Dec 16, 2015
Adele, Usher & You
We all know one-name entertainment stars like Adele, Usher, and Madonna. I
recently discovered a one-name star who shines in the world of writing: Henneke.
A native of Manchester, England, Henneke describes herself as an "irreverent
copywriter and marketer…on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and add sparkle
to boring business blogs." Everything she writes applies to both oral and
written communication. And, no surprise, she is a heavy user of
metaphors to make dry points fresh, fun, and memorable
In Her Own Words…
I'm a business writing coach and I blog about writing almost every week.
Blogging about writing can be tricky, because it's such an abstract topic.
That's why I like to use metaphors. For instance, I once wrote an article about
weak words. Weak words lack a strong meaning. Words like "really" or "just" or
even "to be" or "there," for instance, are weak, while words like "dazzling",
"to smash," or "to smile" have a strong meaning. You can feel the words—they
create a picture in your mind. When I wanted to explain how to use stronger
words, I compared writing to cooking:
Turning bland text into sizzling content requires only two simple steps:
Like a chef
tastes a dish before serving, you need to know when your content lacks
flavor. You have to spot weak phrases.
And just like
a chef grinds a little extra pepper, sprinkles a few coriander leaves, or
drizzles extra lime juice, you need to balance the flavors of your writing,
I then explained
the 4 different types of weak words. For instance, this is my explanation of
words with a low nutritional value:
quenches your thirst and appears to give energy, but its nutritional value
is low. A fruit smoothie sounds healthy, but may have a ton of added
low nutritional value are similar. They seem to have a meaning, but their
meaning is weak. For instance: What is a good blog post? Do you mean it’s
entertaining, engaging, or useful?
Or how do you
define a successful business woman? Does she have a six-figure income?
Oodles of leisure time? Or does she inspire you and make the world a better
"good" and "successful" are problematic because they can be interpreted in
many different ways—they’re not specific enough.
add a dash of personality to my writing. The metaphors add pizzazz to what
otherwise could be rather dry topics. [Emphasis mine]
Also, readers get to know me a little. They know I love cooking and
cycling as I often use these topics for my metaphors. [Emphasis
An Extra Twist
Since I started
hand-drawing my own blog illustrations, I've found it even easier to create new
metaphors. When considering how to illustrate a post, I often come up with an
idea for a metaphor. When I wrote about breaking grammar rules, I drew my
cartoon character running a red light on her bicycle; and a bicycle chain
illustrates a post explaining how transitionary phrases create a smooth reading
experience. The options for metaphors are endless, and they
allow me to discuss a worn-out topic in a totally fresh way.
So many people write about the same topics I blog about. Using
my own personal metaphors helps me stand out.
Be Your Own Star
Henneke gets the
power of metaphor to bring material to life. What worn out topics in your
business can you brighten up with a sparkling metaphor?
Like Henneke, how can you use personalized metaphors to help you stand out?
Imagine…Adele, Usher, Madonna… and You!
Wishing you all a happy, peaceful, and fun Holiday
Season. See you in the New Year!
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
information on Henneke, visit
Sample blogs from Henneke featuring metaphors:
|If you liked this newsletter, please share
with friends and colleagues. Thank you!
RANDOM METAPHOR NOTES
1. Brilliant Metaphor.
found online for depicting current Syria refugee problem demonstrates that
any topic lends itself to metaphorical thinking:
This M&M image appears with
the following words written across it:
Syrian refugee situation explained:
Here’s a bowl that contains 10,000 M&Ms.
Only 10 contain poison that will kill you.
How many M&Ms will you eat?
2. New podcast.
Bryon White, founder of
www.writeraccess.com and I get into
a lively discussion of why metaphors work. Hear it
- Demo/Presentation Assessments: Nail Q4 with a bang!
- Missing business?
- No time for training?
- Want to identify weak spots (Content, story, visuals, engagement,
Call today for details on how easy,
cost-effective and practical it is to do an Assessment to fine-tune your
presentations. 212 876 1875 or
New! (Free nfographic)
The Shortcut to Yes!
- Why Metaphor?
- 10X to Reach for Metaphor
- The Metaphor-Mind Connection
- Beginning Steps to Metaphor Mastery
- Metaphorians from Steve Jobs to Arianna Huffington
Need Some "WOW" in Your Presentation or Demo?
Call today and turn your information that tells into a story
"Anne has transformed the way we
engage with clients. I highly recommend her for demo/presentation training"
Trish Bertuzzi, Pres., The
Bridge Group, Inc.
"I sing your praises every opportunity I get."
Partner Regent Atlantic Capital LLC
“I still use what you taught me thirteen years ago!”
CEO, #1 luxury website
“Thanks to you, our presentation went very well…I am in awe
at how you are able to analyze a situation and help me focus in on the key
points that need to be clarified and emphasized. You make it look easy, but I
know it is not! Lynn Hutzel-Visel, VP, Comerica
“Anne understands what audiences look for and pushes you
beyond what you thought you were capable of... A real pro who will help you hit
it out of the park.” Mary Anne Doggett, Partner,