By Michael Maloney, Sergeant at Arms

It’s like watching the grand finale of a fireworks display on the Fourth.  You get it.   You understand it.  You are part of it!

But it wasn’t a long time ago during each of our Toastmaster beginnings or should I say at least the first few meetings where we all felt like we were watching a slow burning fuse…waiting, wondering where we fit in, and why all the planning and coordination if all we do is speak.  Finally that very fuse ignites our comprehension of what Toastmasters is all about and we realize at that very moment that Toastmasters is much more than speaking.  Toastmasters is about the cohesion of a group of unrelated people coming together for the common good of each other.

It is this cohesion that ferments our goals and creates the cornerstone of our future endeavors within Toastmasters.  Toastmasters builds this cohesion by integrating many teambuilding attributes.  I believe the following three attributes illustrate Toastmasters’s cohesiveness more than any other trait.

First, it’s about planning.  We probably spend more time planning for a meeting than we spend executing a meeting.  This is a good thing.  It means we care about supporting those who have speaking parts.

Secondly, it’s about two-way communication that allows us to nest and synchronize our objectives for meetings. Believe it or not, we are actually practicing our speaking when we do this.

Lastly, and most importantly, the cohesion brought forth by Toastmasters enables us to help each other.  NOBODY, no matter how great the person is at speaking, cannot succeed without the help of his or her fellow Toastmasters.

To all this, I ask us all to raise our glasses high for a toast to Toastmasters for its ability to instill cohesiveness amongst us all.  Let that fuse keep burning.  I promise it will ignite your comprehension of what Toastmasters is all about.