Sales and Sales Management Blog

March 8, 2011

Book Review: Make What You Say Pay, by Anne Miller

Filed under: Book Reviews,Communication — Paul McCord @ 1:45 pm
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Although most of us use metaphors in our everyday conversations, we tend to use them as ineptly than a toddler trying to hit a ball with a bat—we hit one on occasion but most of the time we aren’t even close to hitting the mark.  Ah, but those few times we manage to construct a gem of a metaphor it feels great, and better yet, it really turns our words into precisely aimed darts that can really impact our audience deeply.

Uh, oh.  Like so much of the time when we try to use metaphors, I’ve wandered–from toddlers playing baseball to precious stones to messing with darts; can’t have toddlers throwing darts—too dangerous don’t you know.

This is where Anne Miller steps in with her newest book, Make What You Say Pay (CreateSpace: 2010).  Make What You Say Pay is a natural follow-up to Metaphorically Selling, Miller’s book that teaches us how to use metaphors. 

In Make What You Say Pay, Miller presents more than 50 case studies of how companies and individuals have successfully used metaphors to effectively and succinctly communicate their message.  This isn’t so much a “how to” book as a “this is what you can do, too” book.  Taken together, Metaphorically Selling is the “how to” and Make What You Say Pay is the case studies book.  And I think they really should be read in that order.

Miller’s examples range from making numerical information bearable to making complex concepts understandable to handling stressful situations.  Miller demonstrates through example after example how a simple metaphor can change lives and the fortunes of companies by making the obscure clear, by creating an deep emotional impact, or by turning a long explanation into a short, simple sentence.

If part of your job is communicating with others (and whose job isn’t, at least to some extent?), both Metaphorically Selling and Make What You Say Pay should be on your reading list.  Both are relatively short and to the point, but packed with real help for those who seek to have more impact on those with whom they communicate. 

Available from Amazon, Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble and all fine booksellers.


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