There are many different ways you can use to help keep your speech on track. Here are a few examples:
Some speakers use numerous note cards. These require considerable handling which may distract an audience’s attention, to some extent at least, from the speaker’s ideas. A less obtrusive method is to use a standard sheet of typing paper for the notes. After this paper is placed upon a speaker’s stand it need not be touched again until after the speaker has concluded his talk.
There should be enough notes to jog a speaker’s memory suf¬ficiently. But no more. Leaning heavily upon notes detracts from a direct communication between speaker and audience. Usually a few words on any one point is enough. Simply the letters, T. R., for instance, would remind a speaker to1 use his illustration about Theodore Roosevelt. Mark Twain liked to sketch pictures on his note paper to remind him of points.
Use anything that works for you. The point is not to make an artisticor “correct” outline but one that will help you communicate ideas effectively to an audience.
Never try to hide the notes or to conceal the fact that you are using them, as one speaker is said to have done. He kept the notes in his inside coat pocket. Occasionally he turned from the audience and took a peek. But once he became excited and said, “The next point is … The next point is — Montgomery Ward and Company!”
Have you got any favorite ways you use? Whwt works best for you?