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Having Fun with PowerPoint, Part 2

by Jim Snack


I like to use riddles, puzzles and brain teaser slides in my presentations to give the class a break from complex information.  They come back refreshed, better able to process new information.  And since the audience has to figure something out, riddles, puzzles and brain teasers are great for actively engaging audience members.   

For example, when presenting a half or full-day training program, I often use rebus puzzles in my program.  A rebus is a representation of a word or phrase by pictures or symbols.  They are also known Wordies, Word Puzzles, Wuzzles, Pictograms, or BrainTwisters.  Here is an example:


Did you figure out it out?  The picture represents "Jack in the Box."

Here is another:

The answer is "Play on Words?"   See, I got you actively involved.

I'll use rebus puzzles immediately after breaks.  When shown immediately after a break, a half-dozen rebus puzzles will refocus the audience's attention and get them working together to solve problems.  In addition to being fun, rebus puzzles appeal to and stimulate different kinds of intelligences, including visual/spatial and mathematic/logical intelligences, so they help stretch the mind.  You can make up your own or find them on the Internet.

You can do the same with riddles.  Create a slide such as::


The answer is "Silence."  

How about another:

Did you figure it out?  The answer is "knowledge." 

Certainly it is important to communicate knowledge during our presentations, but it is also important to transfer skills.  When your audience practices solving puzzles they improve their thought-processes of storing, retrieving, and categorizing information.   And when they solve a puzzle, there is a sense of satisfaction and success that can't be matched elsewhere.  A mind stretched by interesting, enjoyable and challenging puzzles helps open one's eyes to solutions of everyday problems. 

Make your next PowerPoint presentation more engaging and fun by including a few riddles, puzzles or brain teasers and watch your audience pay more attention to the rest of your program.



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