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Abstract vs Concrete

Abstraction is hard to hold onto - use metaphors and imagery to make things concrete

Megan Preston Meyer
Megan Preston Meyer

Imagine that we were discussing the role of the citizen in different types of political systems.

I could make a slide like this one, with a bunch of text, where I talk about the comparative political power on specific issues being higher in a direct democracy because the citizenry has the option to bring forth referendums and initiatives instead of being forced to wait till a legislative period ends so that they can appoint a different representative to uphold their interests…

Or I could borrow a metaphor that I read once, and describe  direct democracy as being like driving school car with a steering wheel and brake pedal on the passenger side, so the people can steer and slow down as necessary...

...and an indirect democracy as being like a train, where once you’re on, you can’t get off until the train stops, whenever/wherever that might be.

Which of these methods is more effective? This metaphor one, right?

Concrete, vivid examples are always more memorable than vague, abstract concepts.

Communication Tips