When you are preparing a talk, you don’t need to write out everything that you are going to say. You can use cue cards. These are small pieces of card about the size of a postcard. They are called cue cards because they help you to remember what to say by giving you a ‘cue’ or prompt.
You need one cue card for each of your main points. The heading of the main point goes at the top of the card and then short notes expanding on it under the heading.
Figure 13 is an example of a cue card from a talk about giving up smoking.
Activity 17 Making cue cards
Read the information below about what it is like to be a midwife. Plan some cue cards for a talk on the role of a midwife. Decide on your main points and write a heading for each. Then write brief notes under each heading.
Although many lay claim to being the ‘oldest profession in the world’, midwifery, in one form or another, has undoubtedly been an integral part of society for as long as we have been giving birth. The word ‘midwife’ comes from the old English ‘mid’ meaning with, and ‘wife’ meaning woman. Traditionally, this was the role of the local ‘handywoman’ – a woman who despite a lack of formal training, was experienced at assisting birthing women and often had several children herself.
All this changed in 1902, when Parliament passed the Midwives’ Act. This established a formal qualification which it was necessary for midwives to achieve before they were allowed to practise, effectively transforming midwifery into the profession it is today. Nowadays, the route into midwifery is strictly controlled by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) who regulate the training that must be undertaken and provide a code of professional conduct to which midwives must adhere.
The most common misconception about midwives is that they just ‘deliver babies’. In fact, for many midwives, this is only a small proportion of their work. Who is there to provide the antenatal care, advice and support that women need as they prepare to become mothers? If complications arise at any point in the pregnancy, who is there to recognise it and ensure the appropriate referral is made? After the birth, who is there to support women with establishing feeding, learning about and bonding with their babies, checking the woman’s body is returning to its pre-pregnancy state and discussing contraceptive choices? The midwives!
Many midwives also become involved in issues which impact on, but are not directly related to, a woman’s pregnancy. For example, if a pregnant woman finds herself homeless, a victim of domestic violence, seeking asylum or becoming depressed, it is often the midwife who is best placed to recognise this and to find the right support for her.
Some midwives work exclusively with the most vulnerable groups in society, such as teenagers, women with disabilities, drug misusers, bereaved couples or mothers with HIV, using specialist knowledge to try to improve outcomes. Not to mention midwifery managers, supervisors of midwives, practice development midwives and even consultant midwives, who have a vital role to play in improving the care midwives are able to provide to women, as well as the working lives of midwives themselves.
There is quite a lot of information for your listeners to take in. But the information is in three sections, so you could organise your cue cards as follows:
- Cue card 1: The history of midwifery
- Cue card 2: What midwives do
- Cue card 3: Who midwives work with