The Example of Metaphors
The best communicators are constantly using metaphors. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, great communicators, use metaphors in their speeches. George W. Bush extensively used metaphors in his speeches. For example: “Every nation now has a decision to make: either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” to convey the importance of role relationships and “we [America] are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world “, which represents reality through conceptual metaphors and here designates the position of the United States in the world.
Metaphors are a great way to help people understand abstract concepts, create a sense of familiarity, trigger emotions, attract attention, and motivate actions.
Let’s take a closer look at the use of metaphors
Metaphors can concretize abstract concepts
Both in writing (websites, blogs, articles, books) and in speaking (discourses, videos, presentations), metaphors are a great tool to help people better understand abstract or unfamiliar content. By comparing abstract information with concrete concepts, it becomes easier for people to understand the information they want to convey. For example, the metaphor “the coming days” expresses time as a path into physical space, or the metaphor “giving my time” expresses something that can be handled and offered as a gift. Various abstract conceptual metaphors are usually used when the speaker tries to convey a point of view. One could associate “the coming days” with leadership, while the phrase “giving my time” contains a stronger connotation for negotiation.
Metaphors create familiarity
We love to be familiar with things. When we are unfamiliar with something, we try our best to understand what we see or hear. Notoriety is very important. It creates a feeling of connection, comfort and tolerance. Familiarity allows people to integrate what they present into their reality. Companies use metaphors in their names to create familiarity. For example, “Reliable Plumbing Co” conveys trust, and we all like trust. “Sun First Solar Energy Co.” conveys a sense of responsibility, as we are all familiar with the importance of using renewable energy.
Metaphors can trigger emotions
The use of metaphors to trigger emotions is very popular with sellers. Emotions can not only make your idea more appealing and effective, but also more enjoyable and memorable. The most common emotions that are triggered by metaphors are anger, love, fear, happiness, sadness. For example, “drink this fruit juice and you will be in heaven” will convey a sense of joy and pleasure.
Metaphors can motivate you to act
One very interesting aspect of metaphors is that they can make people take action. Metaphors are used to change a setting to something. When you give a person a metaphor, you not only change that person’s attitude, but also their behavior. If you provide the correct metaphor, you can prompt that person to take immediate action. For example, if you want to sell a weight-loss product and talk to a room full of overweight people and tell them that your product tastes good and if you only drink a few ounces a day, they lose 30 pounds in 15 days is the likelihood that a lot of you go out to buy this product, pretty low. Instead, if you tell them that you were overweight 70 pounds, your back was always injured, you could no longer wear your best clothes, you were ashamed and afraid to go out of fear, to be looked at and mocked and so on. But one thing You came across this product day, and because you had nothing else to lose, you decided to try and drink it anyway! And in a few weeks, everything changed, you felt great again, your self-confidence returned, you started meeting again, going to the gym, meeting people, being your old, nice, good-looking self! The crowd feels for you and they are in.
I’ve learned to use metaphors in my online marketing career because I’ve tried and tried so many things and felt like I failed in everything. I made a fool of myself by harassing strangers in coffee shops to tell them about my opportunity. I had friends who did not call me back or avoided my calls out of fear, another one to get it suggested “pyramid” scheme. I was afraid to tell my wife that I had bought another course!