Notecards as an Organizational Tool (View pdf)
Organizing your materials into a speech that flows logically can be tricky, but notes can help. Use the notes to organize your personal ideas, research notes, interview notes, and visual aids into different sections that allow you to pull from each easily.

Sorting Cards

Put individual pieces of information on separate cards. Lay them out on a surface, and then mix and match them until you find an order that suits you and your presentation. This lets you see the big picture of your speech, instead of zeroing your focus in on every card individually. You can shuffle them around in a variety of ways before determining what works for you.

From Cards to Content

After you find the order you like, fill in any other details, such as specific examples you were going to use to make a point. If you are required to make an outline (or just think outlines are a great tool — which is true), you should go ahead and outline the speech at this point.

Before putting your ideas onto your speaking note cards that you will hold while you speak, run through the content a few times aloud. Pay attention to key points where you likely need the extra backup of having information on a card. Some pieces of information need only a brief note to jog your memory, while other details (e.g., a specific title) may require a wordier note.


Office / Department Name

Oral Communication Center

Contact Name

Amy Gaffney

Oral Communication Center Director

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