Ways to distinguish yourself – #82 Connect the unknown to the known

I first heard this from Tony Robbins at a seminar. Paraphrasing him, “All learning is basically connecting the unknown to the known.” I have learnt a lot from that one statement and I have used it many times.

If you observe carefully, powerful communicators use analogies to make their points. Consider the following paragraphs

#1. Goals: It is important to have a clear goal to get ahead. You need to clearly and vividly imagine your goals to have a higher chance of reaching them.
#2. Goals: You want to go on a vacation during these holidays. You decide to book your ticket. You talk to your travel agent and tell him that you need a good deal for this trip. The first question that the travel agent asks is “Where do you want to go?” and if you say “Somewhere nice” or “somewhere north” the travel agent may not be able to help you much. The travel agent wants specific information to help you. Just providing vague descriptions of some place won’t help. If you need to be so specific for a simple vacation trip, what about the need to be specific in your life, which is the biggest journey that you are going to take? How vividly should you imagine your destination if you want to have any chance to reaching it?

As you can see, both the paragraphs want to convey the same meaning but one uses an analogy and the other does not. Obviously, the one using an analogy will have a better impact than the plain and simple one. Setting goals is not an unknown or alien concept and it gets clearer with an analogy. Imagine taking a new concept and applying the same rule. It gets easier to communicate your point.

Next time when you need to communicate something, think about the audience and see what is already “known” to them. Once you know this, you can try and relate whatever new you have to communicate using what is “already known.”