Taking on this role improves observational and listening skills.
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:
well, but, so, and you know.
Sounds may be: ah, um, or er.
As an Ah-Counter you will:
- Request a copy of the Ah-Counter’s log from your Sergeant At Arms or print one out from the “Ah-Counter Resources” below.
- When introduced during the club meeting, explain the role of the Ah-Counter.
- In the Ah-Counter’s log, record overlong pauses, overused words, and filler sounds relied upon too often by all speakers.
- During the evaluation portion of the meeting, report your observations when called upon.
Before the Meeting:
- Download an Ah Counter Tally Sheet, and Agenda from the Sergeant at Arms.
- Write down everyone’s names from the Agenda onto the Tally Sheet before the meeting so you can focus on their speech during.
- Be sure you know how to properly pronounce everyone’s names for your report.
- Be prepared to tally crutch words beginning from the first word of the meeting until the last.
- Prepare an introduction for the beginning, and a report at the end.
During the Meeting:
- Identify (tally) and record all filler and crutch words, and interjections including: and, so, but, ah, um, er, you know, like
- Inappropriate fillers such as “alright”, “actually”, “I mean”, etc.
- Repeated words or phrases (such as “They, they…” etc.), stumbles / glitches.
- Do not tally during the Prepared Speeches, but account for everything else.
- Account from the beginning to the end – i.e. from the time the Sergeant at Arms starts the meeting until the President closes it.
- Most of these words can be used appropriately in sentences, and we only want to flag speakers when used as fillers, to unconsciously to connect phrases, or fill space while a speaker is thinking.
Tally the sounds or words each person uses throughout the meeting.
- When called on by the General Evaluator during the evaluation section, you may stand near your chair and give your report.
- The responsibilities of the Ah-Counter conclude with the meeting.
Rehearse before the meeting, focusing on brevity in your introduction at the beginning, and your report at the end.
- Intro: 30 seconds max
- Keep report brief: 30-60 seconds max.