Helping members off their crutches

Time: 1 minute

The purpose of the Ah-counter is to note any word or sound used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as “and”, “well”, “but”, “so” and “you know”. Sounds may be “ah”, “um” or “er”. You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.” These words and sounds can be annoying to listeners. The Ah-counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.

Several days before the meeting prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Ah-counter for the benefit of guests.

The president will call the meeting to order and introduce the Toastmaster who will, in turn, introduce you and the other meeting participants.

Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone for sounds and long pauses used as fillers and not as a necessary part of sentence structure. Write down how many filler sounds or words each person used during all portions of the meeting.At the meeting you’ll be provided with a special form for all the sounds registration: Ah-Counter Tally SheetGive it to the Secretary after the meeting.

When you’re called on by the general evaluator during the evaluation segment, stand by your chair and give your report.