Humor and Visual Arguments

Often works best when dealing with
ordinary life and controversial topics.
 “Humor, especially satire, is a knifes edge
that had better cut precisely or not at
 Darker side of humor
› Can make people feel superior to its targets
of ridicule
› Bullies and cliques often use humor to
torment their innocent victims
Confident speakers may make fun of
themselves seeming clever yet aware of
their own limitations
Make your audience laugh
› Serious political begin with jokes- puts
listeners at ease and helps them identify with
the speaker
Many kinds
 Satire
› Popular among college students
› The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy, S.N.L.
› Often shifts perspective urging a look at a
situation in a new way
› Taking something familiar and turns it into
something new
› Works best when audiences make connection
Point out flaws in policy, proposal, or
other kinds of argument
 Suggest policy of your own
 Put people in a favorable frame of mind
 Acknowledge weaknesses or deflect
 Satirize or parody a position or point of
Very powerful
› Engrave pictures in your mind
Visual Literacy
› Being able to consider a presentation and
how its visual elements affect the way you
perceive the information
› Who is the creator, what is his/her attitude toward
the image
What media is being used and what role does it play
What does the visual text assume about its viewers
How does the text make you feel
What purpose does the text convey
What is “highlighted” or catchy
What colors are used
How are you direct to move within arguments
Is anything repeated
Images that reinforce authority and
 How does your design reflect your
› Fonts style and size used
Follow required design convention
› Shows competence
Organize information visually
› Similar heading usually related
› Large font should be more important then
lesser size font
Convey data efficiently
› Charts, maps, diagrams
Follow profession guidelines
 Check for copyrighted material
Very powerful
› pictures -> emotions -> actions
Color matters
› Red dress, blue lights
› Common sense principles