Apr 20, 2016
Gear Up for Meetings
What kids do for parties also
works for your business meetings: create a metaphorical theme for the event. I
recently attended such a conference where a metaphorical theme did double duty.
It set the framework, focus, and tone for the meeting and it added a light, right
brain touch to a very left brain topic. You might want to use this metaphor
yourself for any number of situations.
Gearing Up for Change
The meeting was about choosing career and lifestyle options.
Instead of a strictly correct, but boring, title like “Making Career Choices,”
the topic was cast in a more engaging play on the theme of gears. For example,
the welcome title slide, “Shifting Gears on Your Journey,” and its image (a
racer taking a sharp turn on a
instantly caught us up in the feel and meaning of the entire program.
variously shaped gears were part of the centerpiece at each table
reinforcing the metaphor and becoming conversation pieces as well. All
topics were linked to shifting gears. Written promotion for the sponsor (a
wealth management company) extended the theme, offering services that would
allow clients to "safely shift into another gear for the next destination on
your journey." Each circle on the gear of their written promotion card
contained relevant action options that a potential client might take: push
through, coast, climb, accelerate, and hydrate.
The gear metaphor was clever without being overdone and contributed to the
overall successful experience of the event
The gear metaphor can be used in many different situations. For example, it
can be used
To liven up a weekly sales meetings:
Check Your Gears
To capture attention in a new business presentation:
Gearing Up for Success at XYZ
To announce changes in strategy , processes, organizational structure:
Shifting Gears to …Increase market share…Improve operations…Beat competition
Your use of the gear metaphor —or any metaphor—is limited only by your
Op-Ed pages in your local paper are metaphor gold mines. In how many ways
could you use this metaphor (analogy) from a recent New York Times article
in your world?
In “Learning Lessons From Outrage,” an analysis of lessons learned for the
Republicans about the current turmoil in their party, Republican pollster
Frank Luntz is quoted:
listen. They didn’t hear the anger because they spent too much time in
Washington and not enough in the rest of America. The Republican finance
people, the donor class, they didn't see it and didn't hear it, and by the
time they did, it was too late" Luntz compared it to a
horror film: "You know something's out there, but you don't see it until
you're getting stabbed."
What, like a horror film, is slowly building in your world, your company,
or your client's world that will suddenly stab people because they don't,
or refuse to, see, it? How can your services, products, ideas prevent that
Make What You Say Pay! — with Metaphors
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