How To Use Analogies In Your Presentations

analogyDo you speak on a regular basis about a dry topic?  Do you find the audience’s eyes glazing over?  Do you feel you are boing yourself with your topic?  I once had a client who was putting together a presentation about a complex set of laws that govern rules pertaining to investing in pension funds.  The presentation was heavy on statistics and facts but little else.  We decided to use a simple analogy…a bar!  The manager became the SEC, the patrons became the investors, and the waiters became the hedge fund executives.  Suddenly, the presentation came to life, and this complicated subject became much more digestible.  I had another client who used her childhood experience of witnessing the aftermath of a tornado as an analogy for the aftermath of the 2008 stock market collapse.  Her presentation was excellent.

Many people think that it’s enough to simply relay the facts in a presentation.  It’s not.  We must challenge ourselves to make our presentations digestible, and interesting.  Analogies serve these purposes.  

Before making your next presentation, make a list of five analogies that might work for your topic.  You can use one blanket analogy for the entire presentation or a series of analogies for multiple concepts in your presentation.  Keep in mind the more personal your analogy, the more likely you will catch your audience’s attention!

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