I'm just wondering if anybody else uses index cards when they give presentations, even PowerPoint presentations.  I find that I'm not really good enough at PowerPoint to put in everything I want to say, nor can I remember it all.  In college, I found that I gave my best presentations when I just used index cards instead of trying to memorize everything.

But everyone at work does not use PowerPoint.  I know the Manager Tools answer will just be to go ahead with index cards if that's what makes me most effective.  But I'm just wondering if I'm alone in wanting to use them.

Smacquarrie's picture

I don't use them but I have had several colleagues and classmates who do. It helps them to be more effective and impart everything they need to during the presentation. If you use them correctly, or if you feel they are a crutch, you can ween yourself off ten as you get better at presenting certain information.
Make sure that the notes include thoughts and ideas rather than verbatim what you want to say. This will help you to clue in on ideas instead of using them as a script to memorize.

GlennR's picture

First, on behalf of presentation attendees everywhere, let me thank you for not reading your slides to us.-)

If you will be using a lectern where you can place your note cards, then that's fine. They become a crutch when you're standing up there all alone. There are awkward pauses as you look from the audience down to your cards and back again. This is less obvious when using a lectern.

I had a professional speaker suggest that, to prevent spilling the note cards and losing the speaker's place, use a small keyring in one corner. A little practice and you be looking at the audience as you turn the card. Avoid using a key ring that's too large as it takes additional time to turn the card.

duplicate_account_MarkAus's picture

Use them if you need to.  If you're worried about what the audience will think - my experience is that the audience will forgive quite a bit if you look like you prepared and you're not wasting their time.