I challenge you to consider using a metaphor or simile the next time you plan your health presentation. But what exactly is a metaphor?
metaphor — n. figurative use of words in which a word or phrase is used to mean something other than what it usually means. For a presenter who scripts out his or her presentation, metaphors are as important as paint is for an artist.
When doing a presentation you can add creativity by using metaphors. For example;
If I was talking about lead chips and pica behavior in young children I could say “lead chips are potato chips in the hands of young children with pica.”
Now let’s take this a little further. In the example of the potato chips you could actually take a bag of chips and open it in front of the audience and pour them into a bowl. You could joke and say it is hard to eat only one chip. You can further show the tiny chips in the bag and point to the relative size of small potato chips and the small size of lead chips that can poison our children.
Wow! Can you see this working for you?
Take a few moments to think about how this can apply to your prevention topic.
A simile — it’s a lot like metaphor
Simile -n. a figure of speech that draws a comparison between two different things, especially a phrase containing the word “like” or “as,” for example, “as white as a sheet”
The main difference here is the use of the term “like a”. If I say in my presentation “Our children are often treated like a canary in a mine. Canaries were often placed in coal mines to ascertain if their were poisonous gases. Once the canary died then everyone was certain that gas was in the cave.
So often our children are like the canaries. They must get poisoned before we look for the source of the lead in our homes.
Now that is a simile that has been used often. You can use this method of speech to apply to other parts of your presentation. It will just take some thinking beyond the facts of your presentation to the creative uses of the language.
Or you may be doing another prevention topic like FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders). Some presenters use a common technique of cracking an egg and cooking it in alcohol during the time of their presentation. You could use the egg as a simile to a child’s brain. “A child’s brain is like this egg.
YOU CAN USE METAPHORS AND SIMILES TO CONNECT TO A PROP
In the case of the potato chip your prop is a bag of chips and a bowl. In the case of the canary you could have a plastic or rubber bird.
So much will also depend on the size and availability of your prop. For example, if you want to use a large prop you would want to consider how you plan to get to the presentation and how much help you have.
So, after you know what you want to say think about how you want to say it.
REMEMBER KEEP THE AUDIENCE IN MIND
As you already know, the simile or metaphor you choose to use will often differ depending upon your audience.
I will discuss this in another article.
Think about popular advertising slogans that are similes, for example:
“Chevy like a rock”
“Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”
“A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine”
CAN YOU COME UP WITH SOME SIMILE SLOGANS YOU CAN USE IN YOUR PRESENTATION?
Something your audience will remember that makes a positive impact?
You can even twist around some of the popular ones already out there and do a substitution. For example:
“A day without laughter is like a day without hope”
Whatever you choose to do the option to put more pump up the creativity in your health presentation is up to you.