When certain prominent features of something or someone are highlighted and
other features are diminished, that is called caricature. Studies have found
that it is easier to identify a political leader from a caricature than from a
You can use caricatures of yourself in your own promotional material or in
your programs to make fun of yourself. You can do the same thing to make fun of
your competitors or your competitor's products by amplifying whatever feature
you want to emphasize.
Caricature artists are not too hard to locate. Many times you can find them
by looking in the yellow pages under the categories of entertainment or party
planning because they frequently perform at parties.
Cartoons and Comic Strips are the most universally accepted formats for humor
across cultures (click here to find
out why). There are three ways to use cartoons: first, you can tell the
audience about a cartoon you saw; second, you can cut the cartoon out of its
publication and show it; and third, you can make up a cartoon yourself.
I saw a cartoon once where a lady was holding a gun to her purse. The caption
said "Give up the keys!" I use this example in my Business Lite
Seminar when I want to illustrate the use of humor to help ease the tension in
embarrassing situations. (I have also used this line many times when I am with a
woman who is fumbling through her purse.) When I tell the audience I saw a
cartoon, it helps them paint a mental picture of what I am describing with
Describing a cartoon is an easy method for using cartoons without having them
physically available or needing audio/visual equipment to show them. Showing a
cartoon is a more powerful way to convey its humorous message. This is
especially true in international audiences where the visual aspect takes on a
greater significance. In a very small crowd I might hold up the cartoon or I
might pass it around. In larger audiences, the cartoon should be projected (don't
forget to get permission from the copyright holder) so everyone can see it
clearly. I like this method better anyway because I can control when it pops up
on the screen. I want everyone to see the cartoon simultaneously so their
laughter will be cumulative. Try to fill the frame of the visual with your
cartoon or comic strip. You will create a greater impact.
The third way to use cartoons is to make them yourself. When I first started
teaching this subject I could not take advantage of this method unless I hired
an artist. Things are different now. There are a number of inexpensive computer
software programs available which can be used, one of which is Corel Draw. This
program has 25,000 pieces of electronic clip art, many of which are cartoons. I
can make custom overhead cartoons for my speaking engagements. All I do is pick
an applicable cartoon, add a custom caption for my audience.
You can surf the web to view many caricature artist
sites to acquire some ideas on how you would like to use caricatures for your presentations.
Some of these sites offer caricatures for sale. Others offer caricature
design services that design caricatures from submitted photographs. A
partial list of those web sites are:
1) Caricature Artists of America
Zone Is Fun!
Macaluso - New York caricature artist
- by Bruce Henson