Ah-counter helps the group track ah’s, um’s, and other filler words such as like, so, and so, or any other word that might come across as a filler word. With our club, ah-counter clicks when they think a particular said word was a filler word.
We don’t click during prepared speeches. We still keep track of filler words and provide that in the report. But we don’t click.
As an ah-counter:
- Explain to fellow club members to use pauses instead of trying to fill the space with filler words. Encourage all to get comfortable with the silence while speaking (using pauses).
- Keep an ear for run-on sentences as well. If the speaker connects sentences using so, and so, and, or any other word, click. In the ah-counter report, explain not to do run-on sentences.
- Use clicker (click) when you think a particular word from the speaker was a filler word.
- Prepare a brief statement to explain your role when prompted by the toastmaster.
- In the end, give a detailed report for each person separately (number of ah’s, um’s, and filler words). You have 1-2 minutes to do that.
The role of a counter is more challenging than it seems. You are actively counting ah’s and um’s and other filler words and click from beginning to end. The role helps you cultivate active listening skills, one of the key components in learning how to communicate and work with others as a team.