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, uh, er. You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.”
Prior to the meeting — Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the Ah Counter for the benefit of guests. You may copy the Ah-Counter Tally Sheet. You can print it from here. Ah-Counter Tally Sheet
During the meeting — When introduced prior to Table Topics, explain the role of the Ah Counter. Please limit your explanation to about 15 seconds. Ask if any prepared speakers object to being clicked. Otherwise, give an auditory signal for EACH AND EVERY ah, um, “filler word” or long pause during the meeting. Start at the very beginning of the meeting and continue through to the very end. Try not to miss a single Ah! Consistency is important.
- The only exceptions are:
- Ice Breaker speeches
- Speeches where the speaker has requested to have no auditory signals
(In this case, still count and report on the number of filler words.)When called on by the Toastmaster during the evaluation segment, stand by your chair and give your report.