Public Speaking Course:
Show 'em When You Cross Cultures
During your public speaking course you will find that cartoons and comic strips are the most widely accepted use of humor in your presentations, regardless of the audience's nationality or culture. These pieces of visual humor can be seen in magazines and newspapers all over 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 forms 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 connection with your audience to better share your message.