Make an Impression

by Joseph Kwon in


Tick-tock, tick-tock...it was 20 minutes till our team meeting and my colleague was a last minute presenter. He didn't have much time to prepare and was thinking about just reading the bullets off the slides. The topic was sharing feedback with our boss on barriers to the team's success and I wanted him to have as much of an impact as possible. I suggested that instead of just reading the bullets, he use a metaphor to maximize understanding and memorability. Is that even a word?

Here are a few examples of famous statements that use metaphor to good effect and a version I've paraphrased myself where I've taken a more literal approach.

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My colleague is trained in opera so it was natural for him to use opera examples. In the end, he drew some great parallels between how the challenges at work would affect a performance. Like how a lack of leadership on a team is like an conductor-less opera.

But he didn't stop there. He went beyond the basic comparison and highlighted the feelings of such a situation. Like how an opera is already very long and a opera with challenges is even longer.

So the next time you have a chance to present and make an impression, try these 2 EZPZ tips to go beyond just the minimum of reading what's on the slide. Your audience will be thankful.

1. Use a meaningful metaphor. Meaningful to you or meaningful to your audience. And if you can find one that is both, all the better.

2. Connect your facts to a feeling or emotion. Like how a team with challenges will not operate efficiently and deliverables will be delayed, leading to feelings of frustration or failure.

Good luck!

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.