Processes: Stories, Analogies and Metaphors

When explaining new concepts and ideas, it’s often a good idea to explain them in terms of something people already understand – using stories, analogies and metaphors.

You’ve probably heard the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” The reason that story is told is not to let children know teh facts of what happened. The point is for them to understand that liers can’t be trusted, and it eventually backfires. This story is simply a vehicle to get the underlying concept across.

When introducing new ideas, it is a good idea to use an existing idea that people already use.

In the┬ácomputer industry, most terms are drawn from something else that does the same job…

  • A Port is an entry point to a computer, just like a shipping port
  • A Monitor was originally just used to monitor what was going on inside a computer
  • The Web is like a spiders web, spreading out and connecting computers across the World.
  • A Virus is a program that is designed to jump from one computer to another, just like a biological virus.

When explaining something to a group of people, you may need to use more than one analogy or metaphor. This will ensure that – even though some people may not understand one example, they may get it the second time round.

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