July 16, 2015
Good Deal? Bad Deal?
Like it or loathe it, the strong feelings around the new Iran nuclear deal have
generated a raft of diametrically opposite metaphorical responses.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The moment our discourse rises above the ground
line of familiar facts, and is inflamed with passion or exalted by thought, it
clothes itself in images.” It is no surprise that reactions to the Iran
deal are all wrapped in metaphors.
The Pro- Iran Dealers are Saying…
“We have cut off every pathway for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.“
(Con jure up reassurance, security, promise of peace) - President Obama
“This is an important step in putting the lid on Iran’s nuclear program.”
(Conjure up control, closure, safety) - Hillary Clinton
“A new day has come.” (Evokes optimism, hope, possibilities) -
The Anti-Iran Dealers are Saying…
“This isn’t diplomacy—it is appeasement” (Evoking the horrors associated with
the road that led to WWII) - Jeb Bush
This is an “historic mistake.” (Evoking danger, regret, bad consequences)
“Snapback is a mirage.” (On the US being able to re-impose sanctions if Iran
violates the agreement. Evoking foolhardiness , false comfort, and danger,) -
Wall Street Journal
Time will tell if the Iran deal is a good or bad agreement. But before then, my
question to you is, how pro-actively are you managing the reactions you want
your listeners to have with the images you use to characterize your ideas,
services, or products ? When you speak, what feelings are you conjuring up for
listeners within your company, externally with clients, or publicly in larger
Choose your images wisely, because if you don’t, others will choose them for
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
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