The purpose of the Ah-counter is to note words and sounds used as a “crutch” or “pause filler” by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so, you know. Sounds may be ah, um, er. You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.” The Ah-counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills.
Prior to the meetingEdit
Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Ah-Counter for the benefit of guests.
At the meetingEdit
Get a pen and blank piece of paper for notes, or get a blank copy of the Ah-Counter’s log, if your club has one, from the Sergeant at Arms.
During the meetingEdit
When introduced, explain the role of the Ah-Counter. In some clubs, small fines are levied on members who do or do not do certain things. (For example, members are fined who use “crutch” words, or are not wearing their Toastmasters pin to the meeting). If your club levies fines, explain the fine schedule.
Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone for “crutch” sounds and long pauses used as fillers and not as a necessary part of sentence structure. Write down how many “crutch” sounds or words each person used during all portions of the meeting.
When called on by the General Evaluator during the evaluation segment, stand by your chair and give your report.
After the meetingEdit
Give your completed report to the treasurer for collection of fines, if your club does this.
- A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats (Item 1167D, 6 pp, $1.00)