Public Speaking Skills:
John Jay Daly, a speaker friend of mine, does a hysterical slide presentation called 'The Wacky, Wonderful World of Washington.' Many of the slides are of signs that he has seen around Washington, D.C.
My favorite is a sign that says, 'In case of nuclear attack, the ban on school prayer will be lifted.' Another might say "Back by popular demand and by order of higher authority, 'During tests, the ban on school prayer is suspended.'"
Another slide has a brass plaque on the front of a large building that says, 'All Deliveries Go to Rear of Building.' The next slide is the brass plaque on the back of the same building that says, 'No Deliveries.'
When using your public speaking skills, you can incorporate lots of fun with signs. I just showed you two ways you can use them. In the last paragraph, I told you about the signs my friend uses in his slide presentation. So a verbal description is one way. The second way is to actually show them, as my friend does, by means of projection. A third way is to have the sign or signs with you and hold them up.
I just attended a Meeting Planners International function where the presenter had his own applause sign. Everyone applauded on cue and had a good laugh because of it. You might want to add that to your public speaking skills tool kit for occasional use.
Photographic Tip: When taking pictures or slides of funny signs, always fill the photographic frame up completely with the sign. The impact of the sign is much greater when you do this. View this web site's Public Speaking skills Visuals: Fill 'Em Up' article.
Here are some of my favorite signs which I use with my public speaking skills:
At a hospital in Prince Georges County, Maryland:
Hospital Policy is to refuse service to hospital patients. (This was posted at the snack bar.)
Funny tombstone inscription:
As I am now, you soon shall be. Prepare for death and follow me.
Another tombstone: It's so soon, I'm done for, I wonder what I was begun for!
On church marquee: Honey I Shrunk the Sermon
On door of small restaurant: Out to lunch
Sign in front of bankrupt store: We Undersold Everybody.
These English language signs were seen outside the United States:
Advertisement for a Hong Kong dentist: Teeth extracted by latest methodists.
Somewhere in an elevator: Do not enter the lift backwards, and only when lit up.
1936 French sign: Don't kill your wife with work, let electricity do it.
In a Bangkok drycleaner's window: Drop your trousers here for best results.
Please leave your values at the front desk. (France)
You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid. (Japan)
Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose. (Switzerland)
I saw this sign on a display in a shoe store:
All our spring colors are now in. (All shoes on the rack were white.)
Keep your eye out for funny signs so that you can tell your audiences about them, or even show them.
Here's my favorite sign of all time from a hotel in Acapulco, Mexico:
The manager has personally passed all water served here.
Having great public speaking skills means incorporating humor to connect with your audience.
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