Anne Miller — Words Matter Make What You Say Pay!
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Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!


Metaphor Minute: 'Terrorize' Your Communications

The METAPHOR MINUTE Newsletter by Anne Miller

June 13, 2013

"Terrorize" Your Communications

Someone tells you that certain foods are bad for you and you shouldn’t eat them. You hear their words (advice you’ve heard many times before), nod politely and are likely to continue your poor eating habits. But suppose you hear those same foods described as terrorists that invade your body, multiply, and latch on to your healthy cells, destroying them at their most vulnerable spots.

What! Terrorists in my body? That won’t do. How can I protect myself against these threats?

According to Health Coach Ruth Gantman, the answer (of course) is to bring in  “Homeland security.

It turns out that these “terrorists” are the free radicals found in certain foods and your first line of defense, “homeland security,” are anti-oxidants found in other foods. Eat the latter to protect yourself from the former for a longer, healthy life.

Curious to know more?

Ruth Gantman has the answers. Ruth is a Health Coach who has studied over 100 dietary theories, lifestyle techniques and innovative coaching methods with the world’s top health and wellness experts from Harvard, Yale and even Deepak Chopra. She works with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.

She knows that to get people to focus on something as unsexy and mundane as good nutrition (eat your vegetables, honey), she needs to frame her communications in attention grabbing ways that will snap people out of their comfort zone. In this case, terrorism, with all its scary associations, does the trick.

Ruth reaches regularly for metaphors and analogies – visual language – to help clients “see” the value of what she is saying and recommending. In another instance, when she talks about taking care of yourself in the aging process, she nails her arguments with, “As we age, we grow more different than alike. It’s not just the make and model. It’s the mileage. It depends on care and maintenance. Yes, and what’s under the hood.

Your Turn

Not everyone can sells sexy products like iPads. What most people sell is fairly routine and very similar to what competitors sell: accounting services, enterprise software solutions, wealth management advice, advertising, executive search, legal services, social media consulting, consulting, graphic design, etc.

Emulate Ruth. What vivid metaphors and analogies can you create to make somewhat jaded listeners sit up, pay attention, and get swept along in your story which ultimately leads to them working with you?

Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
Anne Miller

P.S. For more information on Ruth Gantman and her free nutrition book, visit

How potentially dull is a description of the stock market and the economy?
It can be pretty eye-glazing, unless you are economist Roger Farmer, who describes the stock market and the economy as “co-integrated random walks” to fellow economists, but uses a much more vivid image for lay audiences. [The market and the economy are]“…two staggering drunks connected by a long rope. Sometimes the stock market and the economy go in the same direction, sometimes not. But tied together as they are, they can never get too far apart.” Full article

Remember that the next time you check your broker’s statement.

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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. © 2013. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2013, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"
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