Oral Presentation: Note Cards

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12337

How would you describe a breathtaking nature scene to your audience? How would you describe the feeling of forgetting your speech? Avoid the misery of both -- learn to use note cards and visual aids!


Verbal Communication

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Do you plan to memorize your entire speech and present it flawlessly? No pressure! When you describe something like statistics or a building, are you going to wave your arms around like a windmill and expect your audience to picture what you are trying to illustrate? No way! Learn how to use note cards and visual aids to help you and your audience!

The adults pictured above are giving an oral presentation to an audience.

As you can see, some of the adults are using a visual aid to help their audience understand the topic and make the presentation more interesting. You will also notice that they are not reading their speech to the audience. In this lesson, you will create note cards that you will use when you give your presentation. You will also create a visual aid to liven up your presentation and help your audience better understand the topic.

You will need your rough draft that you completed in the previous lesson and your outline. You will also need some white 4x6 index cards and a pencil. If necessary, you can also refer back to the first Related Lessons in our Oral Presentation series, found in the right-hand sidebar.

  • How do you write note cards?

Your note cards are your speaking notes. You will make them from your outline and rough draft. You want to only use key words and phrases on your note cards so you are not just reading your outline to your audience. You will only write complete sentences if you have a direct quote or fact that you copied word-for-word from a text.

  • So, what do you write on your note cards?

You want to write key words and phrases that will trigger your memory for the entire sentence or paragraph you are speaking. You can use as few as one or two note cards or as many as five or six. Do not use more than six because you might get your cards out of order and mess up your speech!

You will also want to practice giving your speech several times with your note cards so you are prepared to give your speech in a way that will be approved by your teacher or parent and received well by your audience.

Remember, you should put your main points on your index cards in short phrases; you will only write complete sentences when you are giving a direct quote or fact from a book or other source. Don’t forget to cite your sources on your note cards so you have accurate information for your audience.

You may continue to the Got It? section, where you will create your note cards.

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