Instead of repeating "gato...cat" to learn the feline word in Italian, he suggests that you connect the word to an image of a cat; preferably an actual cat that you know. Those associations penetrate our memory and help us to learn new languages much more easily than through memorization of rote grammar.
I believe the same idea is true when trying to help people grasp new concepts. Instead of talking about the theory of enrollment management, I can make my point instantly understood through the visual of a three-legged stool. I have a wooden block that distinctively demonstrates what we are trying to achieve in our student mix and a saltshaker that illustrates a supervisory style. In my office I have visual aids such as Wile E. Coyote (like creativity and focus), ruby slippers (empowerment) and a spider (making connections).
I use analogies all of the time: applications are like bananas, ideas are like dots, goal setting or vision is like Indianapolis, transitions are like a rubber band, a marble jar is like credibility, etc. I think they help get the point across more quickly than an elaborate explanation and it serves to make the point memorable.
Think about how you can enhance your visual connections -- not just through words on a power point, but by analogies and images that are as sticky as a spilled jar of honey.
-- beth triplett
Source: The path to fluency is paved with pictures by Gabriel Wyner, Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2014.