The best (most useful) cue cards:
have ONE main heading or idea per card
are written clearly using larger than usual font (so you can read them easily) have plenty of white space around each word or phrase to help them stand out use bullet points or numbers to itemize the supporting ideas under the main heading are written on ONE side of the card only
are clearly numbered so that you know the order they come in and/or they may even be tied together. (Drill a hole through the left corner and tie with a loop of string so that the cards can be flipped.) are color-coded to show your main idea, supporting ideas, examples and transitions or links. have where props are to be shown. For example: Main Idea One - Supporting Idea - Example - Show slide 1 have approximate timings marked so you can track yourself through your allotted time. If you find you're going over you can adjust by leaving out an extra example or conversely if you're under time, you can add one in.
Preparing your speech for cue cards
Before starting on the cue cards themselves make sure you've got the flow of the speech how you want it.
Using your speech outline go through from the beginning checking the sequence of ideas, supporting material and their transitions to ensure all your information is in an effective and logical sequence.
Do try it out loud and time it. You may need to edit if it's too long and it's a lot easier to do that at this stage.
If you haven't got an outline ...
Use this print-friendly blank speech outline template. It will make preparing your cue cards a breeze.
Is your speech being evaluated?
If your speech is being judged, find out what the evaluator will be marking you on. Check this standard speech evaluation form....