So you have joined Toast Masters and want to start taking on meeting roles.
The Grammarian is a fun role in the meeting. It helps to develop your listening skills and benefits everyone at the meeting. If you’re new to Toastmasters I would suggest after Timer, this is next role to try, especially as it gets you thinking about what makes a good speech and what to avoid. It also gives you the opportunity to speak in the meeting and to learn how to keep to time.
So what is the role of the Grammarian?
- As Grammarian, it is your responsibility to pay close attention to all speakers, listening carefully to their language usage.
- You need to take note of any improper language, as well as any outstanding words, quotes, sayings or thoughts. As well as recording um’s, ah’s and skippy’s.
- As Grammarian it is also your duty to select and introduce the Word of the Day. The Word of the Day is a word linked to the meeting theme that everyone will try and get into their speech. You need to provide the word with its definition on a sheet. On a Zoom call you can send a Powerpoint slide to the Zoom Master and in an in person meeting you would print it out and stick it up around the room.
- In the meeting you’ll need explain your role ie the above.
Word of the Day
Word of the day adds a really fun element to the meeting. It’s good to put a bit of thought behind choosing the word. Naturally you want to provide a word that people can fit into sentences but also one that is a little stretching.
Grammarian Tally Sheet
At Windsor Speakers we have a great template to help you make notes during the meeting. You can find the template in the ‘Meeting Tools’ and it is called the ‘Grammarian Tally Sheet’.
When I’ve been Grammarian I like to start backwards using the form. I start with positive language, followed by the dodgy language, word or the day and gradually work towards the ums and ahs. As you are timed if you are running out of time at least you will have shared positive comments. It would probably be a bit demoralising to list the number of ums and ahs in huge detail per person so at Windsor Speakers we tend to go top level and congratulate those who had none and just advise those who had the most. As it’s a challenge to include word of the day and a bit of competition for the group, it’s important to feedback on this.
So when are you planning to volunteer for Grammarian? Best of luck!