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Metaphors: Powerful Literary Tools in Business Presentations

July 28, 2015 / Blog audience engagement, presentation metaphors, presentation tips, Rick Enrico, SlideGenius, speech metaphors

“Think of a metaphor as a connection or a bridge between the new and the familiar.” – Peter Jeff

Metaphors are powerful literary tools of comparison that link things, ideas, and concepts. They’re great for expressing connections and can trigger quick or surprising response. You’ve probably used them in normal conversations, or read about them in literary works.

However, metaphors can lend an added value to your business presentations as well. Citing Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By, Six Revisions’ Sabrina Idler takes off with the idea that the human mind processes conceptual ideas as metaphors. This may largely be because metaphors translate the abstract into something tangible and familiar to the audience.

Discover how to make your business presentations more interactive with metaphors.

Stimulate Creativity

Running out of words to explain your key points? Pick a metaphor that fits your message.

How would you narrate the way your organization reached its goal of meeting new clients? One interesting way your audience can relate to you and your story is by choosing a metaphor that’s directly associated with your organization.

For example, using food metaphors might work for a restaurant or food manufacturing business. This also helps you avoid arbitrary metaphors your listeners might not get, as well as cliches they’ve heard a thousand times before.

Create Deeper Impact

Since metaphors are thought-provoking, they create a deeper impact on your audience. They dig into their subconscious, as well as their emotions, causing them to react to your message differently. They also bring out the most candid moments in participants who pay close attention to your speech.

Like sharing a personal story or an interesting anecdote, speech metaphors make you appear more relatable and human. Hard facts and data can get stale after a while, so a healthy dash of the creative in your pitch will definitely wake up your listeners’ senses.

Power to Persuade

With combined creativity, meaning, and impact, metaphors make you more persuasive and help you win businesses. Because metaphors engage the right brain, they appeal to people’s emotions and put them at ease. This makes them less wary of sales pitches, and more open to listening to what you have to say.

Use this language in a way that differentiates you from your competition, simplifies a complex situation, and delivers your presentation idea vividly to succeed at creative persuasion.


Speech metaphors don’t only facilitate understanding, but also enhance audience participation. Practice thinking and speaking in a metaphorical way to add a little drama to your business presentation.

Looking for PowerPoint experts to help you on your presentation needs? Give us a call at 1-858-217-5144 or request for a free quote from SlideGenius today.



5 Reasons Why Metaphors Can Improve the User Experience.” Six Revisions. 2012. Accessed July 28, 2015.
Engage a Disinterested Audience Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 5, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.
How to Use the Persuasive Power of Metaphors.” Enchanting Marketing. 2013. Accessed July 28, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Pitching With Pathos.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 4, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.