 1: High Performance Leadership

The focus of this project is to design and complete a project with well-defined goals, lead a team and be accountable to a guidance committee.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply your leadership and planning knowledge to develop a project plan, organize a guidance committee, and implement your plan with the help of a team.
  • Overview: Select a project to complete with a team of at least three other members. Form a guidance committee and meet at least five times through the duration of the project. Deliver a 5-to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to introduce your plan and vision. After you implement the plan, deliver a second 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to share your experience developing and completing your plan.
  • This project includes:
    • Selecting, leading, and completing a project with a team
    • Forming and meeting with a guidance committee at least five times
    • The Guidance Committee Introduction resource
    • The Meeting Agenda resource
    • The Project Plan Overview resource
    • The Project Plan resource
    • The Vision Plan resource
    • The Event Planning Worksheet
    • The 360° Evaluation resource
    • Two 5- to 7-minute speeches

Level 5, elective project(s)

Choose 1 or more elective projects from the following list. The purpose and overview of each Level 5 elective projects can be found here.

  • Ethical Leadership
  • Leading in Your Volunteer Organization
  • Lessons Learned
  • Moderate a Panel Discussion
  • Prepare to Speak Professionally

Level 5, Final project: Reflect on Your Path

This project is designed to give you an opportunity to share your experience at the end of your path.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to reflect on your growth during the completion of an entire path.
  • Overview: At a club meeting, present a 10- to 12-minute speech to share your experience completing your path. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on how far you have come, summarize the skills you have learned and developed, and to celebrate your achievements. Your speech can be humorous, informational, or any style that that appeals to you and supports your speech content.
  • This project includes:
    • The Your Toastmasters Journey resource
    • A 10- to 12-minute speech