Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I Made Wednesday {Cue Cards for Our Young Speakers}

This being an election year and all, speeches are bombarding the airwaves from all sides. They seem to speak with such ease, eloquence and poise. And, considering Public Speaking falls into the number 2 slot of people's phobias, well, you just can't help but respect a good speaker. But how to get there?

I think it begins with practice, practice, and then more practice. The more you do, the more comfortable you get. And, imagine if we can start this process with kids grades 4 through 6. Wow! By the time they'd be in high school, they would be old pros. Just think what a breeze that college interview will be for them.

For two years I sponsored a Teen Gavel Club in my local area for high school students. I, along with an amazing public-speaking master, followed the protocol of Toastmasters International, a world-renowned public speaking organization. Now, my son's school has invited me to offer a similar experience to the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, as an after-school program to those interested. I am delighted and so excited to share such an important life-skill with such young minds.

Since my past experience only dealt with high school students, I made amendments to the program to tailor it to a younger crowd. I'm trying to make the class really fun, not at all boring, and, hopefully, true progress will prevail and the class will grow by word-of-mouth for the future.
Need more eye contact

One of my changes to the program include these cue cards I made to help make the speaker aware of how they are presenting. Kids need immediate feedback so I developed these cards to communicate with them during their speech without interrupting. And kids are so smart; they take cues and apply them immediately. I think these cue cards are going to be a success.

What You'll Need
Print-outs of your visual aides
Foam core
Glue stick
X-acto Knife
thin paring knife
Tongue-depressor sized craft sticks

What You'll Do

Using an X-acto knife, cut out your print-out and paste it to your foam core using a glue stick. Luckily, I had remnants of foam core from the Harry Potter Birthday Party.
Once secure and dry, cut around the print-out and through the foam core. This would be a great opportunity to use a brand new blade as it will cut through the foam core very easily and smoothly without ripping the foam.

Create a "starter slit" where the handle will go by using your thin paring knife to cut into the foam.
Coat the top of the craft stick with glue.
Insert the craft stick into the "starter slit" you made earlier. Be sure to do this slowly and gently and as straight as possible. Ensure that each stick is inserted where each cue card stands at the same height.

L-R, top-down: Slow down, you're talking too fast; I like what you just said and how you said it; I can't hear you, speak up; take a breath, you look nervous, calm down; need more eye contact; watch your filler words like "um", er", "like", "you know"; watch your body language
What You'll Need to Know to Finish
If you're a teacher, you need to make these pronto for your class when they give their presentations. You can even select another student to "man the cues", ensuring they are listening to the student speaker. If you're a parent, these cue cards should be made so, when your child practices their speech, you can offer lots of help without actually saying a word. Speaking well lends itself to making a good first impression. Wouldn't you want your child to have that advantage in any given situation? They can, and these cue cards can help awaken their speaking awareness.


momto8 said...

good for you! I have heard wonderful things about Teen Gravel Club and Toastmasters...thank you for supporting people in getting over their fear of public speaking!

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness, I may just have to make these for the composition class I am teaching. They have to do a presentation, and I think this will help them be more relaxed. I am not focusing as much on the presentation as I am the content, but it is good practice to start thinking about those issues, such as using filler words and not making eye contact.

ramsaygrace said...

New follower - hope to get a follow back!

The Thriftiness Miss said...

Thanks so much for sharing this at the Weekend Wonders link party! Hope to see you back on Thursday Have a great day :)

cathy@my1929charmer said...

I'm not a teacher, but I can appreciate them al the same! One of the classes I took in college was public speaking and it totally gave me anxiety!!!!! Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

Adorned From Above said...

These are really great cue cards. What a creative idea. Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party last week. This weeks Link Party is opened at
from Wednesday until Sunday.
Hope to see you there.
Debi Bolocofsky
Adorned From Above


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