Northrise Toastmasters Club 1988/72

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Grammarian

Role Objective

Assist members use the power of good grammar and a rich vocabulary in their presentations.

Description of Role

A brief role focussing on spoken English used in presentations, designed to be both educational and amusing.

Preparation

The Word of the Day (WOTD), if used, needs to be thought out in advance. It is helpful to use visual aids for this and these should be put up on display before the meeting.

If the Chair has made you aware of a meeting theme you should choose a WOTD that fits into that theme.


 

Timing

One minute early in the program to explain your role, what you are looking for and the WOTD. Two minutes toward the end of the program to report on what you have observed and make any recommendations and commendations.

Procedure

Early in the meeting you will be given a minute to announce to the Club what your theme or challenge for the day will be. Either introduce a Word for the Day or use it as an opportunity to ride a particular hobby horse! You might elect to focus on verbalised pauses (ums, ahs and the like) or use of slang.

During your first session, explain your role to guests.

If you elect to use a Word of the Day (WOTD), consider using one or more visual aids, large sheets of paper or board or the whiteboard. Your aids might show the WOTD's meaning, derivation and pronunciation and maybe a couple of examples of correct usage of the word and maybe even common misuses

Visual aids can be very helpful to encourage usage of the WOTD. Some Grammarians use audible alerts during Table Topics to signal a good or bad use of grammar. All aids and props are best positioned and readied before the meeting starts as it can be very difficult to deal with this in your allotted minute.

Consider putting up visual aids with blue tack or adhesive tape at various strategic positions around the room where they will serve to remind participants of your challenge to them. You might choose to obscure your main display and "unveil" it during your minute.

Feel free to remind members of your visuals and thus your challenge, in any way you can without disrupting the meeting (totally).

 

 

During the meeting listen carefully and be prepared to report on:

  • Correct use of the Word of the Day

  • Good use or misuse of words

  • Incorrect pronunciation

  • Good word pictures

  • Cliches

  • Excellent/powerful language use

  • Poor sentence construction

  • Vocalised pauses (ahs, ums)

BrendaThere is no need to be exhaustive or highly detailed. Illustrative examples are all that is required.

In your 2 minutes at the end of the meeting give a report which should be positive, helpful and illuminating. 2 minutes is not long (no matter how it might feel when you give a Table Topic) so try to be concise. You merely need to note who used your WOTD (or whatever you asked the club to do) and any grammatical points that you think were skillful or could be improved.

Use tact, understanding and basic evaluation principles (eg CRC) and avoid evaluating any guests who may have spoken. Definitely use humour, if that is your style.

Key points

This role needs to be concisely delivered, you don't have a lot of time, but it should be fun and informative. Use your originality to make the function memorable.

Check List

Be prepared - work out well beforehand what you are going to do with your timeslot.

Pay detailed attention so that you can give a concise report.

Desirable Outcome

Meeting attendees will be aware of a selected useful additional word and/or grammar usages.


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