When you’re looking for analogies that will sway an audience, one good source is movies. In Peter Guber’s excellent book Tell to Win, he gives the story of when Bill Clinton called him and asked for his help raising funds for his presidential campaign. Clinton was in dire straights, but instead of just explaining his challenge, Clinton said “Did you ever watch High Noon?”
Guber is chairman of Sony Pictures, so of course he’s watched the movie where a brave town sherrif faces off against four bad guys who have come into town on the noon train. None of the townsfolk will stand with the sherrif to confront these goons, except for one brave girl who turns out to be the difference. The message is clear: will you stand with me or, like all the feint-hearted men of that town, draw the blinds closed?
Now, in truth, I’ve never seen High Noon so this analogy wouldn’t have worked as well with me. That’s why, when you choose analogies, grab them from movies your audience has actually seen.
Shawn Callahan’s Anecdote blog lists the 15 most popular movies to pull analogies from. I highly recommend you read his article and make this your “Bucket List.”
About the author: Bruce Gabrielle is author of Speaking PowerPoint: the new language of business, showing a 12-step method for creating clearer and more persuasive PowerPoint slides for boardroom presentations. Subscribe to this blog or join my LinkedIn group to get new posts sent to your inbox.