Roles – Grammarian

(With permission from Buddies Online Toastmasters Club VPE Jenny)

Taking on this role improves vocabulary, grammar, critical listening skills and evaluation skills

The grammarian plays an important role in helping all club members improve their grammar and vocabulary. As grammarian you:

  • Introduce new words to meeting participants and monitor language and grammar usage
  • Write down the language and grammar usage of all speakers, noting incomplete sentences, mispronunciations, grammatical mistakes, non-sequiturs, malapropisms, etc. Example: “One in five children wear glasses” should be “one in five children wears glasses.”
  • At the end of the meeting, give your complete report when called on.
  • Optional: Introduce a “Word of the Week” that helps meeting participants increase their vocabulary; display the word, part of speech, and a brief definition with a visual aid and prepare a sentence showcasing how the word should be used. Note who uses this word or any derivatives thereof correctly or incorrectly during the meeting…

Grammarian Role

  1. Prior to the Meeting  
  1. During the Meeting

When introduced by the Toastmaster, please say the following:

“Mr./Madam Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters, and welcome Guests!

  • As Grammarian, it is my responsibility to pay close attention to all speakers, listening carefully to their language usage. I’ll take note of any misuses of the English language as well as any outstanding phrases.
  • It is my duty to introduce the Word of the Day.
    Word the Day is _____________.
    According to *** dictionary, it means ___________.  
    [Put Word of the Day and definitions in the chat box] Details in the chat box.
    An example of using the word is ____________________.
    Each speaker is encouraged to use the Word of the Day.
  • I will give my report later. Back to you, Mr./Madam Toastmaster.”

3. Report (1-2 minutes)General Evaluator or Toastmaster of the day will ask your report at the evaluate session.

  • emorable phrases & commendation
  • Common mistakes we made
  • End with encouraging phrase

The GRAMMARIAN Cheat-Sheet


  1. Choose a word to match the meeting’s theme before the meeting.  Choose a word that will most likely be used in everyday speech and not simply be an obscure challenge for the day.  Attempt to pick words that are truly rich in meaning and in which members will gladly use in their vocabulary.
  2. After you introduce the Word of the day, put it and definition in the chatroom. Letting members know the word before the meeting gives them the chance to work it into their speeches.
  3. It is your responsibility to keep track of who uses the word throughout the meeting and report on this at the end of the meeting.


  1. Finding the Good
  1. Vocabulary – interesting, enriching words like cathartic.
  2. Alliterations – he ate a lot of fatty, feel-good food.
  3. Emotion, emphasis
  4. Good adjectives (deep, beautiful, puffy, humid, warm, foreboding, blustery, etc.)
  5. Word pictures, transitions, puns, wordplay, metaphors, similes, etc.
  6. Use of good words and using them correctly.
  7. Pointing out where to improve
  1. Refer to a dictionary for exact pronunciation.
  2. Jargon – words hard to understand by those outside the profession or group.
  3. Ineffective wording, misused and misunderstood words or phrases.
  4. Off color or offensive words.
  5. Things to avoid
  1. Making someone look bad.
  2. Pointing out too many things about one person.
  3. “Should” and “shouldn’t” statements.
  4. “So”, if overused, can be a filler word, but don’t mistake its use as bad grammar.
  5. Tricks of the trade
  1. Make general observations and avoid nitpicking an individual.
  2. Point out the positives over the negatives.
  3. Make simple diction suggestions to ESL members instead of attacking their many mistakes.  Consider talking to them in person or writing them a note instead of singling them out before the group.  Complement their success in English.