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8 tips for your speaker cue cards

8 tips for your speaker cue cards

You’re about to present. Some of us like it. Some of us can’t sleep anymore. Speaker cue cards are there to give you support and trust throughout your presentation. From TV presenters with years of experience to junior professionals that have to give their first presentation. Regardless of your experience, the following 8 tips will help all of us:


Prevent yourself from writing down entire sentences. In essence you know what to say. Trust yourself with that. Remember that YOU are the expert on your subject.


Keep sufficient whitespace on your cards. It is calmer to the eye and will help you to easily browse through your keywords. Next to that it allows you to scribble down last-minute thoughts.

Speaker names

When you’re in charge of announcing or thanking speakers, then write down names. In the heat of presenting, you can easily forget the most logical things.

Speaker pictures

In line with the previous tip, you might also want to add [LinkedIn] portrait pictures of speakers. This way you won’t mix up names with people.

Slide screenshot

A tiny slide screenshot reminds you of where you are in your [PowerPoint] storyline. Plus it helps you not to forget to click through to the next slide.

Time indication

On paper a story is always shorter than when telling it out loud [!]. Write down your time slot per item in the top right corner. Nothing is as stressful as having to catch up time.

Personal presentation

Don’t hold a crumpled piece of paper, but use a carton card instead. The backside of your speaker card can carry the logo of the organisation. It’s all about that first [professional] impression!

Tablet alternative

A tablet, compared to carton speaker cue cards, can be a little challenging to hold and operate while you’re presenting. Especially when also holding a microphone. Cards are easier to hold, to store and to put aside throughout your presentation.

Important When you’re a frequent presenter, you’ll notice that you will get your own routine. And maybe one day you don’t even need your speaker cards anymore? No matter how you present; with speaker cards or not, in the end always make sure you present with soul and spirit! This is what really sticks to people’s minds!

About the author

Robert DaverschotModerator | Presenter | Speaker Coach

Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!


Upvoting Feature

Upvoting Feature

To most of us presenting on itself is already a challenge. Some get pleasure out of it, but most people are happy when it is over. So why even involve the audience? Doesn’t it only make it more difficult for the presenter to manage the story line?

Obvious thoughts, but experience often shows the contrary. Once you let the audience participate in your story, dynamics will start to work for you, instead of against you;

  • Keep focus: When going back and forth between speaker and audience, then the focus is less on you as speaker. Every now and then this comfortably takes away the pressure. Giving you time to zoom out a little, to decide where to speed up or where to give more attention to. Just make sure you have a script to follow and you won’t lose track.
  • Foster engagement: The audience will feel more involved. They can reflect on what you’ve just said and compare it with their own practice. They can give you and other attendees suggestions or ask you to further explain. When you feel it is time to move on, then remember that you’re in charge at all times!
  • Create excitement: Your story will come to live. Since often as a presenter you’re the expert, you’ll find that hardly none of the audience’s questions will catch you off guard. Trust it. They will actually fuel your story, because you suddenly remember this good example!

When to ‘bring in the audience’?

Clearly there’s a moment for everything during presenting. In most cases a monologue is very useful to kick off with. It gives attendees a clear understanding, they can get used to you as speaker and it gives time to form some first thoughts. Yet, after a few minutes questions will pop into people’s heads…

Interesting By using audience response tool Sendsteps you can let the audience send in comments or questions from the very first moment. This doesn’t mean you have to deal with all of them. Nor deal with them instantly.

By using audience response tool Sendsteps you can let the audience send in comments or questions from the very first moment. This doesn’t mean you have to deal with all of them. Nor deal with them instantly. Your audience can follow all the live comments through the response website on their smartphone. They can give “likes” to questions and comments that appeal most to them. This is called “upvoting”. Either pause in the middle and deal with a few remarks or save them till the very end. The comments ranked highest are there for you to answer.

Normally Q&A sessions are only short. But this is based on the 1.0 approach whereby the presenter asks “Are there any questions?”. Most attendees don’t dare to speak up. However [!], with the use of the tool you’ll find that attendees send in many more comments. Be clever and schedule more Q&A time and don’t be afraid this will cut down your presentation time: consider it as an essential part! A thumb rule? For each 10 minute presentation – 5 minute Q&A!

