While there is much understandable gloom around the news and repercussions of David Cameron’s Euro veto, at least in communication terms the news coverage has unearthed some great metaphors.
My favourites among the weekend’s coverage include the comment from one French diplomat reported in the FT commenting on Mr. Cameron’s negotiating stance was like a man “attending a wife-swapping party without a wife.”
While Terry Smith, the Chief Executive of city firm Tullett Preborn reflected that Britainwas “as isolated as somebody who refused to join the Titanic just before it sailed.”
A metaphor provides cutting insight, creates pictures, and most importantly, can get you to change your view or behaviours.
In my creative and professional writing classes I explain the reason why a metaphor is one of the best tools available to any communicator is because it communicates on a number of levels: no matter how much you may resist one dimension of the message, inevitably some aspect of the message can get through even the most obstinate of barriers.
You can always tell a great speech as it usually contains a great metaphor or two: Did Martin Luther King have a plan to improve black employment rates over a five year period…, or did he ‘have a dream’?
How often do you use metaphors? Are they like hen’s teeth in your copy, or are you regularly laying golden eggs of communication?