January 17, 2013
News You Can Use
have been interviewed on radio several times lately and I am always asked, how
can people become more adept at creating metaphors to make their points, create
change, or win business. One way is to read the news with a “metaphoric” eye.
Notice metaphors and analogies that you see and hear in the
or write down the ones that particularly resonate with you for
with how you could use them
I find the best ones
are in the financial pages, the op-ed pages, in movie and theater reviews, in
science publications, the sports pages, and on the Sunday morning news talk
shows. The latter provide a cornucopia of metaphors and analogies for sellers,
speakers, and executives.
For example, the “fiscal cliff” has been much in the news these last few months
and weeks. Alan S. Blinder, former Federal Reserve vice chairman, contributed
his solutions to the problem in a
Wall Street Journal article. Forget the
politics. Look at the “joke” he used metaphorically to make his point.
“Some so-called political experts (a well-known oxymoron) assure us that the
budget debate won't last more than a few days, or weeks at most, after we fall
off the cliff. If they're right, that would do the economy little harm and might
help us break the budget logjam. But what if they're wrong? Remember the old
joke about the guy who jumped off a 50-story building? Everything went fine for
the first 49 floors. Suppose we jump off the fiscal cliff and the budget impasse
drags on for months. A recession will almost surely follow. Seems like a bad
How Many Ways Can You Imagine Using His Story?
To persuade a client that unless IT changes are made now, there will be dire
customer satisfaction consequences in a short period of time.
To shake up complacency in a prospect who is satisfied with doing business
the same old way
To promote a change in strategy with a Board
To rouse an apathetic group to take action for a social cause
To get approval for an increase in resources
Like the air we breathe, metaphors and visual language examples are all around
you. Grab them and adapt them to your world to get the results you want.
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
Many Ways Could You Use This?
“I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into
prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by
-- Winston Churchill
See my letter in The Wall Street
Journal about the power of metaphors to ultimately trump
story-telling because of increasingly shorter and shorter attention spans of
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