Leadership Development

The Leadership Development path helps you build your skills as an effective communicator and leader. The projects on this path focus on learning how to manage time, as well as how to develop and implement a plan. Public speaking and leading a team are emphasized in all projects. This path culminates in the planning and execution of an event that will allow you to apply everything you learned.

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 time management, leadership 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: Managing Time

This project is designed to help you manage your time, discover time management techniques, and employ them in your speeches and daily life.

  • Purpose: Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech on any topic. As you develop your speech, record the time required for each task in order to help you determine how you can improve your time management strategies. Present your speech at a club meeting. Finally, submit the Project Completion Form to your vice president education.
  • This project includes:
    • The Time and Task Log
    • The Project Completion Form
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2, Project 2: Understanding Your Communication Style

This project focuses on recognizing your preferred communication style and understanding how your style impacts your interactions with others.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to learn about different communication styles and identify your primary style.
  • Overview: 
    • Complete the Discover Your Communication Style questionnaire to help you identify your style.
    • Deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting about your communication style and its impact on your professional and/or personal relationships.
      Consider how your communication style impacts the people around you and how you can adjust it to more effectively lead people with styles different from your own.
    • If you are uncomfortable discussing your communication style, you may speak about the communication styles you have encountered and how they impact you. Your speech should not be a report of the content of this project.
  • This project includes:
    • The Discover Your Communication Style questionnaire
    • 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: Planning and Implementing

This project is designed to help you develop realistic plans to meet your objectives and to successfully monitor a project to completion.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice developing a plan and bringing that plan to fruition.
  • Overview:
    • Select any small-scale project, such as a family party, a short trip, a themed Toastmasters meeting, or any other event or project that requires planning.
    • Develop and implement the plan, with or without help from others.
    • At a club meeting, deliver a 2- to 3-minute report or a 5- to 7-minute speech about your experience.
    • Submit the Project Completion Form to your vice president education to confirm you completed all planning resources.
  • This project includes:
    • Developing and implementing a plan for a small-scale project
    • The Project Plan resource
    • The Event Planning Worksheet
    • The Project Completion Form
    • A 2- to 3-minute report or 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: Leading Your Team

This project is designed to help you accomplish a task while leading a small group and give you the opportunity to practice basic skills of leadership.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to lead a small team to the completion of a project.
  • Overview:
    • Build a team of two to four people and lead your team to the completion of a project of your design.
    • After you accomplish the project, present a 5- to 7-minute speech about you or your experience leading your team. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any other format that appeals to you. Your project can be any of the following (coordinate with your vice presidents marketing and public relations):
      • A club-specific project, such as hosting an open house, organizing a speech contest, or coordinating a membership-building campaign.
      • A non-Toastmasters specific project that helps the greater good, such as organizing volunteers for a charity, collecting food for community members in need, etc. (Keep in mind that you’re doing this as a private individual and not in the name of Toastmasters.)
      • A work-related group or team project.
  • This project includes:
    • Building and leading a team to the completion of a project
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

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
  • Manage Projects Successfully
  • Managing a Difficult Audience
  • Public Relations Strategies
  • Question and Answer session
  • Write a Compelling Blog

Level 5: Demonstrating expertise

Level 5, Project 1: Manage Successful Events

This project is designed to give you tools to coordinate an event. It includes steps for managing the unexpected, leading a team and creating positive outcomes.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice planning, organizing, leading, and implementing an event.
    Overview:
    • Plan, coordinate, and complete an event of your choosing. Tools for planning all aspects of an event are included in this project.
    • After you complete the event, present a 5- to 7-minute speech in your club. Share the impact of the planning process, your team, and the organization for which the event was held. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or any style that appeals to you. It is not a report on the content of this project.
  • This project includes:
    • Planning, organizing, and implementing an event of your choosing
    • The Event Planning Worksheet
    • The Write a Communication Plan resource
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

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
  • High Performance 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