The New Pathways -- Mission Accomplished

Several Toastmasters submitted applications for their Pathways DTMs in the month of March. They are fortunate to have unutilised credits from earlier years to fulfill the new requirements.

Now that I have completed my Pathways DTM journey, I have been asked to share. I am doing this at District 51 Annual Conference 2018 which is held at the Royale Chulan Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. It is also the 25th anniversary reunion of former District 51 which comprised of 7 countries back in 2004. They were Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Hongkong and Macau. Today, these countries are part of Districts 51, 80, 87, 89, 97 and 102.
On Friday afternoon 20 April 2018, 12 "Experts" will share their Toastmasters experiences based on 4 'cluster' themes. Each cluster consists of 3 Toastmasters. Each speaker will speak for 15 minutes with the balance 15 minutes for panel discussion. I am the final speaker in "Cluster 1: Toastmasters in the Digital Age". The title of my presentation is "Pathways: 2 Biggest Obstacles and 1 Biggest Weakness".

Basically the challenges I faced will be similar to what most of you will be facing when you embark on Pathways.

The first major obstacle is mindset. Getting people to change from the traditional education path is the most difficult. Switching from what we normally do to something new - blended learning - is never easy. For many, the transformation is huge... but we know that it must be done for the future of Toastmasters.

The second major hurdle (or obstacle) is the lack of computer literacy skills. Even though I use the computer on a daily basis I still had challenges. I really appreciate my Vice President Education (who is a Pathways Guide) for the patience to hold my hands with hiccups after hiccups. In the process, I now fully understand the whole Pathways system including the workings within Base Camp.

I believe that Toastmasters International should invest in a dropdown menu with auto-translation into the key languages used. In District 80, many Mandarin-speaking Toastmasters felt lost navigating unchartered territories.

Surprisingly, this in my opinion is still not the biggest weakness...

Even though we paid for our Pathways path, the present system does not allow us to look further ahead. What is the reason to restrict our access to projects of higher levels? Why is this necessary?

Without doubt this is the biggest weakness in the new educational system. For someone who likes to work "with the end in mind", I felt very frustrated and unfulfilled. It was only after I had completed  one Pathways path, that I could see the "big picture" for the second using the first as guide since many of the elective projects are similar.

I sincerely hope that Toastmasters International will lift this unnecessary restriction once the new Pathways is fully rolled out in all Districts by 30 June 2018.     

Chew Ban Seng DTM
Past District Governor


  1. Truly said article, thanks for sharing your blog. Congratulations!! To your very best to all other future endeavor after obtaining the Pathways DTM. Happy Easter to you and all at home.

  2. Beautifully written summary of Mission Accomplished! I empathize with those challenges and perceived weaknesses articulate here. As I move to my second Path (first Path will conclude in May 2018) I am already ahead. Knowing what was expected in Level 1 and 2 I was able to plan and schedule my speeches at several online TM clubs as well as my land based clubs. I am now coaching others on how they 'can look ahead' and plan towards their trajectory.

    1. Thank you Coach Carole for your enlightenment , i have much to learn from both of you who are already DTMs in the traditional educational way of speeches, and of course here in Pathways, so even with obstacles i am facing, I must strive on and do my best... Good day!

  3. I love a lot this post and the description of the major hurdles. And which were the major joys?

    1. My major joys??

      It is the flexibility and freedom from Pathways that give me the flight of joy and pleasure.

      The most enjoyable thing about Pathways is the opportunity to try new things otherwise not possible.

      If you had followed my blog, I did a lot of Rotary activities and tied that with Pathways. I am doing good serving humanity and doing my Pathways at the same time.

      Certainly a "win-win" approach which I believe is the essence of Pathways. 😍

  4. Revisiting this site today after listening to the presentations from the D51 Convention on Digital Future of Toastmasters. The speeches were all stunning from Lee Eng Liew, Lorraine Taylor and Chew Ban Seng. I was especially impressed with the eloquence, inspiration and raw truth from Chew Ban Seng on Pathways.

  5. Yeah I had just read your article, Coach Carole which does come to my inbox.. Interesting!


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