How to present to a group and feel comfortable using Cue Cards!

Ok, so this blog has been born out of necessity. You see before we launched our Networking ViBe meetings, I made a list of all the things I had to inform our attending delegates about, I then put them into a chronological order and wrote a word-for-word script.

Job done you might think (and in theory it was), but in practise I find working from a word-perfect script un-natural. For some it’s what they prefer, but I’m a free-style kind of lady at heart so I needed more flexibility to be who I am whilst not forgetting all that needs to be said.

At the end of the day word-for-word scripts are just not me!

I don’t feel authentic.

I can’t make eye-contact with those in the room in attendance and the whole process feels wooden and impersonal.

Yes, the result of getting the desire and necessary information across might be achieve but at the price of not being seen as genuine, human or as engaging as I would otherwise naturally be if ad-libbing or played it by the seat of my pants – But we all know I would then forget half the content.

So….

I googled the problem and guess what I found out. That a good old-fashioned cue card was all that I needed. This in turn got me thinking.

If I feel uncomfortable in such a situation, then others (including any showcasing business owners) may well do the same so I set about creating a guide I could follow myself that would help me create the perfect cue cards as prompts to my efforts in hosting our meetings but also for those who are Showcasing their businesses.

Once you’ve got your topics in order, before you write out your cards, try reading/talking about each topic out-loud. Does the content flow, do you feel comfortable? Do you need to add in examples, or props to help explain your message?

  1. Put one main heading, idea or topic of focus on each card only.
  2. Written clearly and in much larger writing then normal using plenty of white space between words for them to be easily read.
  3. Use bullet points or numbers if a list of any kind is to be spoken of.
  4. In the top left corner, whole punch your cards and then lopp them onto a string or metal keyring to allow them to be flipped easily with your right hand as you circle through the cards.
  5. If your speech has different segments to it, then you could colour code the cards, or highlight the cards using a pen to ensure you know where in your presentation you are. Eg. At networking ViBe, we have an introduction to the evenings meeting. Then before each Showcaser we present them to the room and then again a closing segment. So in this example 4 different sets of cards would be used.
  6. Again if each section has a number of cards, list write 1 of x in the top right corner, so you can present and conclude each segment confidently.
  7. In the top centre of the card, place your timings. This could be the time that this segment is to start, which for a Networking ViBe meeting is more applicable. But if you are a show-caser, you could write 60 seconds to prompt/remind you how long to talk about that topic for.