Criticasters: How to deal with unexpected comments?

Let’s grab the bull by the horns. Many presenters don’t involve the audience as they can be afraid for unexpected questions.

Still, what happens when criticism or negativity remains unaddressed?

  • Prepare scenario’s:  Being an expert in your topic, you know when attendees can sense possible friction. Or when stakes start to conflict. When thinking from the audience’s perspective, you can already prepare on how to tackle certain concerns or critics.
  • Play a joker: No matter if you’re the CEO or a junior professional, when you receive a difficult question it is perfectly ok to “park it”. Acknowledge the concern or question, let the attendee know you don’t have the answer now, and immediately proceed in informing on how you will follow up. E.g. “That’s a very good question. I understand it bothers you. I find it challenging to answer that question right now, but I’ll get back to it in next month’s newsletter”.

Tip This pragmatic approach has resulted often in praise for the speaker. Instead of going around it, you address the concern or at least give a professional follow up to it.

Post-event: How to follow up with unanswered comments?

At the end of the day you’ll have to get your message across. You simply can’t answer all the questions of an audience. With Sendsteps you store the raised questions and by using the upvoting option you can easily filter through the questions with most likes. From here you can decide on how to follow up:

  • Write a blog: In a blog you can address all questions that haven’t been answered during the presentation. Or at least find the common theme and elaborate on that. The blog can be mentioned in a post-event mailing or can be disclosed on an organization’s website.
  • Record a vlog: In a vlog you can do the same as in a blog. Simply record your answers on video and with it give it a personal touch. Video often scores well and it is great content to spice up the traditional post-event mailing!
  • Live backstage: During larger events you can consider a back office where speakers go to after their presentation. An interviewer can then ask those questions that are still unanswered. The backstage interview can be livestreamed on the event website. This allows a remote audience to also attend the event and it generates nice footage for after an event.
  • E-mail attendees: Or simply follow up personally. If you’ve allowed attendees to send in questions identified [a setting in your Sendsteps Dashboard], then you can e-mail them with a personal reaction. Time consuming? Yes, but often with a big impact!

Tip In all cases, make sure to communicate in advance on how you’ll deal with audience feedback. As such, attendees will feel encouraged throughout the event to keep sending in their questions, concerns and remarks. This gives you great insights and it will keep your audience engaged!

Tip: The use of a sidekick.

No matter if you’re using “upvoting” or not, it is helpful to have a professional sidekick onsite, in the audience. Somebody who represents the voice of the audience. The person either selects incoming messages himself, or he uses the ranking of the audience with it. The point is to have someone to put the questions into a perspective, to give a short summary of what has been shared and with it add to a lively presentation and event. This sidekick operates individually and next to a presenter and/or moderator. Someone supporting the process of audience interaction. Entertaining and valuable at the same time.

Important Please note that Sendsteps can help you with finding a professional sidekick for your event.

  • In short, involve the audience. Trust the flow that will come with it. Experience the added value for all stakeholders of an event. Set it up cleverly and let it work, not against you, but for you!

About the author

Robert DaverschotChairman | Moderator | Sidekick

Robert is a professional moderator, dialogue facilitator and sidekick and works both independently and on behalf of Sendsteps audience response system. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and has interviewed, ministers, captains of industry as well as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With Sendsteps an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in open comments and questions to the speakers and panels on stage. As such events turn into 2.0 experiences with everyone being able to speak up!


Team Building Problem Solving Activities

Team Building Problem Solving Activities

With an ongoing digitalization, the need for a workforce that easily adapts to a fast-changing world, becomes more eminent. On one hand many jobs will get lost because of digitalization. On the other hand, some workfields will see a higher demand in jobs. E.g. in IT- and Customer Service related jobs. Plus, a lot of jobs do not even exist today; new jobs will be created that can tackle tomorrow’s challenges.

Manpower Group, the third largest staffing firm in the world, calls it the “skills revolution”. Employees that upskill themselves and employers, out of a visionary leadership, facilitating their employees as such. In recent studies Manpower interviewed 18,000 employers in 43 countries. According to this group, employers state that problem solving skills belong to the top-3 most valued skills of future employees.

