Julie E. Ferris

Part of my investment in watching so many PowerPoints that had really clever, cute inserted jokes and/or drawn slides or personal photographic images is that I’m a public speaker. I mean, I *DO* speeches and presentations for groups and organizations and I have spent more than 14 years in academia and consulting teaching people how to stand still in front of a crowd and deliver effective information.

I even used to give presentations on what makes good PowerPoint. I saw what was happening as a bit ahead of the curve from what we do at my current job. We’ve finally broken the dense, mega-slide habits, but we are not yet into jokes-in-context.

I agree that it lightens the room, wakes up the sleepers in the back and makes for a great challenge for speakers. You’re not allowed to simply memorize 5 x 5 bullet points (if we’re lucky) or read them from the screen (just as we’re also reading them). You’re forced to know your material, know where the gags fit, know how to speak up to them and then back off them. Frankly, it requires better ability as a speaker and a presenter, I think it ups the ante.

I laughed…loudly. (That was me in the back…) I drew some of the images and sketches and brought them back to my office. (This weekend, a colleague sent me a text asking “what was that slide again? I am telling a friend about it”)

It just struck me as a trend–seeing so many themed the same way usually is, right?
It’s a trend I can get behind, but I worry about poor speakers, poor presenters attempting it. I think it could breed epic fail…