Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Minimal Notes: Using 4 x 6 Cards

This is a far better method than writing your speech out
completely. Yet it still provides you with some security in case
you lose your place.
     The four-by-six notecards marked with key words will
trigger your memory. They might be the best way for you to
avoid forgetting important points, just as they are for many
well-known presenters.
     Your use of note cards will also make you look profes-
sional. When the audience sees cards in your hands they
assume that you have planned out what you want to say! Donít
have more than six or seven, whether you are speaking for
three minutes, thirty minutes, or an hour.
     Cards are highly recommended because they force you to
think on your feet and use your body naturally to express your
message. An experienced speaker, having given a talk many
times, can usually write all of the notes on a single card. One
word will simply trigger entire sections of the presentation.
     Write out your opening and closing in full on one card
each. This is very important. Your mind is standard equipment
and will work well for you most of the time - except when you
are addressing a large group!
     With cards, if you lose your place or forget your closing,
at least you have it written in front of you. This guarantees that
you will always be on target and your beginning and summary
statements will be clearly communicated to your audience.
     Be sure to number your cards on the top right. Speakers
who do not do this are greatly embarrassed when they drop
them. Often they also shuffle them like a deck of cards just
before beginning!
     Use different colours to emphasize certain points and
gestures. Mark your cards with special symbols telling you
when to change your body language, vocal tone and pacing.

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