Can an employee be replaced by a robot? Creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are the unique selling points that will make the difference. Now, all of this calls for more fun and games at the workfloor; Team building problem solving activities that foster creativity. For small groups and for large groups. It puzzles you where to start then?

We came up with the following team building activities that can contribute to curiosity and innovation within your company:

  • Problem solving activities for small and large groups
  • Team games, puzzles and other fun activities
  • Leadership-related problem solving activities

Out of your comfort zone, away from your desk!

All of the activities listed have a common element, which is solving a problem. For that, several steps have to be taken. First of all defining and analyzing the problem, followed by determining what to do and deciding how to implement a solution. The final step is to evaluate what went well and what can be improved. Even the most fun activities, can be evaluated in a serious way, leaving a team with great lessons learned. It all starts with leaving your desk and to get out of your comfort zone;

Problem solving activities for small groups:

  • Stranded at the workplace. Maybe not one the likeliest scenarios, but imagine a small group to get stuck in the office. Let the group decide which 10 items in the office are needed to survive for the coming days. And let the items be ranked in order of importance.Tip Your team only has a short time [15-30 minutes] to come up with great teamwork and creative answers!
  • A Lego challenge. For teams that you like to challenge with activities that involve listening skills, you might want to consider good old Lego building blocks! Divide your group into smaller teams. The facilitator will build a Lego construction, but only individual team captains can see both the building process, as well as the final result. The team captain then has to instruct his team to come up with exactly the same structure without the person touching his team’s construction. It’s all about communication from here.

Problem solving activities for large groups:

  • Crossing the line. Clearly one of the more serious exercises for a large group is “Crossing the Line”. In a room, draw or make a line in the middle. Then ask people to cross that line, based on questions whereby attendees have to answer yes or no. The set of questions is carefully formulated at forehand. During the exercise no sound is permitted and there’s respect for everyone in the room. Tip Examples of questions are e.g.: “Anyone who prefers day over night, or anyone who doesn’t like flying?”, to more sincere questions, like: “Anyone who ever feels lonely, or anyone whose parents have divorced?”. Discuss the exercise afterwards and see how team values shifted. Often you’ll find great team bonding taking effect!
  • Escape Room. An increasingly popular problem solving activity, is visiting a so-called escape room. These commercial venues are often found in large warehouses, farms or old buildings. The concept is simple: a group has an hour to get out of a room that is locked. The often themed rooms [like a prison, a wild west saloon or a an operating room] are full of hidden clues, codes and keys. With every riddle solved, the group is a step closer to escaping! No worries for those not picking up on the clues; after an hour the room gets unlocked again. From there you might want to analyze how the escape went. Is there anything you can tell from it that for example relates to leadership within your group?

Problem solving: activities, games, fun activities [100-150].

  • Scavenger Hunt. The principle of the scavenger hunt is simple but fun. In advance you formulate a list with items that the groups have to collect; without purchasing them! Because none of the items can be bought, it will force the groups to be creative and to bring all problem solving skills to the table. The scavenger hunt items can be located in the office, outside or even in nature. The group that brings back all items, in the fastests time, wins. InterestingScavenger hunts evolved from ancient folk games and are regularly held at American universities for team building purposes.
  • Group Timeline. Visualize a timeline and on it mark each person’s date of birth. From here let each person think of 3 moments in their life, happy or sad, that made an impact. Examples can be the day you got married, the day you’ve started a business, got your first pet or very different scenarios. Briefly let everyone write down the moments on post-it notes and take a short moment to position the moments on the timeline. Not only will this tell you more about your colleagues, it can also be interesting to now question how this timeline impacts the functioning of a team. Clearly one of the more serious activities to execute with your team – but one that can lead to interesting outcomes!

