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


Metaphor Minute: Adele, Usher & You


Dec 16, 2015

Adele, Usher & You

We all know one-name entertainment stars like Adele, Usher, and Madonna. I recently discovered a one-name star who shines in the world of writing: Henneke. A native of Manchester, England, Henneke describes herself as an "irreverent copywriter and marketer…on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and add sparkle to boring business blogs." Everything she writes applies to both oral and written communication. And, no surprise, she is a heavy user of metaphors to make dry points fresh, fun, and memorable

In Her Own Words…

I'm a business writing coach and I blog about writing almost every week. Blogging about writing can be tricky, because it's such an abstract topic. That's why I like to use metaphors. For instance, I once wrote an article about weak words. Weak words lack a strong meaning. Words like "really" or "just" or even "to be" or "there," for instance, are weak, while words like "dazzling", "to smash," or "to smile" have a strong meaning. You can feel the words—they create a picture in your mind. When I wanted to explain how to use stronger words, I compared writing to cooking:

Turning bland text into sizzling content requires only two simple steps:

  • Like a chef tastes a dish before serving, you need to know when your content lacks flavor. You have to spot weak phrases.

  • And just like a chef grinds a little extra pepper, sprinkles a few coriander leaves, or drizzles extra lime juice, you need to balance the flavors of your writing, too.

I then explained the 4 different types of weak words. For instance, this is my explanation of words with a low nutritional value:

  • A coke quenches your thirst and appears to give energy, but its nutritional value is low. A fruit smoothie sounds healthy, but may have a ton of added sweeteners.

  • Words with low nutritional value are similar. They seem to have a meaning, but their meaning is weak. For instance: What is a good blog post? Do you mean it’s entertaining, engaging, or useful?

  • Or how do you define a successful business woman? Does she have a six-figure income? Oodles of leisure time? Or does she inspire you and make the world a better place?

  • Words like "good" and "successful" are problematic because they can be interpreted in many different ways—they’re not specific enough.

Metaphors add a dash of personality to my writing. The metaphors add pizzazz to what otherwise could be rather dry topics. [Emphasis mine]

Also, readers get to know me a little. They know I love cooking and cycling as I often use these topics for my metaphors. [Emphasis mine]

An Extra Twist

Since I started hand-drawing my own blog illustrations, I've found it even easier to create new metaphors. When considering how to illustrate a post, I often come up with an idea for a metaphor. When I wrote about breaking grammar rules, I drew my cartoon character running a red light on her bicycle; and a bicycle chain illustrates a post explaining how transitionary phrases create a smooth reading experience. The options for metaphors are endless, and they allow me to discuss a worn-out topic in a totally fresh way.

So many people write about the same topics I blog about. Using my own personal metaphors helps me stand out.

Be Your Own Star

Henneke gets the power of metaphor to bring material to life. What worn out topics in your business can you brighten up with a sparkling metaphor?

Like Henneke, how can you use personalized metaphors to help you stand out?

Imagine…Adele, Usher, Madonna… and You!

Wishing you all a happy, peaceful, and fun Holiday Season. See you in the New Year!

Anne Miller
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.

For more information on Henneke, visit
Sample blogs from Henneke featuring metaphors:

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1. Brilliant Metaphor. found online for depicting current Syria refugee problem demonstrates that any topic lends itself to metaphorical thinking:
This M&M image appears with the following words written across it:

Syrian refugee situation explained:
Here’s a bowl that contains 10,000 M&Ms.
Only 10 contain poison that will kill you.
How many M&Ms will you eat?

2. New podcast. Bryon White, founder of and I get into a lively discussion of why metaphors work. Hear it here.

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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 The Tall Lady or Make What You Say Pay!. Simply call me at 212 876 1875 and tell me what you did or email me at

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Links I Like:

Great Resources:

"The best arguments
dazzle with metaphor"

Gerry Spence,
Media Commentator & Lawyer

The Original “Metaphorically Selling” that spawned a movement, now with 25 New Stories.  Available in print, ebook & (new) audiobook formats.
Click here

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7 Signs You Need A Metaphor (Visual Language)

  1. Your listener is not paying attention
  2. Your listener is stuck on an objection
  3. Your listener is confused
  4. Your listener sees no difference between you and your competition
  5. You want to drive home a point vividly and memorably
  6. You have to wiggle out of a difficult situation
  7. You want to wow or motivate a larger audience

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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. © 2015. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2015, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"
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