I recently attended a workshop titled, “Using Figurative Language to Craft Unforgettable Messaging” by Tucker Bryant.
It taught me the principles behind figurative language. (think metaphors, similies, analogies)
But more importantly, it opened my eyes to the power of figurative language for innovators.
While I’ve been working to get better at weaving figurative language into my own work, I’ve noticed how much the greats (like Steve Jobs, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Warren Buffett) utilize figurative language and how much better I understand them for it.
A few examples:
Neil deGrasse Tyson used figurative language to explain how smooth Earth really is:
🌎 🎱 "If you shrunk Earth down to the size of a cue ball, it would be one of the smoothest cue balls ever built."
Steve Jobs used figurative language to explain how good ideas are formed by comparing ideas to stones in a rock tumbler:
💡 🪨 "It's that through the team, through that group of incredibly talented people bumping up against each other, having arguments, having fights sometimes, making some noise, and working together they polish each other and they polish the ideas, and what comes out is really beautiful."
Warren Buffett used figurative language to explain the power of long-term investing:
📈 🌳 “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Figurative language "helps your audience grasp your ideas and leave your most important concepts embedded in their imaginations." -Tucker Bryant
So here’s the figurative language formula that the workshop taught me:
gets associated with...
Which helps us better understand...
Join me in using figurative language to communicate your complex ideas in a simple way.
Don't worry about classifying your comparison as a metaphor or a simile. Just find a familiar concept to help explain your unfamiliar concept.
See how you might work more figurative language into your dialogues and take note of how much further your concepts travel.
🗣️💊 Figurative language is like the gel coating of a pill. It makes your concept easy to swallow.
🙈 Give me some grace! I'm still practicing 😅