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Key traits written all over PM's speech notes

To follow is an article by Kiran Chug in the 21 May 2011 edition of the Dominon Post.   I have been quoted providing advice to the Prime Minister on the use of his speech notes when public speaking.

Key traits written all over PM's speech notes Finance minister sees bright side Campaign of two halves for Labour No further cuts to KiwiSaver, Working for Families Budget plots 'remarkable' turnaround: Key Govt hikes gallantry allowance English admits pain for middle NZ Halved tax credit slices into KiwiSaver Jobs expected to go in state sector cuts Middle-income families 'pushed over the edge'
You can tell a lot about a person from their writing.

Prime Minister John Key's handwritten, highlighted and handheld post-Budget notes tell us not only that he is organised – they also hold some tips for other speech-makers.
As Mr Key gesticulated wildly while taunting the Opposition during his speech in response to Thursday's Budget, there was a brief flourish of his speech notes.
He was speaking in response to Finance Minister Bill English and Labour leader Phil Goff, in his allotted 20-minute time slot after the Budget announcement.

Wellington Toastmasters past-president Tracy Keith said the handwritten notes gave away that Mr Key had clearly prepared well, written the speech himself, and taken care to highlight the main points he wanted to ensure he covered. "If the notes were typed and in a more orderly state, we might have suggested one of his staff had prepared them for him."

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said he had gone to the House with a pre-prepared, typed speech. But, while listening to Mr English and Mr Goff, he had inserted pertinent points he wanted to address. "It's common for the prime minister. He likes to inject his personality."

But Ms Keith recommended a "more ordered, structured approach" for novice speechmakers. "Sometimes notes in this form can become confusing and even overwhelming. Especially if ... your nerves get the better of you."
She also advised the prime minister to make sure his notes were less conspicuous in future. "My recommendation for him would be to place his notes on the lectern while speaking and gesturing, otherwise they detract from what he is saying."

What the article did not provide are 7 tips for preparing for your presentation /speaking engagement:

1. Mind map or bullet point the key themes /headings you would like to cover
2. Write or type your speech in full – verbatim
3. Practice
4. Highlight the key words / themes
5. Practice using your notes less, maybe just glancing at the key words when you need a prompt
6. Reduce your speech to a list of bullet points which become the skeleton of your speech and will guide you through if you lose your way
7. Write /type your bullet points on to cards that will fit into the palm your hand.  So if you really need to hold on to them you can, and still gesture while you speak.

Plan, prepare and rehearse your presentation /speech so that the use of your notes is limited.  Allowing you to maintain eye contact with your audience and use gestures to emphasise your main points.

Type your notes with large sized font, bolded headings, and numbered /bulleted points.  You can still go through and use a highlighter to identify the key themes you need to cover. 

Remember to number the pages /cards in case you drop them.