Public Speaking Course:
Show 'em When You Cross Cultures
From a previous public speaking course article you found that cartoons and comic strips are the most widely accepted use of humor
in your presentations, regardless of the audience's nationality or
ethnicity. These pieces of visual humor can be seen in magazines and
newspapers all around the world. They may be found in newsstands in large
cities or in large libraries.
It's a good idea to collect cartoons and comic strips that you come
across when you travel
so you have a ready supply when you need.
Try to avoid cartoons that are geared towards politics, as you might offend
parts of your audience. If you are speaking to a small group, you can
show the periodical or pass it around. If you want to use the cartoon
or comic strip as a visual in your presentation, you may need permission from the artist
or copyright owner. Always read the caption for a foreign audience and
give them time to mentally translate what you say. It may take what
seems like forever (4-6 seconds) for the idea to sink in. Another good
resource for cartoons is 'Witty World International Cartoon Magazine'
by Creators Syndicate. During your public speaking course you will
learn how to compile resources of humorous cartoons to use.
Some other types of visual humor that cross most cultural barriers
are juggling and magic. Good resource materials are available on both
subjects. 'Speaking With Magic' is a book by Michael Jeffreys that not
only teaches you simple tricks, but gives you the points you can relate
to the trick. Two good magic videos for speakers by master magician
Tom Ogden are 'Teaching and Training with Magic' and 'The Magic of Creativity.'
In Thailand, I used props as icebreakers. I used oversize money to
pass out to the crowd because I knew they were interested in 'BIG MONEY.'
I also used some softballs that looked like dollar bills so they would
have money to 'THROW AROUND.' In my public speaking course I will show
you how to be creative to create a better connection
with your audience.