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How to Prepare Note Cards for a Speech

Learn how to prepare speech note cards from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking video.


Here's some tips on how to outline your speech. For starters, you don't want to just write and write and write 58 pages of PowerPoint. That's too much to even start from. What you should do is brainstorm on every single distinct idea or message you have. Maybe you have 20 or 30. But then you've got to be a harsh editor. You've got to really figure out what are literally just your top five ideas. Get rid of the others. You've got five bullet points on your outline.

Next, underneath each one, you've got a story that dramatizes this particular point. If you've got it, put another point underneath it, a fact, a number that's really important that you might not remember, put that. And finally, under each message point, if you have a PowerPoint slide, you need something that tells you what the slide is so you can talk about it before the slide comes up. That way you're in charge, not the PowerPoint.

So what do you end up with? A simple outline, 5 big points and a few bullet points underneath each one to remind you of the story, an example or fact, and the visual. Do that, and you'll have a great, simple, lean, efficient, one-page outline to guide you through your whole presentation.

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