A Special Use for a Note Card

A point of discussion when talking about public speaking is whether or not to use notes.  And if you do use notes, should they be a manuscript, a sentence outline, or key words on note cards that you refer to during your presentation?

The one time when you want to use a note card is when you are delivering a significant quotation or piece of evidence.

Here are a couple of reasons.  When you have the data written on a card and pull it out and read the line to the audience, you will create more credibility with your piece of evidence.  We assume that if you have it written on paper, you did not manufacture the proof.

A second reason is that you take pressure away from yourself by not having to remember the exact figure or wording of the testimonial. You will be less uncertain and more confident in delivery.

What I often do if I have several pieces of data to quote is to put all the quotations  on one card and then simply lay the note on the lectern and only pick it up to read the line or statistic.

Keeping things simple in speechmaking is critical since you already have too many variables that you can’t control.  Not having to remember an exact number(s) or testimonial simply makes your work easier in front of an audience.  Add to that the increased credibility and you have justification for using a note card effectively.

Steve Boyd
Steve Boyd
Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication, College of Informatics, Northern Kentucky University, near Cincinnati. Steve won the Toastmasters International Speech Contest in 1970 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year at NKU in 1984, among other awards and honors. Since retiring, he volunteers with nonprofits, spends time with family, travels, preaches occasionally, and enjoys reading and writing. Contact Steve at (859) 866-5693 or at steveboyd111@gmail.com.

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