easy-Speak - High Noon Nelson       
High Noon Nelson


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easy-Speak Training

Grammarian / Uhm Counter  

Taking on this role improves vocabulary, grammar, critical listening skills and evaluation skills.

At High Noon, as at many clubs, this role is a combination of the toastmaster roles of Grammarian and Ah-Counter

The Grammarian plays an important role in helping all club members improve their grammar and vocabulary.  The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any overused words or filler sounds 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.

Before the meeting, as Grammarian you:

  • Select a 'Word of the Day'. It should be a word that will help members increase their vocabulary and one that can be incorporated easily into everyday conversation, but is different from the way people usually express themselves. Adjectives and adverbs are more adaptable than nouns or verbs, but feel free to select your own special word. If you know the theme for the meeting, use this to help you select your word.
  • In letters large enough to be seen from the back of the room, print your word on a sheet of paper that can be displayed. You can also include its part of speech (adjective, adverb, noun, etc.) and a brief definition.  Alternatively, the word can be written on the whiteboard at the start of the meeting.
  • Prepare a few sentences to explain the meaning of the word and how it is used.
  • Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Grammarian for the benefit of the guests.
  • Fill out the word of the Day on EasySpeak by clicking the green plus symbol next to Word of the Day on the meeting agenda page.

And then type the word into the white box and click ‘OK’


During the meeting, as Grammarian you:

  • Request a copy of the um counter’s log from your Sergeant at Arms. If a log is not available, be prepared to take notes.  Alternatively you can download the log from http://highnoonnelson.toastmastersclubs.org/jdownload.cgi?action=download&path=umcountertemplate.xls
  • When invited, present the word-of-the-day near the start of the meeting that helps meeting participants increase or vary their vocabulary.  In presenting the word you generally explain the definition of the word and give examples of how it can be used in a sentence.  This is an opportunity to practice a mini speech so feel free to make it as entertaining as you can.
  • You should display the word prominently either by writing it on the whiteboard or placing a printed version where it can be read.
  • Monitor and log who uses the word of the day throughout the meeting
  • In the log, record overlong pauses, overused words and filler sounds relied upon too often by all speakers. Examples include: and, but, so, you know, ah, um.
  • Optional: Write down the language and grammar usage of all speakers, noting incomplete sentences, mispronunciation, grammatical mistakes, non-sequiturs, malapropisms, etc. Example: "One in five children wear glasses" should be "one in five children wears glasses."
  • At the end of the meeting, give your report when/if called on keeping to the time set in the agenda.  If the meeting is running short of time you may not be asked to report and instead speakers may approach you after the meeting if they want to know their ums and ahs.

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