It’s been a while since I’ve written a post for the Metaphor Series. Alas, these are consistently the most read posts on the blog. So, I’ll practice what I preach: I’ve analyzed my audience and they want ideas for metaphors!!!

The genesis for this series started with the Growth post, where I said:

A great way to jazz up your presentation and make it resonate more with your audience is with metaphors.   In case it’s been a while since you’ve been in literature class, the definition of a metaphor, according to Wikipedia is:  a literary figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegoryhyperbole, and simile. Sounds great, yes?  More emotions, deeper communications, all good stuff.

After that Growth post, I then brainstormed: Opportunity, Balanced/Unbalanced, Innovation, and Leadership. Today’s metaphor is CHANGE. Like in the other metaphor posts, I like to refresh my memory of the core definition of what my metaphor means for some inspiration.

The definition for CHANGE is quite large in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. So, I’ll just share some highlights of their definition of CHANGE:  to make different, to replace with another, to make a shift from one to another, or to undergo a transformation.

With so many definitions for change, it’s no wonder that the only constant is change. This couldn’t be more true than in the worlds of business or politics.

Some ideas for visual and literary metaphors for CHANGE. Some of these are obvious, some others a bit more of a stretch. Do think of your audience and your goals if picking one of these.

My ideas:

  • A caterpillar into a butterfly (or a butterfly breaking out of a cocoon)
  • An image of someone having their hair styled or cut
  • Someone discarding clothing behind them
  • Painting a wall or some other signs of redecoration
  • A construction site, even better to share the demolition stage of construction
  • A visual symbol of death, such as a casket
  • Life blooming out of the site of a fire (linking to the concept of a phoenix)
  • Something hatching out of an egg
  • Some old person or animal next to a young person or animal
  • Clouds moving in the sky
  • Something being cleaned
  • Someone surprising in a seat of power (a clown, punk, young kid, etc.)
  • A waiter or waitress changing meal courses at a dining table
  • Mid-transformation of a werewolf (from person to wolf)
  • Someone transgender in mid-transition (perhaps someone who appears male putting on their female identify or vice versa)
  • A paper document being ripped up (could indicate the end of a law or contract – and era for a new rule)
  • Someone changing the font or color of something in a graphics program
  • A ceremony of some kind (wedding, baptism, graduation, etc.)
  • Someone walking through a door (even better if the areas on each side of that door are dramatically different visually)
  • A dramatic chemical reaction
  • Something being cooked or baked (changing from one state to another)

What are some of your ideas? Please share them in the comments.  And if there’s another concept you’d like me to brainstorm, let me know!