I know that analogies can be a flawed mechanism to argue a topic, but they can be wonderfully illustrative if they aren’t taken too far. I think of them as the “Dummies Guide” to describing complex or technical topics to those without a technical background. I used them all the time in my Web development business.
They can also be just a heck of a lot of fun. You remember, “apple is to pie as peach is to blank“. You get one of those questions on a test and the hilarity would ensue.
OK, yes, I’m a nerd. Stop looking at me like that.
Anyway, one of my favorite analogies in networking has to do with going to events. It goes something like “a networking event is to a signed contract as a singles bar is to blank” Of course, the answer is “a wedding ring”.
Of course, as with most analogies, it can work on multiple levels. Just as you are unlikely to walk out of a singles bar with a wedding ring, you are also unlikely to walk out of a networking event with a signed contract. It also signifies that both the bar and the business gathering can be the beginning of a relationship which, over time, can lead to the ring or contract.
Now, if more people would remember that, they might dread the event (and the bar) a little less and have a lot more fun in the process.