Adding Humor to Your Slide Shows

We aren’t speaking of guffaws, though they’re certainly possible; instead, it’s smiles and maybe a chuckle or two. Here are a few ideas to help you…

POSITIONING: Humorist, Dave Barry, says he puts the funniest word at the end of a sentence and the funniest sentence at the end of a paragraph. This idea works just as well in a show because what’s amusing is usually what’s unexpected, given everything that precedes it. For example, if you’ve followed a child with your camera throughout a day, don’t forget to take that final photo of the sleeping child. It’s inevitable, and yet, with all the activity, it’s unexpected.

PACING: Comedians call it “timing,” and where it’s most apparent is in the pause before the punch line. What a perfect a concept for our shows. We can use a longer transition or even a blank spot before that final, humorous photo. In the example of the child, if the final photos speed up, there’s a pause, and then the sleeping photo closes the show, you end up with this: quick-quick-quick-pause-surprise.

RESTRAINT: I recently tossed a novel to the floor because the main character was being clever in her every thought and word. It was amusing at first, then irritating, and finally, it was downright obnoxious. The lesson here is to use humor with restraint. It’s good now and then, but it stops working when in abundance. Besides, how many funny photos do any of us have?

DON’T TRY: Forced humor isn’t humorous at all. If you have a funny photo, you’re in luck. If a funny placement occurs to you, go for it, but if you set out to be funny, be warned that it may not work.

CAPTIONS: When you have something amusing to say, treat it as you would a photo, using the same ideas as those given above.

This is only a brief overview of using humor, and yet it may be all you need to get started or to improve.

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 10:24 am  Comments (2)  
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