Strategic Relationships

The Strategic Relationships path helps build your skills as a leader in communication. The projects on this path focus on understanding diversity, building personal and/or professional connections with a variety of people and developing a public relations strategy. Communicating well inter-personally and as a public speaker is emphasized in each project. The path culminates in a project to apply your skills as a leader in a volunteer organization.

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: Cross-Cultural Understanding

This project focuses on understanding the cultures with which you identify and the impact of stereotypes associated with your cultures and others.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to identify your own cultural identities and the stereotypes that impact others’ perceptions of you.
  • Overview: Develop a 5- to 7-minute speech about the cultures with which you most closely identify and the personal impact of the stereotypes commonly associated with those cultures. You may need to spend some time researching the stereotypes believed about your cultures, especially if you are a member of the most dominant cultures in your geographic area. Be aware that all cultural identities have some sort of affiliated stereotype, even if it is obscure or uncommon.
  • This project includes:
    • The Defining Your Cultural Identity resource
    • A 5- to 7-minute speech

Level 2, Project 2: 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 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: Make Connections Through Networking

This project focuses on how to network effectively and understanding the importance of being a professional ally to people in your network.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop and practice a personal strategy for building connections through networking.
  • Overview:
    • Prepare for and attend a networking event.
    • After the event, present a 5- to 7-minute speech to your club. Your speech can include a story or stories about your experience, a description of what you learned, or a discussion on the benefits of networking. Your speech may be personal to you or informational about networking.
    • If you attend a non-Toastmasters event, you must sign the Project Completion Form and give it to your vice president education.
  • This project includes:
    • The Prepare to Network resource
    • Attending a networking event
    • The Project Completion Form
    • 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
  • Prepare for an Interview
  • Understanding Vocal Variety
  • Using Descriptive Language
  • Using Presentation Software

Level 4: Building Skills

Level 4, Project 1: Public Relations Strategies

This project focuses on how to promote awareness of an organization, formulate a public relations strategy and use various public relations tactics.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to practice the skills needed to effectively use public relations strategies for any group or situation.
  • Overview: Create a public relations plan for a real or hypothetical group or situation. If it involves your club, it must be hypothetical unless you communicate with the vice president public relations and club president. Share your plan in a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting. This speech is not a report on the content of this project, but an example of how you will or might apply what you learned.
  • This project includes:
    • Creating a public relations strategy
    • 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
  • Question and Answer session
  • Write a Compelling Blog

Level 5: Demonstrating expertise

Level 5, Project 1: Leading in Your Volunteer Organization

This project focuses on the skills required to lead in a volunteer organization and the importance of recognition and reward in motivating volunteers.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this project is to apply the skills needed to successfully lead in a volunteer organization.
  • Overview:
    • Serve in a leadership role in Toastmasters or another volunteer organization for at least six months. You may complete this project based on your employment, but a volunteer organization is preferable.
    • Ask members of the organization to complete a 360° evaluation of your leadership skills.
    • Create a succession plan to aid in the transition after you leave your position of leadership.
    • After your six-month term, deliver a 5- to 7-minute speech at a club meeting to reflect on your personal experience.
  • This project includes:
    • Serving in a volunteer leadership role for a minimum of six months
    • Conducting a 360° evaluation of your leadership skills
    • Creating a succession plan
    • The Succession Plan resource
    • The 360° Evaluation 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
  • 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