Preparing a speech or presentation can sometimes result in writer’s block. One may have a general idea of what one wants to say but there is a need to build a structure into the speech that will resonate with the audience.
One technique would be the use of comparison metaphors. In this, a speaker may take obvious attributes and inflate them to metaphor level where the listener would be caught off guard by the visual being painted by the talk.
This is often a humor technique used by standup comedians. For example, a person might use the common phrase, “I am madder than a hornet” a much used metaphor in the common lexicon. Most people relate to the visual of a nest of hornets angrily buzzing around the head of a poor person unlucky enough to provoke them.
A standup comedian may take this to ridiculous extremes, saying something like, “I am madder than a person stuck behind three school buses running side by side on the interstate!” The audience may laugh when they make connection between the emotion and a common event in their lives.
Maximizing and minimizing a concept can be valuable too. For example, a pastor may compare God to a mighty wind or a gentle breeze. The metaphor shines a light on the concept by showing extremes of the spectrum.
A president of a company wishing to inspire productivity may say that a product line is like a dripping faucet with the product coming in in small portions and with the help of the employees, the product can gush out of the factory like water out of a fire hose. Alone, these metaphors may seem trivial but attached to the message of wanting to increase productivity; they become valuable visual hooks for the audience to hang onto. Employees may remember and be more inspired by a phrase such as, “Let’s turn on the fire hose and get this great product to our customers!” than a statement of “We need to increase our productivity by ten percent.”.
So take the bare bones of your message and punch it up with some memorable metaphors that will inspire and make your audience think in new ways.