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


Metaphor Minute: JFK, Zorro, or Wonder Woman




March 1, 2012

JFK, Zorro, or Wonder Woman?

Occasionally, people are called upon to speak before audiences that are not the norm for them. That can be at a wedding for a toast to the bride and groom, at a funeral to deliver a eulogy, or, in Jim Sayers' case, in the pulpit of his church when his pastor was called out of town.

Jim's sermon was to be on Hero Worship in reference to Mark 1:14-20 (Christ recruiting disciples Simon, Andrew, James, and John in which he asked them to follow him and then have others follow them).

Jim knew his topic, but thought, "How am I going to engage this congregation?"

He decided to use the power of analogy. "I began talking about the heroes we worship today, those people or figures we respect, who lift us up, make us want to be like them and who we willingly follow."

"I continued about how we have heroes all during our lives - beginning when we were kids and our heroes were the ones on our pajamas, lunchboxes, and who we dressed up as for Halloween. Later in life our heroes were ‘real’ people such as musicians, movie/TV stars, athletes and political leaders. As adults, we come to realize that our heroes do not necessarily have to be superstars, but can be normal, ordinary people whom we respect equally to inspire us."

"As I spoke," reports Jim, "I could see people nodding with the understanding that comes from recalling personal experiences. Eighty or eighteen, they were each thinking about their personal heroes from childhood on. Not only did I have their attention, but I knew my analogy had succeeded in helping them imagine how the disciples felt about Christ when they chose to follow him."

It was a short leap from that opening analogy to his sermon that we all have the opportunity to be heroes to others.

Stuck for an Opening?
Reach for a (relevant) story or reference that connects with your listeners' experiences and you will always establish a deep connection with an audience. Mentally, your metaphor or analogy engages that visual, emotional, associative right brain to move your audience from "ho-hum" to "Yes, tell me more…"

(Who were/are your heroes? For the record, Jim's childhood heroes were Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger and Zorro. He works for Corn Belt Power in Humbolt, IA, a generation and transmission electric cooperative owned by its members.) .

Make what you say pay — with metaphors.
Anne Miller

Metaphors in the News
"She was a sunbeam—radiant, perspective altering, impossible to reach."
                                                                   - Jon Caramanica, The New York Times on Whitney Houston
"The Beast with a Billion Eyes" -Time Magazine on YouTube
"The world’s social bazaar."     - The Wall Street Journal, on Facebook

Need Help With Your Presentation?
Call today and turn your information that tells into a story that sells.
Personal Presentation Client:
"I sing your praises every opportunity I get. I look forward to continuing our work together"
Jane Newton, Wealth Manager, Regent Atlantic Capital LLC
Tell me about YOUR Metaphor Minute, a time you used a metaphor or an analogy to make your point, overcome an obstacle, close a sale, or wow an audience, and receive a signed copy of Metaphorically Selling or Make What You Say Pay!. Simply call me at 212 876 1875 and tell me what you did or email me at

If someone emailed you this copy of The Metaphor Minute, sign up now to get your own copy.
(and be sure to "white list" to be insure delivery)

Links I Like:

Great Resources:

The best firms hire brilliantly
& train relentlessly.
Make 2012 a year to remember

Timely Topics:

Turn Info Into Stories That Sell"

"Negotiate Like the Big Boys"

"Notable & Quotable:
How to sell creatively"

"How to Shorten Sales Cycles"

What do you need? Let's tailor a program for your group today. Call 212-876-1875 or

Metaphor Minute Archives

"I've been to a lot of training programs and yours was the best!"
 -CRO, MediaMath

 Lock in your dates today:
212-876-1875 or

View A Recent Video

The Key to Persuasion,
Clarity & Understanding

Latest White Paper
HOOKED! 7 Ways to Capture a
Prospect's Attention

Written with pal and Sales 2.0 guru Nigel Edelshain

Fight The Noise -
Make Your Point

"Smart & Easy to Read"
"Incredibly Timely"
"Must have if you influence or persuade anyone"

Free Preview or Buy Now

Order the book that spawned
"The Metaphor Minute" and the new
""Make What You Say Pay!"

What do you say when
they have to get it?


Official Training Partners

The IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace

"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 ©2011, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"
©2018 Chiron Associates New York, NY 212-876-1875