Anne Miller — Words Matter Make What You Say Pay!
ANNE MILLER
Presentation & Sales Specialist
Author | Speaker | Coach
Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!

METAPHOR MINUTE ARCHIVE

Metaphor Minute: Selling the WOW like Apple

The METAPHOR MINUTE Newsletter by Anne Miller
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November 19, 2014

Presentation Skillz, The Movie
 

Suppose you want to sharpen the professional skills of a group of twenty colleagues. Suppose this group was dispersed geographically, and further suppose, you did not have a budget or the time to bring everyone in for a formal training session. What could you do?

That was the challenge that Tim Moore, Senior Manager in Operations at American Express, faced. As part of a Growth & Development team within Operations, he had two weeks to deliver a learning experience to his group that would focus on sharpening their presentation skills, without being able to deliver a formal training workshop.

His solution was very “dramatic.”

Lights! Camera! Action!

Tim and his Growth & Development committee came up with the clever idea to use a movie metaphor to accomplish their goal. Here’s how it worked.

They sent a series of emails to everyone over the two week period and ended the two weeks with a tele-present group meeting (For those not familiar with this technology, you sit in a room opposite a very large screen and you can see and talk to people in different locations as if they were in the same room with you).

The actual content of the emails addressed Preparation, Content and Delivery, but these topics were presented in the context of a movie. One of the actual emails, the second of two on Preparation, is below. The links in it took readers to internal proprietary resources at American Express for real world examples, information, etc. (I was delighted to see Tim include references to me and my Metaphor Mem-Cards, so those links do work for readers who would like to pursue them.)

Subject Box: PRESENTATION SKILLZ - An Interview with Producer/Director - Timothy Moore (Part 2 of 2).

Email: A DISCUSSION (PART 2 of 2) WITH TIMOTHY MOORE, ACCLAIMED PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR,

SPEAKING ABOUT HIS NEW FILM PRESENTATION SKILLZ.

Presentation Skillz is written by Josh ___, Timothy Moore’s longtime collaborator,
And the film features one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood, Jane ___
The NYC world premiere of Presentation Skillz is November ___ 2014.

THE WIRE: Mr. Moore, welcome back.

TIMOTHY MOORE: Thanks for having me!

THE WIRE: We left off yesterday talking about aligning your work with business objectives. Do you have any other secrets or pointers?

T.M.: Here’s the thing – it’s obvious that being an expert in the subject matter will help a lot. But let’s be honest, if the story is lousy, it will fall flat. You need a nice arc to your narrative that will lift the audience up, and deliver them safely and soundly back to a key message. I enlisted the help of frequent collaborator of mine, and close friend, ____ to help me bring my story to life. He is a miracle worker! I’m also grateful to him for his casting ability. He knows everyone in the business and was able to sit down with _____ to pitch the film. The energy she brings to the set is just amazing – a real pleasure to work with and she’s ….she’s MAGIC.

THE WIRE: Is there anyone else you work with behind the scenes?

T.M.: It’s funny you mention that. One uncredited collaborator is a very talented and knowledgeable professional, Anne Miller, who was brought in to talk about the strength of metaphors during a three day forum at American Express. I had just joined Operational Excellence team a few months ago, and I found her approach to seizing the attention of audiences inspiring.

THE WIRE: How have you incorporated her teachings into your work?

T.M.: Firstly, Anne taught me to speak visually. This has helped me enormously in making an impact on my audience. Part of the trick is getting into the habit of thinking about metaphors in four steps. Let me give you an example of one of Anne’s ideas that I have found most useful. Think about how often we present numbers in our work. Numbers are abstractions until you are able to get the audience to relate to them in a way that they can see/feel/heard/taste/smell it. In other words, there are ways of talking about numbers to make them stick. Check out all of her Mem-Cards – they are fantastic!

THE WIRE: Mr. Moore, thanks for speaking with The Wire. We are looking forward to hearing from your writer, Josh___ and your featured star, Jane ____

T.M.: It was a pleasure, thank you.

Tim’s emails were about Preparation. There were “Screen Writer” emails about Content and an “Actor’s” email about Delivery, all with links to internal material. The final stage in this learning experience was that Tele-present meeting I mentioned above, where Tim showed an entertaining PPT summarizing the highlights of an effective presentation, followed by a case, for which the group had to create a presentation.

Movie Magic
Tim said, “It did take time to create and execute this learning experience, but everyone really enjoyed the novelty of how we did it and really got into it. We were very pleased with the results.”

Congratulations, Tim, for a very creative use of metaphor to resolve a very real business challenge and thank you for sharing!

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Anne Miller
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.


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7 Signs You Need A Metaphor (Visual Language)

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  2. Your listener is stuck on an objection
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  4. Your listener sees no difference between you and your competition
  5. You want to drive home a point vividly and memorably
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 "The Metaphor Minute" is a brief monthly note with examples from business, media, or politics that illustrate the power of metaphors and analogies to make a point, solve a problem, and get results. Use these stories to stimulate high pay-off metaphoric thinking in your business. © 2013. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2013, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling," amiller@annemiller.com
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