Strategy

Trainers By Design Toastmasters Club exists to support members in our club and our District community to develop their training knowledge and skills, for both individual and collective benefit.

Our members come to the club from a range of backgrounds, with a variety of reasons for joining:

  • wanting to work as professional trainers (or are already)
  • looking for fresh challenges within Toastmasters
  • looking for support whilst completing their Certificate IV Training and Assessment
  • simply enjoying the fun and learning of our meetings

In March 2014, we started experimenting with a variety of meeting roles and formats that will allow us to explore pathways to learning training skills, while still remaining integrated with the Toastmasters program. Along the way, we collected member feedback, and now we’ve drawn a line under that first round of experimentation and present a new structure that should meet the varied learning needs of trainers in our club. Here’s what it looks like in practice.

Our Revised Learning Strategy: Presented November 2014

This revised strategy draws together theories of learning, training skills and the practical application to Toastmasters especially (as training skills are completely transferable). It encourages us as members to take what we learn in the club and use it in other contexts, with a particular focus on supporting the wider TM community.

It is a combination of 4 co-existing Learning Streams:

  • Topics for Trainers was developed to allow for educational sessions that are relevant to us as trainers. The sessions are designed by members, for members, and delivered and debriefed on by members.
  • The Club Resources Stream provides an opportunity for members to make use of the resources in our club library.
  • The TAE Stream is new. It’s about covering information relevant to Vocational Trainers, so it’s really for our members who are doing, or want to do their Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. If we can help you become familiar with VET concepts, it gives you a head start.*
  •  The Individual Stream is all the other learning activities that happen in our club, which serve to develop your training, communication and leadership skills.

*We are a Toastmasters club. Therefore, we only devote about 15-30 minutes at any meeting to this stream AND if you are delivering this segment, you MUST get your presentation evaluated in a TM manual. That is not-negotiable, and it’s because we want our identity as a Toastmasters club that happens to do training to be clear. We’re a Toastmasters club FIRST.

 

Topics for Trainers

When we trialed this last year, it was just a list of topics on training. Now, each of the Instructionally Designed (ID) sessions will focus on ONE of the following. A theory of learning, such as cognivitism, informational theory, etc. This way we can become familiar with the theoretical underpinnings of what we do when we create learning experiences. A practical skill, such as facilitation, reading the audience, asking the right questions, etc. That way we’re building our skill set in a tangible and focused way.

And finally, one-two TM modules, such as those found in the Club Success, Leadership Excellence, Better Speaker, and Success/Communication Success/Leadership Series. The process involved in unpacking a Toastmasters program to train it, is largely similar to that required to unpack a Training Package, so it satisfies varied needs. Additionally, this club was formed partially to give back to other members in the District, and this offers a clear way for us to do that, at the same time as building our skills and knowledge.

Here is an example timeline of what this might look like in practice:

 

Club Resources Stream

Members are approached with some training activities, books, games, etc from our library. Those members have a couple of months to review what they have been given. They then deliver their pre-packaged program, or try out a training game, or deliver a book review, depending on which resources they were given and the timeframes available. Members at any time can ask to deliver something specific regarding a club resource.

The TAE Stream

For members who are working towards their Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (or want to be). If you recall our training on learning styles, the researchers who debunked learning styles ALSO stated that prior knowledge is very important for learning in general. This is our way of building your prior knowledge, so that the Certificate IV doesn’t come as too much of a shock. Including this segment also helps our existing VET trainers in the club maintain their industry currency.

Individual Stream

Members can choose at any time to request any of the following roles on the agenda:

Training: Training Wheels, Training Warm Up, Training Game

Speeches: The Researcher with Real Help, The Reality Check In, The Pitch with Fast Feedback, Bootcamp Revisiter

Structural: Meeting Facilitator (Chairman), Timer, Facilitated Feedback

No two meetings in this club are ever the same, and that’s because each meeting is put together based on member requests.

Why this Strategy

So that’s it, that’s the strategy. You might be asking, what is all this supposed to do? Well, everything in this strategy is just a vehicle for building your skills & knowledge, and providing you opportunities to practice, in order to develop your competencies in the following areas/ways:

TBD Learning Strategy_Page_1

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