Download a checklist for Ah Counter
The Ah Counter counts and notes the number of times the members use words and sounds as
speech crutches or pause fillers throughout the meeting when they speak. In our club, we also use a
buzzer to draw their attention to them. The use of the buzzer has been shown to encourage rapid
improvement and the Ah Counter should not apologise for using it.
Examples of crutches and pause fillers (you may be able to think of others):
Ah, Er, Um, And (elongated and not use as part of the sentence construction), So, Well, Actually,
Basically, Etcetera, You know.
Prior to the meeting:
1. Read these guidelines! They relate specifically to the Ah Counter role in our club.
2. If you are new to the role, ask your mentor or the VPE for assistance.
3. Rehearse your 2 minute introduction.
At the meeting:
1. Arrive early, at least by 6.45pm, and let the Toastmaster know you are there.
2. Make sure you have a pen and paper.
3. If you are working on the CL manual, ask one of the members to evaluate you, give them the
manual and make sure they complete it by the end of the evening.
Introducing your role:
1. Explain your role from your seat in up to 2 mins., including the use of the buzzer
2. Explain that you will not be using buzzer for prepared speeches and guests.
3. Tell the audience that you will be listening carefully to everyone who speaks throughout the
evening, paying particular attention to fillers and crutches, long pauses, elongated “ands”.
4. Tell them you will report back at the end of the evening.
During the meeting:
1. Listen carefully to everyone who speaks.
2. Record those who use fillers and crutches and how often.
3. Use the buzzer every time you hear a crutch or filler being used, except during prepared
speeches or when guests are speaking.
Your report (2 mins):
1. Announce which members (and guests) used crutches and fillers and how many times.
2. Make your report a well structured mini speech lasting up to 2 mins using the skills you have
learned as your performance will be evaluated at the end of the evening – by the General
How this role helps you:
1. This role will help you to enhance your listening skills as you must listen intently to everyone
2. You will practice hand and ear co-ordination as you have to buzz and write at the same time!
3. You will deliver a well structured oral report to the members; thereby giving you practice in
delivering a mini speech.
4. You may be able to use it to advance your CL manual for the following projects:
a. Project 1 – Listening and Leadership