We assign members to meeting roles:
To provide more speaking opportunities for members.
- To improve our listening skills.
- To improve the educational quality of our meetings.
The AH-COUNTER: spotlights a pervasive public speaking problem; verbal crutches and fillers such as, “ah, er, um, and-a, so, ya-know, like”, etc. The Ah-Counter records these abuses and reports their use when called upon near the end of the meeting. Also note “double clutches,” phrases that begin, then go back and begin again: “I told the boss . . . I said to the boss, ‘Listen man, we can’t do that.’” “The fruit was. . . the apples were almost ripe now, and . . .”
In your report at the end of the meeting tell each speaker how many of these crutches they used. It’s gentler and more tactful to report, “Mary you had a lot of ‘ah’s and um’s especially during the first part of your speech” if the speaker is new to Toastmasters and has a very large “ah count.” That is not required, however
In some instances, you may need to point out a specific problem. For example, “At the beginning of each new thought, Joe, you repeatedly begin the sentence with the word ‘so.’”
Video clip of role.
- Twelve minute video illustrating selected meeting roles:
- Toastmasters app; timer (turns screen red, yellow and green at appropriate intervals), reports times and speakers’ names to the club Secretary, helps with meeting details. Works on iPhone, Android.