Anne Miller — Words Matter Make What You Say Pay!
Presentation & Sales Specialist
Author | Speaker | Coach
Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!


Metaphor Minute: Humpty Dumpty Woods




December 28, 2009

Humpty Dumpty Woods

Tiger Woods sat on a wall.
Tiger Woods had a great fall.
All of his billions and all of the spin
Couldn’t put Tiger together ag’in.

Okay, I’m no competition to Mother Goose.  However, if any of you ever doubted the power of metaphor, just look at the Tiger Woods debacle.  In a few short days, he went from being the ultimate metaphor for admired top performance to being the poster child for scandal, shame, and personal failure.

A marketer’s dream, Tiger Woods with his handsome, whistle clean, and high performing image made millions for companies like Accenture (“Go on, be a Tiger”), Gillette, and Nike. They all benefitted from the metaphoric rub-off his reputation gave them. And, he, of course, made many millions for himself as well.

Now, “Go on, be a Tiger” will forever be the punch-line to some lame joke and evoke totally different associations in our minds -- which explains why his former sponsors have all dropped him.
I was not a Tiger Woods sponsor, but in my own small way I was affected by his downfall.  I am writing a follow-up book to Metaphorically Selling (more about that in the New Year) and had to replace a positive reference to him with another (I chose Michael Jordan) because Tiger’s name no longer “works” as a compliment (a bit like Bernie Madoff, who was seen as an investment genius – until he wasn’t.)

What's in a metaphor?  Everything.

Hope your holiday continues to be happy.  See you in the New Year.

Anne Miller
Make What You Say, Pay — With Metaphors.

Metaphors in the News...
Thank you, Jim Kennedy, Interview Edge, and Fred Barnes, Distinction-Services, for sending these in to TMM.

Health Care
Congressman Jack Kingston from Georgia had plenty to say about the size and scope of the 2000 page  Health Care bill: “If your kitchen sink is leaking, you fix the sink. You don’t take a wrecking ball to the entire kitchen. This bill is a wrecking ball to the entire economy.”
Click Here For Video

Copenhagen Climate Conference
Imagine you're a well-to-do person attending a dinner of your peers. The food is top-rate and there's plenty of it. Course after course is laid upon the table. A group of less-advantaged people has been watching from the sidelines. When the dinner is done, you invite them to join you at the table. After the restaurant staff has served coffee, the bill comes. You and your rich peers insist that everyone now at the table must share in paying the entire bill. If that seems unfair, then you have just understood the position of the delegates from emerging economies, now negotiating with their wealthier colleagues from the North over a climate deal at Copenhagen.
The Huffington Post, 12/14/09  

When emotions are running high, metaphors inevitably enter the discussion to convert complex issues into concrete terms, which are then easier to grasp by anyone.

Glad to Help...
“I had the benefit of Anne's coaching at a point in my career where extensive client presentations and industry speeches were critical. She imparted skills that really enhanced my effectiveness in a variety of speaking situations..... these skills have made public speaking a strong personal asset.....and frankly, an occasion that provides tremendous personal satisfaction”
Gary Lineberry, Senior Financial Executive, Horton International

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I always recommend your Metaphorically Selling book to all my classes, one-on-one coaching sessions, and speaking engagements.  Great book!
Fred Barnes, Communications Specialist

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"The Metaphor Minute" is a brief monthly note with examples from business, media, or politics that illustrate the power of metaphors and analogies to make a point, solve a problem, and get results. Use these stories to stimulate high pay-off metaphoric thinking in your business. © 2009. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2009, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"
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