We are all of us only as powerful as our persuasive skill." - Simon Lancaster, speech writer to some of Britain's top politicians, business leaders and celebrities.
One of the best ways to increase your powers of persuasion is to sprinkle your language with metaphors. A metaphor is the comparison of one thing to another, without using the word "like". ("His speech was a bumper box of Nytol. We were all asleep in 20 minutes").
Metaphors are great for helping your audience to understand difficult concepts, but more importantly, metaphors create a picture in your audience's mind and infuse your words with an emotion that will touch their hearts. And that is the basis of persuasion.
Think of Martin Luther King: "But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt", and Churchill: "An iron Curtain has descended across the continent." - both are highly creative and memorable uses of metaphor. But do not be intimidated by these two historical giants. Metaphors can be created and enjoyed by us lesser mortals too, and I encourage you to embrace and have fun with this potent tool of persuasion.
If you (or someone you know) has a speech or presentation coming up and it's freaking you out - don't worry, email me or Skype me (claire-carpenter) for a chat to see if I can help.