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ladyv900's avatar

How do I put a 3-5 minute speech on to index cards?

Asked by ladyv900 (713points) September 23rd, 2010

What I mean is, do I put the whole outline on the index cards, put each of them like the main idea and body paragraph 1 on each card or am I supposed to take the outlines of the speech and kind of shorten it? Can you give a few examples on how I’m supposed to set this up?

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10 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I used to put the whole outline on a series of index cards and practiced in front of a mirror. Delivering my speech in class was usually the fifth or sixth time I’d done it.

As for the index cards, I had 1 for the introduction and 1 for each of the main points and then 1 for the conclusion.

kissmesoftly's avatar

I always write a few key sentences for each topic on a few cards and practice the already written speech…trust me, rehearsal makes a speech more than index cards.

Also, write down any numerical stats or anything you think you can easily forget.

Seek's avatar

Ideally, you’re going to know your speech.

For example, you’re giving a speech on… I don’t know… gay people adopting children in Florida.

Your first index card will have your opening line or two. Then you’ll go on with your introduction.

The rest of the index cards will have your “talking points”.
like… “15,000 children currently in foster care in Florida”
X number of gay couples are current foster parents”
“Constitutional rights to…............”

You’ll use them to jump into your talking point, but not to read from.

Your last card may have your conclusion statement, so you don’t blank out.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Put enough on the cards to keep you on topic, everyone has different levels of comfort. I just put a key phrase or two for each paragraph of the speech so I didn’t lose my place or skip something.

I also put any statistics or direct quotes on a card so I could correctly reference them.

Seek's avatar

@WestRiverrat Good point about the quotes. People don’t like to be misquoted. ^_^

wundayatta's avatar

I tend to put down my main points only. Since I’m using slides, I’ve also got pretty pictures there to remind me what I want to say. Then I just wing it. Them again, I know my material very well, and it’s just a class of grad students.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Put key words that will help you remember. I never used to do flash cards – they’d freak me out, ‘cause I’d have to figure out what my words meant and it was no use.

Jeruba's avatar

If I were doing this, I would have one or more index cards for each of my main points, including notes about examples and subtopics and key facts. Then I would list those points just as points (without discussion) on another card, and that would be my introduction.

I would begin by defining or explaining my topic and then listing the points I was going to cover, all from the first card. Then I’d go through the points in the same order. Finally I’d have a card for my conclusion.

I wouldn’t read aloud from the cards, but they would help me remember what I was going to say.

I would also rehearse several times, some of them by myself and at least once in front of somebody.

weeveeship's avatar

I usually use one card for the introduction, one for the conclusion, and one for every main point that I will be discussing (there are usually 1–3 main points).

A typical card would look something like this:
Headlines of Subpoints

e.g. (Theme: Would there be a double dip recession? Let’s say I think so)
—Remains above 9.5%, no signs of significant drops in unemployment
—New jobless claims are starting to rise again
—Companies might lay off more people to increase profit margins

That’s it. As @Jeruba says, I would not read from the cards but would use them to recall what I was going to say. e.g. What was the third subpoint of my argument that unemployment remains high? (You can find this in the card above)

BarnacleBill's avatar

Is this for a speech class? Are you required to turn the cards in as part of the assignment?

All of the advice above is solid advice. Keep in mind that the sole purpose of the index cards is to keep you on-message. They are not intended to be a teleprompter or a script for your speech. A card could have one word on it, to remind you what comes next.

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