Shropshire Speakers is one of 400 UK public speaking clubs affiliated to Toastmasters International. However, there is so much more to Shropshire Speakers than just delivering speeches. As a member of the Club, you are given the opportunity to develop a whole range of different skills by taking on different roles at each meeting. One of the best ways to hone your listening skills is to be GRAMMARIAN for the evening.
The Grammarian has two roles, one is to introduce new words to members to help increase their word power to enhance their speeches, the other is to comment on the use of English during the course of the meeting. Throughout the meeting the Grammarian is responsible for listening carefully to everyone’s word usage. They are responsible for writing down the language and grammar usage of all speakers, noting incomplete sentences, mispronunciations and grammatical mistakes, as well as particularly good examples of descriptive language. When they gain confidence, Grammarians are encouraged to look out for and report back on examples of:
- Anaphora– repetition of a word or words across two or more successive phrases eg “There is a time for thinking. There is a time for speaking. And there is a time for action.”
- Alliteration– using words starting with the same letter or sound together in a group eg “totally tropical taste”
- Simile/metaphor– saying one thing is like (simile) or literally is (metaphor) something else eg “I was like a kid in a sweet shop” or “Public speaking was my Mount Everest”
- Onomatopoeia – formation of a word from a sound associated with it eg quack, spit, purr, hiss
- Hyperbole(hy-per-bo-lee) – deliberate exaggeration for emphasis or humorous effect eg “There must have been a million people in front of me in the queue”
At our last meeting, Club member, Denise Beaumont, was an excellent Grammarian and gave a deliciously sweet twist to the Grammarian role by producing a freshly baked batch of ‘Grammar Cakes’ to help illustrate different grammatical devices that we can all use to enhance our speeches. Denise commented, “I feel I learn a wealth of information in the short time we get together and always feel learning should be filled with as much creativity as possible! The cakes are a note of thanks to the group for the inclusion as well as an edible education”.
We are hoping that Grammar Cakes can become a regular feature of the Shropshire Speakers’ meetings!
If you have yet to visit us, why not come along for FREE. We meet on the first and third Wednesday at Ramada Telford from 7.15pm and there may even be freshly baked ‘Grammar Cakes’!