Thursday, June 2, 2016

Add Meaning with Metaphor: Edinburgh workshop for speakers, speechwriters

If you want your speeches to have greater impact, sticking with your listeners long after the speech is over, I hope you'll join me in Edinburgh, Scotland, in October for a new workshop that will help both speakers and speechwriters take advantage of the most powerful figure of speech: metaphor.

Add Meaning with Metaphor: Improve your Speeches with the Most Powerful Figure of Speech is one of the pre-conference workshops at the Edinburgh Speechwriters’ and Business Communicators’ Conference October 20-21. Pre-conference sessions take place on Oct. 20. This is my favorite conference, with a network you should know.

Metaphor is among the most powerful figures of speech. Some metaphors are so well-worn, we no longer notice that we’re using them. Others are tossed off in a sentence when they might have served as a durable thematic device, extended throughout a speech or presentation. And speechwriters are bound to fall in love with at least a few metaphors that may work against your speech or speaker, rather than with them. How do you choose wisely?

In TED's secret to great public speaking, TED curator Chris Anderson recommends metaphor to build on concepts already familiar to your audience to make your ideas better understood:
...speakers often forget that many of the terms and concepts they live with are completely unfamiliar to their audiences. Now, metaphors can play a crucial role in showing how the pieces fit together, because they reveal the desired shape of the pattern, based on an idea that the listener already understands. 
This workshop is designed to help both public speakers and speechwriters improve their use and understanding of this important figure of speech. In this one-day session, you will learn:
  • Why metaphors get your points across and how they work on your audience
  • Metaphoric disasters and wins: Lessons to heed and ideas to steal for your next speech
  • Why conferences like TED are encouraging speakers to make more use of metaphor
  • Why and how you should test metaphors after you fall in love with them, but before you put them to use
  • Un-mixing metaphors and other fixes for metaphor users
  • Cross-cultural considerations when using metaphor with global audiences
  • Extending use of metaphor throughout an entire speech, from words to visuals
  • Pitching your speaker to advocate the use of metaphor
You are encouraged to bring with you an existing speech or script that lacks metaphor or uses it only briefly for a “metaphor makeover” exercise, to learn how metaphor can enhance the speechwriting you’re already doing.

By taking this workshop, you’ll gain an expanded array of metaphors to consider or avoid for future speeches, and a stronger sense of when and how to deploy metaphor in speeches. Participants will get a curated list of books and resources to build their metaphor bookshelf for future reference.

You'll get the best discount if you register by August 1. Please note that it is possible to attend only the pre-conference workshop, the conference itself, or both. Register and find out more here. I hope you'll join me for this hands-on workshop at my favorite conference.

(Creative Commons licensed photo of Edinburgh by Kat)