Figurative speech is associated with high intelligence. If you want to be a great orator, you ought to have a stock of metaphors or figurative speaking capabilities. Studies show that people who use appropriate metaphors in their speech tend to be considered smarter or highly educated.
You can use metaphors in your writing or speech.
Below find some common associations that help inform figurative speaking or writing, as ably written in the Power of Metaphor, by Mark J. Landau, et al.
- “weight manipulations influence perceived importance
- smooth textures promote social coordination
- hard textures result in greater strictness in social judgment
- hot backgrounds bias perceptions of facial anger
- dirty rooms result in less tolerance for moral indiscretions
- fishy smells result in doubts about the trustworthiness
- thoughts of body contamination activate anti-immigrant
Now consider the following metaphorical expressions, and relate where they fall:
- “his life took an unexpected turn after he met her.”
- “John is struggling to get someplace in his career.”
- “Sally is off to a slow start working on her thesis.”
- “their relationship was moving along in a good direction.”
- “Jack was spinning his wheels trying to solve the math problem.
Consider a speaker using the story of a journey to explain life experiences.
A traveller is a person leading a life. A journey with a destination is like a life with a purpose. The journey’s destination is like life goals. Every journey has obstacles — rough corners, dark spots, hills, and valleys. Just like a life with its difficulties. In any journey, you decide on the route. You make choices. Just like in life, you make choices about your career, whether to marry or not, which partner, or whether to have children or not.
Figurative speaking makes clear expressions.
“He is fierce like a lion.”
If you know the ferociousness of a lion, you can easily know how someone fierce is his. You directly link the lion to the person being referred to. Everyone knows that lions are powerful animals. Always strong. Fast and agile, confronting any enemy in front of them.
To date many Ugandans still remember the advice of the President of the Republic of Uganda, when he said, “do not poke a stick into the anus of the leopard”, referring to the failure to comply with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to prevent the spread of Coronavirus was akin to poking a stick in the anus of the leopard. Many people got the message. Relating a day to day subject to make a point is a great way to speak to influence and not merely to inform.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy, 2021. All rights reserved.