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How to Use Analogies in Innovative Presentations

Something to consider using in your innovative presentations is analogies. French novelist and poet Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Misérables, waxed metaphorical with, “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” Deep, isn’t it? Aristotle said “… it (a metaphor) is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblance.”

Professional speakers use lots of good metaphors such as: “Your past should be a springboard, not a hammock,” and “A mind is designed to be a storehouse (of ideas), not a wastebasket.”

One motivational speaker, who cautioned his audience to learn from the past and to never dwell in it, but move on, quoted a poignantly profound metaphor from Richard Kadrey’s book, Kill the Dead, “Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces.” Memories take on new meaning and perspective.

An analogy is a perceived likeness between two things. The only real difference between a metaphor and analogy is the addition of the word “like” to “is.” Shakespeare used his famous metaphor, “All the world’s a stage.” If he’d used an analogy, it would have been, “All the world’s like a stage.”

Comedian Joey Adams used to say, “A bikini is like a barbed-wire fence. It protects the property without disturbing the view.” Innovative presenters look for the right humorous analogy to perfectly illuminate and encapsulate many points into one strong and memorable one.

Chevy’s “Like a rock” campaign is an example of an innovative business analogy, not to mention one of the most successful, long-running (1991 to 2004) television commercials of all time. Accompanied by the Pete Seeger song, Like a Rock, scenarios show Chevy trucks taking incredibly brutal punishment and handling it … like a rock. The emotion and Americana jammed into a captivating, 30-second commercial produced record sales for Chevrolet.

Steve Jobs said, “When you touch someone’s heart, that’s limitless.” If your metaphor or analogy evokes or awakens feelings in your audience, you can count on a making a lasting impact.

Look for every opportunity to translate your important information and messages into those clever, colorful, and compelling metaphors and analogies that will be appreciated and long remembered.

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