Lesson 23º








Support cards

When you speak in public, if you simply read the speech it will appear very boring (lack of spontaneity and improvisation).

It is a good idea to improvise, although doing this you run the risk of your mind going black (situation feared by any speaker).

This can be avoided by taking with you support cards.

On the one hand, you have an outline of the points that you want to talk about, reducing the possibility that you forget something. They give the speaker confidence and help him to calm his nerves.

On the other hand, they allow him to develop the speech as he goes (improvising). This allows him to introduce new ideas and this looks spontaneous.

The use of support notes are especially advisable for speeches which have a certain duration (more than 40 minutes).

Trusting only your memory implies that you run the risk of your mind going blank, losing the line of your argument, forgetting to deal with some of the main points, etc.

When you are preparing the support cards you need to bear in mind:

Use big and clear writing, which is easy to read the first time.

They should be very plain, gathering key words, basic ideas, etc which help guide the speaker. You need to avoid notes which are overloaded as they are difficult to read when you are simply quickly consulting them.

Only write on one side, so that you don't have to turn them around (makes their use more discrete).

You should use thick paper, quarter the size of an A4 piece of paper or even smaller, as this size is easier to manage and being this thick they don't crease so easily.

The notes should be prepared tidily and they should be numbered to avoid confusion and to avoid the speaker not knowing which one is next.

When you are rehearsing you should use the support cards that you are going to use in the speech (this allows you to get used to using them).

Don't try and hide the support cards, pretending that you are not using them.

The audience understands perfectly that it is natural that the speaker uses a small outline to develop the speech.

Once you have finished with each card put them away discreetly pilling them up on one side (without turning them over).

Although you prepare support cards for the introduction and the conclsuion, you will have to try not to turn to them.

They are the two most important parts of the speech and it is a good idea to learn them from memory, so that you can put all of your emphasise into the speech (looking at the notes, although it might just be a second, takes away spontaneity).