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We're big fans of cue cards for presenters and public speakers. Yes, we also like a well-prepared script and we also support autocue (teleprompter), but only when you practise it beforehand. But the cue card is so important for any public speaking event. And there are good reasons why good speakers use cue cards.

  • Cue cards are inconspicuous.
  • They keep you on track as you speak.
  • They make sure you hit all the right points.
  • Your cue cards will help you keep to time.
Good speakers use cue cards

Good Speakers Use Cue Cards Effectively

These are all excellent reasons why you'd want to use a cue card system with your next speech. So you can just imagine our delight when we spotted that President Biden uses a cue card. And since reporters spotted him and his cue card at a White House meeting of wind power energy business leaders the story has grown out of all proportion. That's because firstly the inconspicuous cue card wasn't so inconspicuous and secondly it appeared to direct the President's every activity. In fact the cards seemed to prompt all his behaviours well beyond speech. Most odd.

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Yes, the President Biden cue card went above and beyond everything we've ever encountered before. And we've seen plenty of them.

Good Speakers Use Cue Cards To Stay On Track

For example the President Trump speaker notes that appeared to be hand-written in upper case letters with a Sharpie pen. That appeared to keep the President on track. Just about.

Meanwhile the UKIP conference speech from Nigel Farage at Doncaster racecourse was another good example. Because the notes from that speech were "liberated" by Sky journalist Gary Honeyford. They certainly showed that the UKIP leader had a plan for his 2014 speech, but there wasn't much else for a casual observer to see.

We also spotted the tea party speech of former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. On that occasion the Republican candidate for Vice-President actually wrote her cue points on her hand.

Energy, tax cuts, Lift American Spirits

Amazing. has anything really changed since 2010?

Speakers Without Cue Cards Miss The Key Points

So it's clear that speakers use cue cards and scribbled notes as an alternative to a formal script. In short, that's probably because they're very familiar with their material and they just need a prompt. And that prompt can be vital. For instance, the former Labour party leader forgot to mention the economy in his conference keynote speech in Manchester in 2014. Yes, he'd memorised an earlier script. And, of course he missed out a big chunk from what proved to be a 65-minute epic.

To conclude, nobody wants to lose track of their speech let alone go over their allotted time. And that's why good speakers use cue cards, improving their effectiveness with every word.

Why You Want To Use Cue Cards As A Speaker

Effective speakers use cue cards for a whole range of good reasons.

  • Speakers stay on track with cue cards.
  • Good speakers hit all the right points and messages with their cue cards.
  • With your cue cards you can easily keep to the time requirements of your speech.
  • You can always use cue cards to prompt for a difficult name or a pronunciation.
  • Above all, your cue cards are inconspicuous and can make your speech appear effortless. And that's always a good look.

You can discover everything you will need for your next conference or seminar speech with a public speaking course or one to one coaching from Time to Market. Why not give us a call when you are ready to find out more. Because we might even discuss cue cards…


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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Now based in London, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK.

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