Life beyond the CC Manual

226HMany clubs find that members drag their feet going through the CC manual, or they have members leave right after they finish it. One of the things I have pinpointed in talking to clubs, and also talking to successful clubs in other divisions around the globe, is we tend to not “pitch” the fact that there are lots and lots of projects beyond the CC manual. 15 advanced manuals and 45 additional advanced projects that members can work on, get credit for and even more importantly, develop and learn new skills that are very applicable to the business world.

Some of you may have heard about Pathways, the new educational program being rolled out by Toastmasters. It is scheduled to take effect in our district the last quarter of 2018. Why, some people ask, should we bother to work on advanced manuals if the program is changing?

Working on the manuals should be less about getting the credit for it, and more about bettering both your communications skills, your leadership skills and learning new things that you can apply, whether you are business owner or you work for someone else, in a business setting.

While you may not get something from every single project in the advanced manuals, I can guarantee that you will get some. So far I have worked my way through 9 of the advanced manuals, and I can give you some examples of things I have learned that I would not otherwise have.

Here are some examples from three of the manuals:

Technical Presentations Advanced Manual

#1 The Technical Briefing-Objectives: Using a systematic approach, organize technical material into a concise presentation. Tailor the presentation to the audience’s needs, interests, and knowledge levels-Skills Learned: How to organize information into specifics into a short time frame to present.

#2 The Proposal-Objectives: To prepare a technical presentation advocating a product, service, idea, or course of action. To present your viewpoint logically and convincingly, using an inverted pyramid approach. To effectively use Microsoft PowerPoint with a laptop computer to illustrate your message. To effectively handle a question and answer -Skills Learned: How to propose an idea to a group with key points to back it up.

#3 The Nontechnical Audience-Objectives: Understand the principles of communicating complex information to nontechnical listeners. Build and deliver an interesting talk based on these principles. Answer audience questions that arise during the presentation. Use overhead transparencies to illustrate your message-Skills Learned: Honing talking at the layman’s level

Humorously Speaking Advanced Manual

#2 Leave Them With a Smile-Objectives: Prepare a serious speech that opens and closes with humorous stories. Prepare a closing story that reemphasizes the speech’s main point. Deliver the stories smoothly and effectively-Skills Learned: How to purposefully integrate humor into a speech

#3 Make Them Laugh-Objectives: Prepare a speech that opens and closes with humorous stories. Include jokes in the speech body to illustrate points or maintain audience interest. Deliver the jokes and stories smoothly and effectively-Skills Learned: How to integrate jokes into a speech and make it flow

#4 Keep Them Laughing-Objectives: Prepare a speech that opens with a self-deprecating joke. String together two or three related jokes in the speech body. Close the speech with a humorous story-Skills Learned: How to poke fun at myself

Public Relations Advanced Manual

#2 The Radio Talk Show-Present a positive image of you and your company or organization on a simulated radio talk show. Prepare a talk designed to build goodwill toward an organization by presenting factual information. Understand the dynamics of a successful radio talk show. Prepare for the questions that may be asked of you during the radio interview-Skills Learned: How to enhance others image in a positive light

#3 The Persuasive Approach-Objectives: Direct a persuasive appeal to the audience’s self-interests using a combination of fact and emotion in a speech delivered in such a manner that it appears extemporaneous. Persuade the audience to adopt your viewpoint by the use of standard persuasive techniques. Use at least one visual aid to enhance the audience’s understanding-Skills Learned: Honing convincing others “why” to do something

#5 The Crisis Management Speech-Objectives: Learn strategies for communicating to the media about a company crisis. Prepare a speech for the media about a company crisis that builds and maintains a positive image for the company. Answer questions from the media in a manner that reflects positively on the company-Skills Learned: How to “spin” something

All of these are skills that as a public speaker, a Toastmaster and a business owner are invaluable to me and are things that I would not have otherwise practiced, experienced and learned from.  I’d highly encourage you to educate your members about the advanced projects available to them, and tell your new members when they join, that the CC manual is the appetizer to a main course of projects that offers so much more beyond the basics.

If you visit these links, you can download a list in Microsoft Word of all the advanced projects that are available:

Advanced Manuals with Speech Descriptions (the 15 Manuals):

Additional Manual Projects (the 42 additional projects):



About Chef Forfeng

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