Presentations

Make flash card notes

Weak presenters use notes as a script, reading them and never looking at the audience.

Good presenters make sure their notes are:

  • are brief
  • use key words or topic statements
  • give prompts for what you need to say
  • are easily held in the hand
  • are there to glance at and then look away from.

The best kind of notes to hold when you are giving a presentation are flash cards. A ‘flash card’ is a small piece of card you hold in your hand and glance at quickly to take in information.Use index cards or take a sheet of A4 card and cut it into quarters, or usePowerPoint to make presentation slides.

Important features of a flash-card:

  • Large, bold writing
  • Written in bullet points
  • Uses key words or short statements
  • No more than six lines of writing
  • easy to read at a glance.

How to use flash cards:

  • Print them on card so that they do not curl or get damaged easily
  • Number them
  • Make sure they are in the correct order before you start
  • Hold them just below chest-height
  • Never hold them in front of your face
  • Glance quickly at the card to take the information you need
  • Move the card to the back of the pile in your hands when you have finished with it
  • move from one card to the next at a transition point eg/a point where you can say ‘And now I would like to move on to...’
  • Have a final card that says ‘Any questions?’ to signal the end of the presentation.

Remember:

Learn and practise your presentation so that your flash card ‘prompts’ allow you to talk freely and confidently.

Creating and using Flash cards (PDF opens in new window)