Problem solving leadership activities:

  • Taking a personality test. To better understand yourself, your colleagues and even to understand the type of leadership present within your team, a personality test can be of great value. There are dozens of tests out on the web. From fun tests [often for free] to in-depth tests like a color test or the well-known Myers-Brigg Type Indicator [MBTI]. With many of these tests, consultants and trainers come with it. You might want to invite such an expert to your next team meeting. Somebody who facilitates a session about personalities with you. An external professional [an outsider], sometimes has the ability to zoom in better and more objective, than you yourself or one of your colleagues. Out of this session you can even distill what kind of leader is needed for your team and how you can agree to a path of getting there [be it through personal development activities or in a next set of team building activities].
  • Challenging Perspective. Before gathering, ask attendees to register the last 10 minutes of getting to the meeting space or venue. Once you meet, write down your most remarkable, interesting or beautiful observation. No matter how big or how small. Now, make pairs and exchange experiences. Then have a plenary evaluation and randomly pick somebody reflecting out loud on his/her observations from the other person [let’s call him John]. Now let somebody else reflect on John’s appearance today. Another person now tells John one thing to improve on. Finally, a last person reflects on all three previous colleagues: what does their analysis say, not about John, but about the group and their way of looking at people? Is there anything that can be said about problem solving and the way the group approaches this? This can be a fun, yet also confronting game.

Problem solving puzzles:

  • Company Concentration. As a child we all played the memory card game. One of the puzzles whereby cards with pictures are flipped. You take turns and per turn you’ll have to memorize where the individual cards are positioned in order to form pairs of the same pictures.TipEspecially with a complete new team, it is nice to use this game as a mean to transfer knowledge [making cards of specific products, advertorials, logo’s, pictures from team members or items that symbolize company values].
  • What’s my name. A sweet problem solving game is “what’s my name”. Let one or more people come up with names of well-known people: still alive or from the past. Now write the name down on a sticky note, put it on someone’s forehead and let that person walk through the room asking individual team members yes/no-questions. A playful way to interact with new colleagues and learning how to ask the right questions!

Problem solving challenges:

  • If you could ask one question. In advance think of roles, challenges or activities someone fictively should execute. For example, plan a wedding, getting the Olympic Games to your country, make the world’s largest apple pie or other scenarios that involve problem solving. From here the attendees should write down only one question of which the answer potentially should be sufficient to let someone do the job. The group can now discuss the individual questions and decide as a team what would be the best question to ask.TipFrom here you’ll learn how team members determine who is capable and who they will follow or trust.
  • Do-it-yourself challenge. Give different groups one assignment and 30 minutes. The assignment would be to come up with a team-building activity that is realistic in terms of budget, time and effort and that serves leading current themes of the organization. Not only does this result in your own team generating valuable proposals, it also says something about values, perspectives and desired directions.

About the author

Robert DaverschotModerator | Presenter | Speaker Coach

Robert is a professional moderator, presenter and speaker coach. Robert has years of experience at home and abroad and works for a broad range of industries. He has interviewed ministers, captains of industry and even His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his dealings with the audience, he always uses Sendsteps. With it, an audience is able to voice their opinions, whereby attendees can cast votes or send in comments to speakers and panels on stage. As such, events turn into lively dialogues with everyone being able to speak up!


Het “Pluk de Dagvoorzitter Ontbijt”

Dagvoorzitter en waardevolle interactie op gang brengen.

Op vrijdag 29 September organiseert Sendsteps het “Pluk de Dagvoorzitter Ontbijt!”. Het thema luidt “Interactie – hoe maak jij het waardevol?”.

Dagvoorzitters in dialoog!

Tijdens het ontbijt, exclusief toegankelijk voor dagvoorzitters, facilitators en gespreksleiders, wordt dieper ingegaan op de waarde van interactie en wordt stil gestaan bij vragen zoals;

• Op welke manieren geef jij waardevolle invulling aan interactie?
• Hoe concreet valt publieksinteractie in commerciële waarde uit te drukken?
• Het event voorbij – wat adviseer je je jouw klant te doen met de verzamelde data?

Na een inleiding van Jan-Jaap In der Maur [Directeur] wordt, met hulp van Sendsteps, het interactieve gesprek aangeknoopt! Doe mee aan de dialoog, herijk je eigen interactieve werkwijze en ga geïnspireerd het najaar in!

Alles op een rij…

• Wat: “Pluk de Dagvoorzitter Ontbijt!”
• Waar: A-Lab Amsterdam [gelegen naast het EYE]
• Wanneer: Vrijdag 29 September
• Hoe laat: 0800-1100u

Opgeven doe je via Deelname is gratis.