The role of Toastmasters Grammarian is a listeners role. You have to listen very intently to the speakers on the program and note their use of language.
If speakers speak eloquently you make a reference to use as an example to commend and recommend it to other speakers. Or if someone uses the language incorrectly with either incorrect grammar, or using the wrong words when they mean something else.
At the start of the meeting you are asked to explain your role. Use this opportunity to tell the audience what you'll be listening out for. Give examples of what you consider to be good use of language and what incorrect uses you might be listening out for.
Some clubs include Ah / Um counter and word master into the same role. If so, also mention what you'll be listening to in that capacity.
Toastmasters Ah Counter
The title of this role is pretty much self explanatory: you count the uhm's and ah's. You also note the use of other fillers that people use in their speech. Examples might include:
This helps speakers to identify words that they might use as crutches in those moments when their brain has run away from their mouths. And to take remedial action to correct it.
Toastmasters Word of the day
We use a word of the day to broaden the vocabulary of Toastmasters. Using colorful and descriptive language outside of what you would normally expect, adds spice to conversations and makes your listeners' ears perk up.
Good words will be words that are just outside the mainstream and not used that often. Yet it enlivens the language used. Examples used in various Toastmasters club meetings I have attended:
Explain at the start of the meeting what the word of the day is, what it means, and give an example or two of good use. During the meeting you make notes of any use of the word and the context.
Towards the end of the meeting you are asked to report. This is where you highlight good use of language, examples and context. Also mention the incorrect use of language, but add an example of what would have been the correct use (or a better use) of language.
The Toastmasters grammarian role trains you to listen very carefully, making notes and giving feedback on what you heard. It fine tunes your listening skills and helps make you a better communicator.
Boost Your Speaking Confidence Through Improv - Our guest post at the Six Minutes blog on using Improv games to improve your public speaking confidence.
Pronunciation Software - Online tools to improve your pronunciation.
British Pronunciation - Posh accent not required - learn British pronunciation.
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