PowerPoint and Humor

Here’s a brief tip for using humor photos or cartoons with PowerPoint slides:

During your presentation, which should come first? 
  – The spoken word?
  – The written word?
  – The image or picture?

In the spirit of Good Humor, the punchline always goes last.  So ask yourself, “Which element triggers the laugh?”  Is it the written caption for the cartoon?  Is it the spoken aside for the cartoon?  Is it the cartoon itself triggering the laugh because of the spoken or written set-up?  Analyze what specifically causes the laughter, and that element should normally be presented last.

For example, I sometimes include newspaper headlines and Road Sign Photos as part of my programs.  One photo shows a newspaper headline claiming that the police arrested a car filled with naked people.  I pose the question:  “Have you ever seen a freeway exit sign that says: Take off all your clothes before you leave the freeway?”  And then I show the photo of a freeway exit sign in the Las Vegas area that says, “Las Vegas Blvd (Strip)”…  The first graphic (the newspaper headline) sets up the question.  The spoken question sets up the road sign photo.  And the road sign triggers the laugh.  The punchline always goes last.   In this case it’s the photo.

Here are a few PowerPoint resources:

The PowerPoint FAQ
A good list of PowerPoint resources.

PowerPoint Tips
This is a PowerPoint Tips article by Marilyn Snyder.  She is well-known as an expert in PowerPoint presentations.  In the article she shares eleven design tips.

PowerPoint Info web site
On this site, look under the section for “Sources to Locate Images for Use in PowerPoint” for a discussion of Rights Usage Fees, keeping in mind that if you find something in print or online (whether text or image), it IS copyrighted whether or not you see the copyright annotation.  For example, you can’t simply use a cartoon without first getting permission from the owner of the image.  Sites such as www.DansCartoons.com is a good example of a site which provides easily-licensed cartoons for your presentations at a reasonable fee.