Public Speaking Course:
Caricatures, Cartoons and Comic Strips
A caricature is a cartoon where certain prominent features of something or someone are highlighted and other features are
diminished. You will learn
how to use caricatures in my
public speaking course.
Studies have found it can be easier for most people to identify a political
leader from a caricature than from a real photograph. So use caricatures
of yourself in your handouts or during your programs to
make fun of yourself.
You can do the same thing to make fun of your competition or your competitor's
products by magnifying whatever feature you want to emphasize.
Caricature artists are pretty easy to locate. Many times you
can just look them up in the yellow pages under the categories of
entertainment or party planning since they frequently perform at parties.
Thinking about how to find what you need is just another skill learned
by taking my public speaking course.
Connecting with members of the audience, from increasingly many cultures,
is a very important skill to master while in your public speaking
Cartoons and Comic Strips are the most universally accepted formats
for humor across cultures.
'Show 'em' When You Cross Cultures'
There are three ways to use cartoons in your presentation: first, you
can tell the audience about a cartoon you saw; second, you can cut the
cartoon out of its publication and show it; and third, you can make
up a cartoon yourself.
I saw a comic once where a lady was holding a gun to her purse. The
caption said, 'Give up the keys!' I use this example in my Business
Lite Seminar when I want to illustrate the use of humor to help ease
the tension during an embarrassing situation. (I have also used this line
many times when I am with a woman who is fumbling through her purse.)
When I tell the audience I saw a cartoon, it helps them paint a mental
picture of what I am describing with words.
If you don't have the audio/visual equipment to show the audience the cartoon
you can easily describe it to them.
Even though it is fine to describe a cartoon, showing
a cartoon is a much more powerful way to convey its humorous message.
This is especially true in international audiences where the visual
aspect takes on a much greater significance.
In a very small crowd I might hold up the cartoon or I might pass it
around. In larger audiences, the cartoon should be projected (don't
forget to get permission from the copyright holder) so everyone can
see it clearly. I like this method better anyway since I can control
when it comes up on the screen. I want everyone in the audience to see the cartoon
together so their laughter will be cumulative.
To create a much greater impact try to fill the entire frame with your cartoon or comic strip.
You will learn how to create an impact
to your audience when taking your public speaking course.
The third way to use cartoons is to make them yourself. When I first
started teaching this subject I could not take advantage of this method
unless I hired an artist. Things are different now. There are a number
of inexpensive computer software programs available which can be used,
one of which is Corel Draw. This program has 25,000 pieces of electronic
clip art, many of which are cartoons. I can make custom overhead cartoons
for my speaking engagements. All I do is pick an applicable cartoon,
add a custom caption for my audience.