Metaphor processing tends to be a largely right brain dominant function according to recent PET scan research. Literal language tends to be processed in a balanced manner between the right and left brain. Something is clearly different between the way metaphors and literal language are processed! But what does this mean to you and how can you utilize this incredible new information?!
One way our brains learn is from metaphors. Our brains naturally find out what “this experience” is like and compare it to another experience that matches up fairly closely. Of course all metaphors and analogies break down at some point. That means that no metaphor is an exact match for what is happening in this moment. No metaphor actually mirrors your current experience. Some metaphors might, in some ways, but it isn’t going to go beyond that. So the question is (or it becomes):
Do metaphors really work when communicating for the purpose of gaining compliance?
It appears they do, but the road can be treacherous!
Several new research studies have just been published and we have some preliminary information about what works and what doesn’t when wielding the sword of metaphor…
In general there are three metaphor durations that people can use. The one sentence metaphor is where a simile does the talking.
“He’s the king of the hill.”
“Life’s a bitch.”
“She is stuck on herself.”
“The stock market is a rollercoaster.”
“War is hell.”
The metaphor as a story within a communication or presentation is a “mid-range” metaphor as far as duration is concerned. In this case, a presentation or communication takes place and a metaphor serves to attempt to mirror the current situation with something else.
Finally, there is the complete duration metaphor. This is where the metaphor or story IS the communication.
In this article we consider metaphor to include simile, analogy and personification.
Numerous research studies reveal a great deal about the effect of metaphor usage and the credibility a speaker is given. The attitudes of the listener have also been measured by researchers.
Here is the culmination of what we have now discovered about effective use of metaphor.
- According to persuasion researcher James Dillard, the use of metaphor to alter attitude is important in persuasion. It is roughly equal to other key elements of persuasion. It is a small piece but definitely a piece of the total pie.
- The more metaphors that are used in a communication the less effective the message is in changing attitude. One or two metaphors in a message are effective. Three or more metaphors have negligible impact on persuasion.
- Using the same target (The target is the literal, part of the metaphor equation, the target on the other hand is the figurative part… ie. figurative base is in caps: war is HELL, life’s a BITCH, This project was a PIECE OF CAKE) over and over is twice as effective than changing the base and using different targets! Literally utilize the word war, life, project over and over again. This works remarkably well!
KEY: Link sub metaphors to the target. (This will be the subject of an entire track on a CD in the Science of Influence in the future.)
- The earlier a metaphor is utilized in a message, the more effective it is. Opening a speech with a metaphor is extremely persuasive. Closing a speech with a metaphor is a waste of breath.
- The familiarity of the connection between the target and base is critical in using metaphor. If the metaphor (target and base) is common (you are the sunshine of my life) it is ineffective. If the metaphor is unusual (you are the ocean tide that brings all good to me) is persuasive. In fact, it is very persuasive and you should be careful to construct these metaphors far in advance and actually practice their usage. That is how powerful they can be!
- Metaphors that are heard are more effective than those that are read.
- Metaphors used by individuals with LOW credibility are far MORE effective than metaphors used by HIGH credibility communicators!
A Course in Metaphors: Understanding & Creating Metaphors that Captivate Them! with Kevin Hogan
An advanced home study program in changing behavior, learning and reprogramming minds.
- Volume 1 – Making Metaphors That Captivate Them
- Volume 2 – The Secret Code to Making Magic Happen with Words
- Volume 3 – Hypnotic Metaphors of Attraction
Who will benefit from this?
- Marketing People
- People in Relationships
- Anyone who needs to gain compliance in any situation
This course in utilizing metaphors includes almost all new information to you and is nothing like you have ever thought of or learned before. Better: You’re going to see why most people teaching and using metaphor are ineffective (whether in selling, therapy or relationships) and how to avoid the same mistakes they make. Then you are going to learn to elicit, construct and communicate metaphors that will literally begin to reformat the hardware of their minds.
- You determine your income by metaphor.
- You determine the quality of the person you spend your life with by metaphor.
- You determine the quality of that life by metaphor.
- You learn by metaphors.
- You think in terms of pictorial metaphors.
- You literally determine your happiness (very much unconsciously) by metaphor.
…and you determine all that is in control in your future by metaphor.
Metaphors literally shape the brain and they literally determine in large part your view of the world and everything about that world, past, present and future. This first CD will help you understand how metaphors have consciously and unconsciously shaped your life to where it is today and then you will get a foretaste of how to structure metaphors for literally any purpose you choose.
You haven’t learned anything like this from Bandler, Robbins or even Milton Erickson. They all had pieces to the puzzle. By the time you are done with all the CD’s in this series you will be a master at understanding and communicating in metaphor.