Speaker notes: Basics & Outline Format

One of the considerations as you develop your presentation is how to most effectively create solid speaker notes. I’m going to provide you with an overview in several shorter posts to help you set up your notes effectively and clearly.

First and foremost, we want to use 4 x 6″ cards in this class. I selected this size for the convenience and clarity of information you can include in a card with 24 square inches of space. A full sheet of paper (or even a half sheet) is too large and awkward, especially if you want to move around. By contrast, a 3 x 5″ card will be too small. While convenient, it may lead to pulling cards close to your face and losing contact with your audience.

Second, you need to remember to follow standard outline formatting. This means that you will use Roman numerals, capital letters, and Arabic numbers to break down your points. Bullet points are fun, but seeing the same marker on each line can be confusing.

Remember, too, that breaking down points, concepts, and ideas into smaller thoughts requires that you use at least 2 sub-parts, but no more than 5. As I state in class several times, if you have an A, you MUST have a B. If you have a 1, you MUST have a 2.

In the next post, I’ll talk about key word focus and the exceptions to that rule.

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