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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Apt Analogies

One of the most useful figures of speech for platform speakers, an analogy lets you quickly explain a new idea by comparing it with something familiar and simple. Benjamin Franklin said, "Fish and visitors start to smell in three days," and gave a concise picture of why people should not overstay their welcomes. Writing about Frank Sinatra, author E.B. White once wrote: "To Sinatra, a microphone is as real as a girl waiting to be kissed."

Analogies are especially useful for speakers who have to present technical or scientific information. By comparing the complex with something ordinary and familiar, your listeners understand by association. One speaker effectively explained a computer by comparing it with a secretary. The essayist, Lewis Thomas explained the universe by comparing it with the life of a single cell. There are many other figures of speech that speakers use to create powerful images—parables, fables, epithets, icons, and personifications to name a few.


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