Toastmaters

Your Role as a Grammarian | Toastmasters Meeting Role

As a Grammarian (aka Language Evaluator), you pay close attention to the use of language, provide constructive feedback and introduce "Word of the Day" to encourage members to use during the meeting. Here is how you could succeed this role.

Before the Meeting

  1. Prepare "Word of the Day": Find an appropriate word to introduce during the meeting. It can be a word suitable to the meeting theme or a word that you find it helpful in developing a speech. In Toastmaters International website, you can find examples of  "Word of the Day" for free or in a stack of cards sold in the online shop. Meanwhile, Dictionary.com also developed a word of the day section for you to choice a word from.
  2. Bring Pen and Paper (or use the Official Toastmaters AppGoogle/Apple): You will need to jot down any good use of language during the meeting and count the number of times any speaker used "Word of the Day". These notes will be used for your reporting at the end of the meeting.
  3. Bring the Competent Leader (CL) Manual: Bring your CL manual, your contribution as a Grammarian  to the meeting can be recorded as part of your CL award. Ask your Vice-President of Education (VPE) or assigned mentor for details.

During the Meeting

Step 1: Introduce Your Role

The Toastmasters of the Evening (TME) is the host of the meeting, s/he will introduce a team of facilitators, including your role as the Grammarian, to facilitate the meeting. The TME will introduce you to the stage to explain your role. Remember to shake your hand with the TME to take over the stage.

Your script could look like this:

Thank you Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening.

Fellow Toastmasters, Friends and Guest. My role as a Grammarian is to pay attention to the good use of English and provide constructive feedback for improvements. At the end of the meeting, I will be on stage once again to present my report.

Before that, I would like to introduce the Word of the Day. The Word of the Day is to help fellow members to enrich your vocabulary in preparing your speech.

For this meeting, the Word of the Day is the word surreal, meaning something very strange or unusual: having the quality of a dream. Here is an example: I still feel surreal in completing all 10 Competent Communicator speeches within just one year!

You are encouraged to use Word of the Day as frequent as you could in this meeting and I will count how often it was used by each speaker. I will provide my report at the end of the meeting.

Back to you Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening.

Step 2: Pay Attention to the Use of Language

You will need to jot down any good use of English by speakers when they are on stage. For example, the appropriate use of metaphor, rhythmically  structured sentence, explicit use of words, etc. are all considered as good use of language.

Here are some examples, using the 2014 Champion Speech (YouTube) by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (personal website) :

  • Appropriate use of metaphor:
    “You and I are not very different from this flower, just like this flower is unique, you are unique.”
  • Rhythmically structured sentence:
    “So my dad introduce me to this strange club that had a strange name with strange people, talking.”
  • Explicit use of words:
    “…while I was speaking I see a strange man seating in the back room, humble, simple, the unfailing quality of kindness in his eyes”

You may also jot down any inappropriate use of English, such as wrong pronunciation, confusing metaphors, badly structured sentences, implicit use of words etc. Since the Toastmaters experience is all about providing an encouraging environment to learn public speaking, I suggest you only include the bad use of English as long as you could provide constructive feedback in your report. Otherwise, as a start, pay attention only to the good use of English instead.

Meanwhile, do not forget to count  the usage of Word of the Day by each speaker while they are on stage.

Step 3: Reporting

After the completion of Table Topics and prepared speech sessions, the TME will introduce each facilitator to come forward to the stage once again to give their reports. When you are asked, you will need to provide a brief report on the use of language by all speakers.

Your report could look like this:

Dear Fellow Toastmasters, Friends and Guest, it is a pleasure listening to your speeches and I do find a few excellent use of English! I would like to share for example (good use of English)… Meanwhile, I would like to point out some of the words and sentences that can be improved for example (bad use of English)…

Meanwhile, I am happy to see that fellow members are eager to use the World of the Day, we have (name) used the World of the Day for three times, great job! As you can see, this world is really helpful in conveying your message, I hope everyone can use it more often in your future speech.

Back to you, Madam/Mister Toastmasters of the Evening!

Step 4: Competent Leader (optional)

Your contribution as a Grammarian is part of the Competent Leadership (CL) award scheme. Remember to bring along your Competent Leadership manual to the meeting. Your Vice-President of Education (VPE) either already assigned a fellow Toastmaster to evaluate your performance or make request for that ahead of the meeting.

The CL manual is included when you first joined a Toastmasters club, it is the first award as part of the leadership track. Taking up the role as a Grammarian can be counted up to four times in the CL manual for the award. Please refer to your club VPE or assigned mentor for details.

Examples

Here are some examples found in YouTube:

Introduce your role:

Reporting:

Looking for other meeting roles?

Grammarian

Be the ambassador of the English Excellency – Your Role As a Grammarian

Timer

Remind your speaker to finish their speeches on time – Your Role As a Timer

Ah-Counter

Too many fillers upset our ears, count ’em all – Your Role as an Ah-Counter

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