make your presentations stick (2): magnficient metaphors

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Post on 21-Oct-2014




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Tutorial 2 in the mini-series of Make Your Presentations Stick. Metaphors make your presentations memorable, but to get the most impact, make sure you follow these hot tips!


WOW Presentation Skills not for the faint hearted!

Make Your Presentation Stick (2)Magnificent Metaphors!

What does it take to be an impactful communicator in todays information-overloaded world?How can you get your message across in the 21st Century where listening is in decline?What cutting edge techniques can presenters use to make their presentations meaningful & memorable?

Modern Day Communication Challenges

The traditional purpose of delivering presentations has expanded way beyond the training arena. The abundance of presentations we are exposed to, can desensitise us to information, previously deemed interesting & inspiring.The accelerated fast paced world we operate in, is making us information retardant, due to:The information-overload brought about by technology & social media phenomenon.The attention-span deficit society, encouraged by Twitter, FB, RSS feeds, SMS (to name but a few), where the ethos is: less is moreThe increasing trend for non face to face communications to economise on physical as well as mental time.

The (Brain) Power of Metaphors

Advances in neuroscience research, has given us much greater insight into the inner workings of how the brain processes & responds to verbal information.Metaphors serve as mental hooks in the brain, which package information in appropriate easily retrievable storage units of the brain.Creative, well-thought through metaphors can maximise the potential brain power of your audience, leading to greater information retention.

Metaphors In The Learning Environment

Metaphors give clarity & demystify learning, by connecting new knowledge with a familiar something. Once that connection is made we can then draw on the comparison to further explain concepts.

Metaphors have been used in training & education for decades, but somehow can fall short of building that long term storage connection in the brain.Using metaphors, similes, giving examples, telling stories etc. that have a value to the audience will ensure the audience get the concept as well as retain it long after the presentation is over.

In the current recession, cash is king.

The poor customer service experience left a bad taste in his mouth.

Everyone understood the assignment. Her instructions were crystal clear.

Interruptions are the most serious time thieves I have to deal with.

Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!

# 1: Make Metaphors Meaningful

Giving examples is the high frequency language of the persuasive sales presenter.

Put numbers & statistics into context:

Example:At an IT sales presentation to prospective buyers: It comes with a 12 gigabyte memory card

Extend it by making it meaningful

Meaningful Example:It comes with a 12 gigabyte memory card. 12 gigabytes, thats enough memory to listen to your music while travelling to the moon & back!

# 2: Make Metaphors Measurable

Using numbers & statistic are popular tactics of presenters, but making them measurable will make a greater impact on the audience.

Example:(The late) Steve Jobs, IPhone presentation: We have sold 4 million iPhones to date. Divide that by 200 daysthats 20,000 iPhones a day, on average.

# 3: Make Metaphors Relatable

Relatable, authentic examples means knowing enough about the target audience, so that your choice of metaphors, examples & stories resonate with them.

Personalise the metaphors to win the hearts & minds of the audience.

Situation: A training session on non-verbal behaviour to a group of stay at home mothers, trying to get back to the job market:

Weak Example:Trainer: We use Active Listening Skills when, for example, were dealing with irate customers complaining about long queues.

Effective Example:Trainer: How can we show someone, were really listening? Whats the first thing your child does to get your attention? He holds your chin & turns your head towards him, so he sees you are really listening to him. Thats why we use Active Listening Skills, to show we really are paying attention.

# 4: Make Metaphors Visual

Our brains process visual information up to 10 times faster than the written word.

In an age of declining listening skills, visuals speak louder & last longer than words.





21st Century communication favours short, quick bursts of informationAttention span is in declineBrain efficiency is deteriorating as we rely more on technology to record/remember calculate/consider analyse/think & decide

To create a shortcut to understandingTo use an unrelated concept to best convey the essence of another conceptTo simplify what is complex

Select ideas & stories that the audience will value & connect toExtend the metaphor with a measure to maximize its effect

Thats It!