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Chapter 29. An Ounce of Prevention: Rehe... > Preparing Index Cards or a Speech Ma... - Pg. 244

An Ounce of Prevention: Rehearsing Good note cards meet these three requirements: 1. 2. 3. 244 They contain enough material to help you remember the important points in your speech. They are easy to use. They don't distract the audience. Many speakers write their notes on the smallest index cards: 3-by-5-inch. These cards have the advantage of being small enough to fit into your hand or pocket, so you can carry them to the podium without audience members being aware that you will be speaking from notes. Other speakers prefer larger cards, 4-by-6-inch or 5-by-7-inch. These larger cards are easier to use if you have a lot of statistics to remember, if your handwriting is large, or if your vision is weak. Unfortunately, you can't conceal these cards in your hand or pocket. But don't make secrecy your prime consideration when deciding on which size cards to use. Instead, select the cards that best serve your purpose. Regardless of the size cards you use, be sure to fasten them securely with a rubber band or paper clip so they won't scatter if they happen to fall on the floor (God forbid!). Number the cards just in case this does happen. What should you write on your note cards? Include key phrases to remind you of the major sections of your speech. Also write down any statistics or quotations. Read the following passage from a speech about the history of comic books. Then see how the speaker made notes about this passage on an index card: "Meanwhile, over at Atlas (formerly Timely) Comics, the publisher, Martin Goodman, saw the success of his rivals and suggested to his young editor that they should start publishing super- hero comics as well. The editor, a long-time writer of comics for Timely/Atlas named Stan Lee, took a shot and created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, and X-Men." Here's the speaker's card for the excerpt from the comics speech. How many cards should you use? The answer depends on your speech and your comfort level. If you're giving a simple speech and know the material well, a few cards might be enough. But if you're delivering a long speech with a lot of detail, you might have to use at least 10 cards. But don't use too many note cards--they will distract both you and the audience. Full Text