When the Lights Go Out, Be Lighthearted

By Bill Kendy

Anyone who has ever used an overhead or slide projector knows the sinking feeling you get when you go to turn it on and the light bulb is burned out. While you’re waiting for a replacement or changing the bulb, throw out a couple of one-liners to break the silence:

“This is the first time I’ve been brighter than my equipment.”

“I don’t understand. I left this thing on all day and night for six days to make sure the bulb worked.”

(Talk to the projector lovingly while patting it) “Now, don’t be shy. These nice people really want to see you work and so do I.”

(Wave a hand in front of the lens) “Wake up in there. Yoo hoo. Wake up.”

“I have a joke. How many projectors does it take to mess up one presentation?”

“Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me a light bulb.'”

“Does anybody happen to have a (long description, recited quickly) quartz two-prong, model 921 EYB, 25 volt, 250 watt overhead projector lamp on them?”

“Overriding principle according to Nathan Hale: I will only regret it if I have but one bulb to lose for my audience.”

“These overheads/slides are a little darker than I expected.”

(Refer to blank screen) Can everyone in the back – or the front – or anywhere – see this?”

(Pretend to find a service tag and pretend to read it) “Last serviced by Thomas Edison.”

“I do my best work in the dark.”

“I know what you’re thinking, ‘How many speakers does it take to change a light bulb?'”

Source: What to Say When (McGraw Hill) by Lilly Walters.