Secret 5: Paint With Rare Metaphors
the fifth secret of creating killer content is to paint with rare metaphors. So in this video we're going to talk about how you can take even the most complex ideas and turn it into something much more understandable, relatable and shareable. Now we've all heard the famous saying that a picture is worth 1000 words and I don't know about you. But that statement has always infuriated me because as a writer it means that I have to work 1000 times harder than a photographer to convey the same message or emotion in my work. Now, unfortunately for us writers research actually backs up this famous proverb. Professors Neil Fleming and David baum discovered that humans learn in four different ways. They called it bark V. A. R. K. People either learn through visuals which was the V. Audio which was the A. They learned the reading which was the R. Or kinesthetic li which means moving or touching. Which was another form of learning. So here's the question which one of these four learning styles wa...
s most popular. The research showed that people preferred to learn kin aesthetically or visually and it makes sense right? Tend to remember things better when we see it firsthand or we experienced it firsthand but here's where it comes back to that famous proverb, which learning styles do you think was the least popular? Well it was reading. Reading was the least popular way that people preferred to learn and retain information and that's a total bummer because as a writer it sometimes feels like the world is against us. And its research like this That confirms why people may want to watch videos or take workshops as opposed to reading books or articles. But here's the thing, not all is lost because you can still paint visuals even if you're just writing with a pen. And the best way to do this is to use more metaphors in your writing. And let me explain because not just any metaphors, it's a rare ones because we all know we all know this, that metaphors are incredibly powerful because they help us understand an unfamiliar idea by connecting it with a familiar one. And research shows that metaphors refire neural pathways in our brain that we've used many many times before. In order to understand a new concept. In other words, they paint a clear picture in our mind when we're trying to understand something new. So let me ask you this, which one of these statements do you think is more memorable statement one which reads google is a search engine that indexes trillions of web pages across the internet to help anyone access greater information for statement too. Google is the world's biggest library with the world's best librarian to guide you. You can find and learn anything without needing to spend hours looking for it. It's the second statement. It's so much more memorable and in fact this is how I explained google to my grandma when I first got a job there, she didn't exactly know what google was and she wasn't exactly familiar with the concept of computers and all that. But she was familiar with libraries. So that's the way I explained to it. That's the metaphor I used. Let's try another one. Which one of these statements do you find more memorable statement? One which reads leveraging Big data is a complex endeavor for many corporations while some entities persuade stakeholders that they know how to analyze big data. The truth is that very few do or statement to which reads big data is like teenage sex. Everyone talks about it. Nobody really knows how to do it. Everyone thinks that everyone else is doing it. So everyone claims they're doing it. The second quote of course, which comes from behavioral economist dan Ariely is far far more memorable because it paints a picture with words it inspires you to reminisce back to your teenage years for better for horse and puts an unfamiliar concept of analyzing big data within a familiar framework of our past. And technically speaking that quote from dan, I really was a similarly and not a metaphor because he used the word like um, but the same rule holds true. It's the same thing you're making comparison with unfamiliar to the familiar. Now the key with each of these metaphors that I just mentioned is that they're colored and detailed. They're not cliche. For example, how many times have you heard these metaphors, the rent skyrocketed last year and the stock prices went through the roof, you know? And he went from rags to riches so it's time to rally the troops and let's not forget about the elephant in the room. Huh. He probably heard these statements so many times. They actually forgot they were even metaphors. I know I have I mean for me these phrases and statements have lost so much meaning that I don't even think about them visually anymore. I don't think about rent being a rocket ship or an executive rallying his team like a general does his troops. But when a metaphor is rarer like comparing google to a library or big data to teenage sex. Well that's where the connection becomes much stronger. That's when the magic happens. In fact, if you think about it, I've been relying on metaphors throughout this entire course. This entire course I've been comparing writing to elephants, to Sherlock Holmes, to apples, to orchards. They're all metaphors and uncommon comparisons that most people wouldn't make when it comes to writing and that I tried to make in trying to teach these lessons to you And now that begs the question. So how do you exactly come up with rare metaphors for the message or article or email that you're trying to convey? Well here's a five step process that I use every time I'm trying to come up with a memorable metaphor for my writing and encourage you to use it as well. Here it is step by step. So as an example, before we dive into this five step process, let's set some context. Let's make it a bit more practical and interactive. Let's say that the economist approaches you to write a landing page for a brand new app that they're developing, right? And this app for a bit more context aggregates news articles into a daily something. So the question for you is how do you write about that app in a way that would encourage more people to download it. Right? So let's go through this step by step process, step one, you define the new thing, right? Simply put in step one. We have to be clear about what exactly the app does plain and simple. And let's say that from our discussion with the app developers, we learned that this app crawls the entire economist website picks the news articles that are most relevant to the reader and serves them inbox first thing in the morning. So they get a head start on the day. Step two, you identify the 22 from shifts and here's what I mean by that, right? In step two, you identify the change that the app or the thing that you're talking about brings about in users, right? You ask yourself what's the negative to positive change that this thing strives to bring about for the app. You know, those who use it can go from uninformed to educated, from feeling behind to feeling ready to being narrow minded to being more worldly and cultured, right? So you're really identifying those two different shifts in that step. Step three is to think about what other things in the world have. That same 22 from shift, right? So when we go back to that 22 from shift of going from uninformed educated, you know, what are other things that do that, you know, universities, professors, classrooms and the list goes on. When we think about the other 22 from shift of feeling behind to feeling ready, we can think of, you know, hitting the gym, makes you feel ready, having a cup of coffee, makes you feel ready, um getting a better night's sleep. Those are all things that can make you feel from going behind to feeling ready and taking on the day. And lastly like the other two different shift that we talked about was going from being narrow minded to being worldly and you know, Lonely Planet book or example of something that could help with that, an atlas could help with that. National Geographic could help with that. The list goes on and on. So step forward is to look at all these comparisons and just simply pick the best one of these comparisons. My personal favorite is the coffee one, right? It's the most consistent with a daily habit and it makes you feel energized and ready to tackle the day. Just like this app should do with this daily news summaries that are sent straight to your inbox. Now finally step five is where we flesh out the metaphor and this is the most fun part in my opinion because this is where you can make the metaphor more powerful by weaving together other aspects of the coffee and that brings us to step five which is all about fleshing out the metaphor. Now personally this is the fun part for me. This is where you can take your metaphor and make it more powerful by weaving together other elements of coffee in this case to describe the app and you can even extend that to its name. So you could say the economist app is a shot of Daily News. It energizes you with a blend of top news stories that you could finish in less than five minutes. So did you catch what I did there? I added words like shot and blend and finishing something in less than five minutes which speaks to the app as much as they do a cup of coffee. So it's like take some familiar with the app and painting a picture with something that many people already know and you know what's interesting that this is actually based on a real scenario. The economists actually did come up with a news aggregator app and what do they call it, they call it? The economists expresso app and they use similar language to inspire many, many downloads. So people now consume news from the economists and the way they do consume a couple of Jill. So there you have it, you now know the step by step process for coming up with more rare metaphors for your own writing to make it more memorable, Relatable and shareable. I want to say congrats on finishing this video and I can't wait to see you in the next one, where we'll talk about an outline that will hold your reader's attention all the way through the end of your body of work. I'll see you there.