Getting started with Pathways

Having just completed my Level 2 of the Presentation Mastery Pathway I feel marginally qualified to inform about my experience of Pathways and (this) our Salisbury Speakers club Website which our publicity member has done a polished job of creating (she is a polished lady).

I’ll take you through each of the pages on the website which you can access via the headings on the top bar. The ‘Home’ page gives you a heads up – everything you can expect from the experience of joining and being a member of the club. The ‘Events’ page brings up the calendar with when club meetings and other events like competitions are, if you look at the left hand bar you can also read news items from events in the past. ‘About Us’ tells you more about Salisbury Speakers specifically and then the ‘News’ items gives a flavour of what it’s like at a meetings, with speech topics and themes from the meeting itself. Then there’s more information on membership and encouragement to come to a meeting, it really is for everyone. Finally the Pathways page tells you more about the training packages which I’ll explain in more detail below.

Pathways is the learning package which you work through to develop your speaking. You choose which ‘Pathway’ best suits the aspect of speaking which you want to improve. I have chosen the ‘Presentation Mastery’ pathway as for me it’s presentations at work which I want to nail. Each Pathway is split into Levels which become a little more challenging as you move through. Within each Level there are 3 assignments each of which is like a mini-project with an online training package usually with a video or other activity and then a speech which practices specific aspects. I’ve just embarked on my first speech in Level 3 which is about persuasive speaking: it teaches you what makes a speech persuasive and shows a video of someone giving the same speech topic but appealing to different techniques of persuasion. Knowing what makes a speech persuasive really helps when you’re trying to persuade an audience . . .. sounds obvious but . . .!

So that’s it; you work your way through and you get better at it and more confident as you go! I can testify to the fact that it works. As someone whose confidence in speaking had been eroded over the years in a relatively high pressure and judgemental environment and I most definitely ‘had the fear’ of speaking. Now I’m delivery speeches which I’m told are good, sometimes inspirational (I only write this to encourage others not to inflate my own ego!!) and finally I must note again that no-one is a hopeless case, fear of speaking is very common but with practise, public speaking is something anyone can do well.