On this page, we’re going to work on our second IELTS Speaking sample which I’ll be using to demonstrate Method 2 of our Part 2 planning strategies.
Being able to quickly and effectively plan your 2 minute talk in the 60 seconds allowed for this is crucial to developing a presentation that will show off the best of your language skills.
Remember that what you talk about
is not important, as long as you stick to the topic, but how you say it
is. However, if you’re fumbling around for what to say, your fluency and
coherence will be poor and you’ll be more likely to make simple errors because
of the pressure you’re under.
By having a good planning strategy prepared and practised, you’ll be ready to create a great talk that will demonstrate the full extent of your speaking ability.
If you haven’t already studied planning methods 1 & 3, you’ll find them here:
For this second IELTS Speaking sample, I’m going to use another of the cue cards you first saw on the introductory page.
The introduction is important so check this page out if you haven’t read it yet. You’ll find it here:
Want to watch & listen to this section?
Click on this video.
The cue card
Sometime you’ll find that the bullet points don’t relate well to your experience of the topic or they aren’t what you want to say about it. When you read the talk below, you’ll see that this was the case for this candidate. Brainstorming is a particularly useful planning strategy to use in this situation, although it works well with any topic.
It’s a less structured approach than Method 1 so might also suit you better if you like to think more freely. Let’s go through it step by step.
Step 1 – First, read the topic sentence and bullet points. Then spend about 30 seconds jotting down the first things that come into your head. Single words or phrases are fine.
You’ll be given some paper to make your notes and will be able to refer to them during your 2 minute talk if you need to. You won’t be marked on what you write down.
Here are the notes the candidate made for this cue card:
Step 2 – Spend the remainder of your 1 minute planning time organising your notes.
Do these two things:
a) Decide which to talk about (you don’t have to use them all).
b) Put them in a logical order.
Here are our sample notes organised into a more logical order.
happen as you do this reordering is that your mind will be creating
the ‘story’ you’re about to tell. I’ll explain more about the technique of
storytelling when we come onto the next planning strategy I’m going to teach
you and our third IELTS Speaking sample.
You don’t have to do this reordering if it would be more valuable for you to spend the time developing your ideas. It will depend on how your brain works and how organised your thoughts need to be for your talk to flow naturally.
Step 3 – Give your talk
You are now ready to give your 2 minute talk. Try not to rely too much on your notes and refer to them only if you need a quick reminder of what you want to say.
Here's the complete talk created from the notes above. Can you see how it follows the notes?
It wouldn’t have mattered if the candidate had gone off track from their notes a bit, saying things in a slightly different order or adding something extra that they suddenly remembered that was appropriate to include. Your notes are just there to guide you. The greatest value is in the process of making them.
the ‘brainstorming' method of planning, you’re never left panicking that you don’t know enough
about the topic to talk about it for 2 minutes. It activates your brain and gets
you straight down to making notes. Once you’ve organised your ideas, you’re ready
Now practise using this planning strategy yourself with these cue cards:
Follow these links to two more planning strategies and Speaking samples:
Also visit this page for ideas on how to start your talk:
How To Begin a Part 2 Talk: Plus, top tips for gaining extra marks.
There are more Part 2 cue cards on the vocabulary topic pages. Each page also has a Speaking sample and examples of Part 1 & 3 questions and answers.
IELTS Speaking Test: Know the format & understand what you’ll be assessed on. Discover the main reason for low scores & how to avoid this big mistake.
IELTS Speaking Part 1: 7 simple methods for developing your answers, with examples.
IELTS Speaking Part 2: Test format, understanding cue cards & 5 test mistakes to avoid.
IELTS Speaking Part 3: 6 common types of questions & how to answer them.
IELTS Speaking Topics: Discover 40+ common subject areas for the IELTS Speaking Test.
IELTS Speaking Practise Questions: Download 30 full mock tests (30 practise cards on 30 topics – 330 questions altogether).
IELTS Speaking Tips: 9 top tips to increase your chances of getting a high score
IELTS Speaking Practice: Massively improve your speaking skills by learning how to think in English.