Can a whole be greater than the sum of its parts? This sounds like one of those phiisophical queries that can be argued either way.
When it comes to a Toastmaster Club the whole is more than its parts. To prove this assertion, Roman Smolak, VP PR for Speaking From Experience Advanced Toastmasters Club (fondly referred to as SFEAT) and intrepid workshop presenter, provides several observations from his own club.
In the nine years since inception, SFEAT has attracted close to 100 members. Five original charter members are still ‘parts’ of the current membership. Two active members passed away. Many memberships have lapsed. They are remembered and missed.
SFTEAT chartered in one meeting. Holds meetings through the summer. Has two social gatherings to celebrate its achievements. Half the members have their DTM.
From SFEAT’s ranks, they produced a District Champions in Table Topics and Evaluation contests. Club leaders extend their involvement to take Area, Division, and District roles.
Members prepare and deliver Club Officer training, at the Division and District Training Learning Institute. SFEAT workshops are selected for delivery at TLI and District conferences.
These are some of the parts that comprise SFEAT, as a club. But even this list of activities and accomplishments falls short of describing the ‘whole.’ So what is the whole? It’s what SFEAT has come to be known for. What people think of when they hear SFEAT. It’s more than what’s visible.
One aspect of the whole is what members feel when they interact. The trust and expectations. Speech evaluations encourage growth. Mentorship and group discussion further reinforce the ebbing transformations.
The unique ‘roundtable’ evaluations of both the speaker and evaluator supports the sharing of multiple perspectives. During the following ‘coffee’ re-evaluations, one might realize something entirely new.
SFEAT members are encouraged to take risks knowing that others are there to support. Members are accountable to each other. This means a unique form of friendship that goes beyond attendance. Enjoyment of each other’s company is visible in photos taken at multiple events throughout the year.
Whether it’s sharing an emotional experience or a conscious awakening, SFEAT membership reveals something greater than the parts. Consider yourself invited to visit a SFEAT meeting. Experience for yourself how the ‘whole can be more than its parts.’