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How to create best cue cards and then use them for speech – English GCSE oral

It goes without saying that cue cards have a massive effect on speeches. They give you the advantage of summing up paragraphs, give you the freedom to look around, respond and gesture: you will look and feel more present and less like a robot.

Once you have mastered using cue cards, your speech will become almost spontaneous, something the audience will appreciate. There are probably some of you out there finding it extremely difficult transcribing a whole 2 -3 A4 page speech onto few cue cards. Take it slowly, and you will find the cue cards produced you will be delighted with.

How to make the cue cards
Firstly, when writing your cue cards out, I would recommend easy to read colours such as black or blue and write on cards about 1.5 times bigger than a standard playing card.

The best cue cards have:

  • One main header or sentence at the top – This could be a topic sentence to introduce a new paragraph or just a sentence difficult to remember and worth saying.
  • Plenty of white space around words – If its difficult to read, you may stutter more and won’t be as ‘flowing’. Don’t over pack your cue cards with information
  • Have bullet points under header at the top – You will want sub headings to go into more depth and then facts and figures you want to mention. For example:
HEADER – Footballer’s are overpaid
  • Sub-heading – Footballer’s wages are making footballer’s corrupt
  • Facts or figures – Average premier league wage is £676,000 and John Terry had affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend.
  • Clearly labelled in order – Don’t get muddled up with your cue cards. The best way is to number them on the back so you can never get confused from messing them up.

Now, one of the best ways to write cue cards is through what I just shown you above: main header, then sub header then any facts or figures or extra information. This is ideal for one cue card to a paragraph. Sum up your paragraph in one sentence. Now that’s your header. Think of a argument you are saying in that paragraph, that will be your sub heading. Any evidence towards this argument will be your facts, figures or extra information. It’s that simple. I’m not going to tell you this is the best method, because its not. Everyone has their preferences: some people like this method, others prefer to just write the whole speech onto cue cards. The best cue cards are the cue cards that makes you most comfortable during the speech.

The last thing you will have to do is rehearse them, preferably in front of people to help you gain confidence. Cue cards are not meant to have EVERYTHING from your speech on it, otherwise, it wouldn’t feel as flowing. Once you start practising, you will get better and better until you will hardly need your cue cards at all. When your up to this stage of knowing what your doing before you see the cue cards, you will be at the right state of mind to deliver a speech.


  1. Anonymous November 7, 2016
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  3. Anonymous May 9, 2017
  4. Anonymous May 9, 2017

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