Schlagwort-Archive: Examples

The Talisman – the ideal metaphor for a metaphor

Before personal talismans and amulets evolved, like the Nazar in Turkey or the Christopher in the western world, many particularities of the physical reality were connected with a deeper meaning that went beyond and had a strong influence on the mental states of people. Even though we have no written evidence from prehistory, oral traditions point to meaningful landmarks in nature – the Uluru in Australia, the Nazca lines in Peru, or the legendary Irminsul in Germany. Over time, cult objects been created, which groups always carried with them, such as the Ark of the Covenant, the Mikoshi in Japan or the Holy Lance. The effects of these cult objects are different for each user. The same applies to metaphors which, beyond the obvious story, generate additional meanings in the minds of people. This makes the talisman the ideal metaphor for the metaphor.

Faith can move mountains. Talismans also have this power and transfer meaning and content to their carriers that go far beyond the obvious form of the artifact – just like a metaphor. To make this possible, things or metaphors must be loaded with meaning and the following conditions be there.

  • Expectation
    Amulets are connected with meaning by a place or person. As a result, users expect a certain effect – for example be it traffic safety or health or fertility or motivation. The effect is mediated by the person, who provides the artifact or story. One should not forget that the effect can be destructive or beneficial – a voodoo doll fitted with needles can lead to the death; the belief in the success of a medical measure makes the placebo work in exactly the same way as the drug being replaced.
  • Conditioning
    Expectations do arise out of nowhere. It is often not sufficient to get the explanation of the effect. But the constantly updated awareness of the consequences anchors faith deeper and deeper in the subconscious. If we touch our talisman and establish the conscious connection to the desired effect, we internalize the effect even deeper -e.g. the St. Christopher’s before starting the commute to the office. Accordingly, a metaphor works, which is used again and again as an example, if you explain a certain contexts, such as the story with the axe.
  • Examples
    Especially supportive for confidence in a particular outcome are examples, in which the effect has been clearly demonstrated. The shamans that exist in all cultures have proven countless times that they can help, what makes them better and better. The mobile representative is the amulet that you get handed from shamans – or at least can trace back to them. In the metaphor, the reference to reality happens through stories with everyday examples that charge the metaphor.
  • Origin
    Any object can act as a talisman – a stone, a piece of wood, a bottle of water, an artifact made by someone or was owned by someone. Brands transfer emotional meaning to objects – e.g. when the latest Montblanc fountain pen is called Le Petit Prince. It is in the eye of the user how this meaning comes into effect. A metaphor wins, when it was created or told by a role model – such as Aristotle’s thesis “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”.
  • Comprehensive description
    The more sophisticated and differentiated the description of mechanism of a fetish is, the more credible it becomes. Gemology, for example, explains the effect of gemstones – the ruby, which promotes passion; the tourmaline, which protects against negative energy; the tiger’s eye, which gives courage. The better a metaphor is explained, the more comprehensible it becomes – just think of the Chinese 成语 (chengyu) “塞翁失马 – Old man loses horse“.

Bottom line: Through the expectation, the repeated anchoring of the meaning, the practical examples, the origin and a comprehensive description charge amulets, talismans and metaphors with effective meaning, which makes amazing things with their followers. It should always be considered that the effect should be beneficial at all costs, otherwise damage will be caused. The belief in efficacy is the common denominator of these lucky mojos and the stimulating, meaningful stories. This makes the talisman the ideal metaphor for a metaphor.

The best example remains the practical example

What is said, when the listeners do not understand, what they are hearing? “As a producer of traditional food made from ground grains, H2O, storing of gases and a few extras, kneaded to dough and then baked in an oven you achieve a real sales growth, when you focus on motivating the so far not present, complementary consumer segments in directly investing in your products.” Thoughtless, abstract descriptions rarely lead to the target. The best example remains the practical example.

The examples will become practical by considering the following aspects.

  • Target group-oriented examples
    The most important thing by far is the consideration of the target group. What makes a target group? The first question to ask is about the factors that differentiate them. This can be professional, functional, cultural, application-oriented or other things – the industry sector, the functional area in the company, the Asian culture, the IT solution or cost aspects, etc. The examples should be chosen according to the interests of the target group.
  • Easy to apply
    Examples need to relate to the reality of the audience. Only then, they can be transferred. Describe the cases deviating magnitudes from the target group, strange problem areas or other cultural realities, the stories may be good, but unfortunately not realizable. For appropriate examples, it is necessary to understand the use cases of the target group, in order to provide appropriate templates.
  • 7plusminus2
    Regardless of the target group, the examples should not exceed the processing capacity of people. Investigations have shown that all people can handle 7plusminus2 chunks. A chunk is one of up to nine elements, which can be kept in the short-term memory. This means for the examples that they use as few chunks as possible in a statement, e.g. various influence factors. This ensures that the listener is not overwhelmed by too much information and eventually can not remember anything.
  • Free of abstract terms
    Even rocket scientists do not understand everything. On the one hand there are the terms of a subject area, which are continuously extended. On the other hand these are the abstract terms, e.g. complexity, strategy, model, effectiveness, efficiency, etc., which trigger different ideas in everybody’s mind. Since an example should show reliably a situation, at best avoid abstract terms.

It is not always possible to personally assess the concrete circumstances. Nevertheless the target group should be imagined in advance. This can be done by visualizing it in front of its inner eye, sometimes by listening to its inner ear, or by feeling sensibly into the situation. Articles and contributions on the Internet provide a lot of information concerning the respective topic. With these impressions, you will almost automatically be closer to the target group than if you do not anticipate it in advance.

Bottom line: The statement in the beginning will be incomprehensible to most people, although it is written in plain English. The sentence could also be formulated as follows: In order to win new customers for your baked goods, you, as a baker, can go out of your shop to the streets for exciting passers-by with fresh bread samples out of your assortment. Only few of us are bakers and yet we can understand this message. Whenever we want to communicate something to others, it is helpful to use examples that are target-group oriented, easy applicable, contain 7plusminus2 messages, and are free of abstract terms. The best example remains the practical example.