Where can you learn to be a better business presenter? Maybe at a music concert?
Madeleine Peyroux, the French American singer/ song writer could teach us a few things about business communication. From a structural standpoint, Peyroux’s aim as a writer involves:“Not having anything in the song that doesn’t need to be there, but telling enough of a story to get everything that you do need. And if a song manages to really be clear in saying something that’s practically impossible to say in plain language, that’s the goal of songwriting, as well as performing a song.”
How we all wish business communication shared these rules.
Pereoux is a deeply serious, sometimes melancholy artist, and in her most recent album, she used many very personal stories to show the juxtaposition of drama and comedy. The R rated lyrics of “You Can’t Do Me,” a tale told of leaving a former lover, reminded me how using similes – defined by dictionary.com as “a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose” – really helps the listener form a clear picture of the situation.
I selected just a few of the lyrics that she used to describe why she was “gone, gone, gone:”
Bust like an internet millionaire, boom like a Lebanese belly-dancer,
Bang like a new year’s firecracker – gone, gone, gone!
Wrecked like a rebel on a racetrack, jacked like a ’51 Cadillac,
Macked like a bunny in a mansion – gone, gone, gone!
Spitooned like an Alabama ‘backy wad, harpooned in a Melville sailor yard,
Cartooned like a Charlie Brown Christmas card – gone, gone, gone!
Schooled like a milk money bully whip, sued like a teenage downloader,
Unglued like a bull in a china shop – gone, gone, gone!
Cranked like a speed freak high-roller, yanked like a little league ball swatter,
Spanked like a fly on a bar counter – gone, gone, gone!
Duked like a pistol whipped card swapper, rebuked like a Bible Belt border crosser!
Juked like a payola chart topper – gone, gone, gone!
After reading this, there is no question, this relationship is over. Not only over, but you feel the emotion involved in the departure. While you can’t use words like this at work, similes are an important tool to use when communicating in business. It helps you take complicated situations and describe the topic to your audience in a way that everyone understands.
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