PowerPoint Tricks: Banish Boring, Invite Fun

by drjim on August 25, 2009

PowerPoint Can Help You Be Funny

PowerPoint Can Help You Be Funny

I would like to be allowed to see more PowerPoint slides. Ok, not really. In fact I could probably live the rest of my life without seeing another PowerPoint slide – I think that I’ve seen my limit! Since I probably can’t avoid seeing more slides, then perhaps at least we can talk about what we can do to make them more fun

It’s All About Fun

The purpose of a PowerPoint slide is to enhance your speech. Malcolm Kushner is a speaker who has spent some time looking for ways to make this happen. His thought is that we can all learn to get along with PowerPoint better if we can find ways to make our audience laugh. Malcolm has done the heavy lifting for us by searching the web for different sites that we can use to create images that will cause our audience to chuckle and warm to your main message.

A Little Help From Albert Einstein

The nice thing about Albert Einstein is that everyone knows who he was. If only there was some way we could get him to help us out with our next presentation. Well good news, we can. Take a look at this image:

Albert Knows What He's Talking About...

Albert Knows What He’s Talking About…

The web site http://hetemeel.com/einsteinform.php allows you to add any text that you want to to the chalkboard that Albert is writing on. I’ve given you an example, I think that you can take it from here…!

Try A Bumper Sticker

Or a movie marquee, or a bar of soap. Taking a phrase that your audience will recognize and putting it in an image that they aren’t expecting is what will capture their imagination and help you to recapture their attention. Here’s an example:

Guess How Much This Promotion Cost?

Guess How Much This Promotion Cost?

Over at http://www.redkid.net/generator/sign.php they have 50 different images that you can overlay your company name / product name / main message. Check it out!

A Wanted Poster Always Works

Malcolm has one final suggestion for us. Once again everyone in your audience knows what an old-style wanted poster looks like. Here’s an example of what you can include in your presentation:

Look Who's Wanted!

Look Who’s Wanted!

This is a great way to include an image of the person who arranged your speech or the CEO. Once the audience recognizes them and sees the context, they’ll either laugh or at least have a good chuckle.

Final Thoughts

One of the fundamental rules of life is that we all like people who are like us. As a speaker we all have the challenge of finding ways to get our audience to warm up to us within the space of our speech. Getting our audience to laugh is a great way to make this happen.

Since we all use PowerPoint slides, finding a way to use our PowerPoint slides to make our audience laugh is a great way to connect with our audience. Customizing images with a dash of either our information or some part of our audience is a great (and easy) way to do this. Spend a little time with the sites that we’ve talked about, and you’ll be able to intimately connect with your audience and make an lasting impact in their lives.

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you really want to connect with your audience and make an impact in their lives, then you’re going to have to discover out how to speak with power. The trick is that power is a tricky thing – you can’t touch it, you can’t buy it, you’ve got to find it and hold on to it. The good news is that I know how you can do this…

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Max Atkinson August 26, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I was fascinated to see this picture of Einstein, as I posted exactly the same one in a blog post about ‘chalk & talk’ last week – http://bit.ly/RUZ5e

I’m going to have a go at using the facility for writing my own stuff on the board and see if I can replace the one already posted!

My ‘demise of chalk & talk’ posts, by the way, were designed to coincide with a feature ‘celebrating’ 25 years of PowerPoint on the BBC website (http://bit.ly/szswn) which they followed up with some very entertaining ‘Highs’ and ‘Lows’ of PowerPoint at http://bit.ly/3MzGDW

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Dr. Jim Anderson August 27, 2009 at 9:50 am

Max: fantastic – you are already doing what I wish so many other presenters were doing – making your presentations more entertaining. As always, it’s the words that you are saying that really count and the slides should just be there to support you and keep your audience’s attention…

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Max Atkinson September 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I should also have mentioned earlier that your link to the Einstein picture inspired me to run a competition on my blog. The closing date is 10 September, so there’s still time to enter. The lucky winner will be announced some time after that, and will receive a free autographed copy of my book ‘Lend Me Your Ears: All You Need to Know about Making Speeches and Presentations’!

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Reef Aquarium March 20, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Ooh There are many Great posts here on your blog.

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