Whether you’re conducting a media interview, giving a presentation or writing a thought leadership article, the aim is always to be persuasive and memorable.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by using visual language, especially if you are trying to explain complex issues or situations.
Visual language tools like analogies, metaphors and anecdotes are like brain candy: they compare the unfamiliar with the familiar to create understanding and ignite a response.
In simple terms, analogies let you compare one thing with another, while metaphors are a figure of speech and anecdotes are short, interesting stories.
While they often won't explain all there is to know, they will open the door to a much bigger conversation and help make your message clear, memorable and quotable.
Consider how the analogy below, from an article in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, takes a complex idea and makes it easy to understand for the reader by using word pictures.
In this example, Geoff Gwilym, executive director at the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, used the onion analogy to explain how people might use electric cars in the future. Of course, the core of the onion is Melbourne's CBD while each ring represents the outer suburbs.
We also love this standout quote from another article in The Sydney Morning Herald. Indian doctor and businessman, Jagvinder Virk, emphasises the need for Australia to forge closer ties with India in a truly memorable way:
As you can see, the right analogy or anecdote, told the right way, can work like a charm. They’re also irresistible to reporters, which means you’re more likely to be quoted.
So, if you want an audience to understand and embrace a big idea, think about how you might use an analogy, an anecdote or even just a colourful turn of phrase to persuade or convince people.