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Public Speaking Course: 

Humorous Signs

In my public speaking course I teach about different ways to use funny signs in your presentation. I don't know about you, but I run into funny signs all the time. I make a mental note and if I have my camera with me, take a picture of the sign for later use.

A professional speaker friend of mine, John Jay Daly, does a really funny slide presentation called 'The Wacky, Wonderful World of Washington.' Many of the slides are of signs that he has seen around Washington, D.C.

A funny sign I once saw said, 'In case of nuclear attack, the ban on school prayer will be lifted.'  Another funny road sign I saw on a country road said "absolutely nothing, next 22 miles". A sign in front of a restaurant/gas station said "Eat here and get gas".

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.'

My public speaking course will teach you how to incorporate lots of fun with signs. Two ways you can do this is to describe them verbally or actually show them by projecting them on screen like the signs my friend uses in his slide presentation. Another 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.

Photography 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 course article Visuals: Fill 'Em Up' article.

Here are some of my favorite signs which I show you and talk about in my public speaking course.

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.
Scribbled below: To follow you I'm not content. Until I know which way you went.

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.

You will learn how to  incorporate humor to connect with your audience, from taking my public speaking course.

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