On memes and themes and analogies


When choosing to using a meme, theme or image in a presentation make sure that it is appropriate and easily understood for your audience. Improving the engagement and memorability of a presentation can be achieved by various tricks not the least use of current memes in social media, themes developed from popular culture, analogies and linguistic catches. If the audience do not recognise the meme, have never seen the film or don’t understand the concept underpinning the analogy then the whole presentation will fail.


In the film “The Matrix”, one of the central characters, Morpheus, offers Neo a view of the real world, suggesting that the world he believes he currently inhabits is not in fact reality. From this the “what if I told you…” meme emerged. Without knowledge of this the audience are simply presented with a man saying words, the full import is lost.


“Swipe right” is an action used on smart phones and tablet devices frequently utilised for positive selection of choices made from a list.Importantly, this is most commonly used in dating websites and as such “swipe right” would be readily understood as a desired, desirable or positive thing. Thus one might utilise this in a presentation as a making a positive choice. Lack of knowledge of this will leave the audience confused.


Analogies are a way of seeing a topic from a different perspective and encouraging deeper thought on the original topic. Considering the members of a trauma team as players on a rugby team is amusing and thought provoking.; unless you don’t understand rugby. Such a presentation can then become upsetting or pointless.


Consideration of the audience is essential preparation to developing effective memes, themes and analogies. A great presentation for one group may completely fail for another if they do not have the specific understanding required to grasp your novel idea.

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