The Ah Counter

We all know how um annoying it ah can um be when people um just keep, um putting in these like little words like which are just em there to fill the space while they like to think. 

Filler words are most often used a number of reasons;

  • People can use filler words because they are not sure of what to say next, so they add filler words to keep the sentence going.
  • People can use filler words because they don’t like silence and will use a filler word to “fill” the gap between their ideas.
  • People can use filler words to encourage a response from their audience, “right?”
  • People can use filer words to gain the attention of the audience before they continue speaking.

During the meeting

The Toastmaster may ask you to briefly explain your role. For all speakers, listen to the number of ah, er, oh, um’s or other filler words, count them for each speaker and make a note. Report back the results at the end of the evening when the Toastmaster calls upon you to do so. Listen out for common fillers such as you know, so, well, you see and so on and make a note of these too.

If you need help, ask a fellow club member. Enjoy yourself, have fun and be professional; learn by your mistakes, we’ve all made them and that is why Toastmasters is such a supportive environment.

Note that his is NOT a time to embarrass or condone any member, it is to make them aware of what they are saying and for everyone to learn from it and improve.  So you may want to group people

No filler words from …

A few filler words from …

Some fillers words from …

You may want to remind members of the reasons for filler words.