by Narmeen Iqbal & Robyn Hatcher
According to Dictionary.com, an analogy is: “a form of reasoning in which one thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain respect, on the basis of the known similarity between the things in other respects”.
According to Robyn Hatcher, Owner CEO of Speaketc, “Analogies are your best friend” especially when giving presentations and in communicating with people. Analogies help listeners grasp the concept or an idea much easier. It also helps listeners mentally visualize the connection between one form of reasoning by interpreting it through another form of reasoning resulting in a lucid understanding.
Here is an excellent example of the use of analogy by a MarketingProfessor at Indian Institute of Management (IIM). I compares marketing concepts to meeting a gorgeous girl at a party. Like many effective analogies, this analogy uses a touch of humor. It definitely made me laugh!
- You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" – “That's Direct Marketing”.
- One of your friends points at you and says: "He's very rich. Marry him!" –“That's advertising”.
- You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: "Hi, I'm very rich. Marry me!"-“That’s Telemarketing”.
- You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door of the car for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say: "By the way, I'm rich. Will you marry me?" –“That's Public Relations”.
- She walks up to you and says: "You are very rich! Can you marry me?" –“That's Brand Recognition”.
- You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" She gives you a nice hard slap on your face-“That’s Customer Feedback”.
- You go up to her and say: "I am very rich. Marry me!" And she introduces you to her husband-“That's demand and supply gap”.
- Before you say anything, another person comes and tells her: "I'm rich. Will you marry me?" and she goes with him- “That’s competition eating into your market share”.
- Before you say: "I'm rich, Marry me!" your wife arrives-“That's restriction for entering new markets”.
I often use the analogy of baseball pitching to describe “Elevator pitches”. (read article) And I love uncovering analogies to help my clients come up with a unique way to describe their business or a unique selling point of their product or service. For example; in working with a Whiskey Master Blender who was speaking about an extremely expensive aged scotch whiskey, I replaced an overused and incongruent gimmick he was using with an analogy of a piece of coal (the different raw whiskies) turning into a gorgeous, luxurious diamond (the finished aged scotch). This analogy was visual, (he incorporated actual coal and diamond props) and conveyed to his audience the rarity and preciousness of his product.
What analogies can you come up with for your business or service? Feel free to test them out here and I'll let you know my thoughts.
For more information about crafting your content, download a complimentary chapter of my book, Standing Ovation Presentations.