My Daytona State

Ah Counter


Purpose:
The role of the Ah Counter is to note words and sounds used as pause fillers 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 intent is not so much to "catch" speakers using fillers, but more to help make them aware of crutch words that they may be using out of habit and that may take away from the impact of their speech.

Preparation:
Prepare a clear and concise summary of your role as Ah Counter for the benefit of visiting guests. You can expect a call from the General Evaluator, confirming your role.

As you Arrive at the Meeting:
Write down the names of all participants on a blank sheet of paper. Your counting duties begin at the very beginning of the meeting.

During the Meeting:
When the Toastmaster calls on you at the beginning of the meeting, stand beside your chair and give a brief explanation of your role. Listen carefully to all of the speakers and keep a tally of the filler words they use. Also make note if a speaker seems to have a particular "filler of choice."

Near the end of the meeting, the General Evaluator will ask you to share your findings. Again, stand beside your seat to give this 30-60 second report. It is not necessary to read out each person's name and count. Instead you may want to make an exception report, noting chief offenders or very good performers, including those who have improved significantly or deserve some special mention. If a member has used a very large number of filler words, avoid announcing the exact number; instead, you could say "quite a few" or "about a dozen" and/or mention the specific word or words used. You can offer to share exact tallies with speakers at the end of the meeting. When you are finished, return control of the meeting by saying, "Madam or Mr. General Evaluator," and take your seat.

Last Updated: 8/30/13