The Purpose of an Ah Counter
This role is designed to raise member awareness about their use of ums, ahs and other filler words which are not only unnecessary but can be distracting to listeners. If we aren’t aware of them, we can’t take steps to improve.
The Ah-Counter takes note of any ums, ahs, errs or filler words such as and, well, but, and so by anyone who speaks during the meeting.
The Ah-Counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice listening skills.
Ah Counter Preparation
A guide to the role can be found in the appendix of the Competent Communication (CC) manual.
This should be read prior to the meeting and a brief explanation of the role prepared for the benefit of members and guests.
You will need a pen and blank piece of paper for notes, or a copy of the Ah-Counter’s log, if your club has one.
Fulfilling the Role
When the Ah Counter is introduced on the agenda, explain the role.
Some clubs do this as roles are assigned and some leave it until the report is delivered.
Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone – whether they are performing a meeting role, or delivering a speech – for ums, ahs, ers and long pauses used as fillers and not as a necessary part of sentence structure.
Keep a record of how many filler sounds or words each person used during the meeting.
When you’re called on to deliver the report stand by your chair or move to the lectern depending on your club custom and give your report.
Include advice on how to minimise the use of filler sounds and words in the report – to slow down and pause.