When is Tea like Sex?

OK…if you’re English, as I am, tea is the driving force behind everything – important before and after every major event, which answers the question in the title. But that’s not quite what I’m getting at here.

As many of you know, whenever we teach the Oratium class, we stress the importance of engaging the full brain of your audience. There’s nothing wrong with fact and data, activating the more analytic ‘left brain’ (I’m oversimplifying for the sake of brevity). But we get far greater engagement and stickiness (i.e. memorability) when we ‘light up’ more of the right brain. And remember, the right brain is the main location of our decision making…an important consideration.

There are several ways to light up the right brain. Stories, visuals and artifacts are very important. And while most people get the use of these wrong (a stock photo of people shaking hands added to a PowerPoint slide gets you absolutely NOTHING), when used correctly, these tools can be really effective.

But my favorite, because it’s one of the most powerful, is the use of metaphor. When you present an idea ALLEGORICALLY – i.e. using some form of parallel illustration – the left brain cannot figure out what’s going on and instantly reaches over to the right brain for help. Exactly the effect the skillful presentation designer is looking for.

Which brings me to tea and sex. This short video uses tea as a way to help teenagers understand the importance of consent when considering sex with a partner. Amazingly, it was produced by a local British police department. Hats off to them.

The video is very funny, but it isn’t just funny. It’s a brilliant use of metaphor, it TEACHES big ideas using the metaphor, and as a result of the metaphor, it is highly memorable and impactful. 

That’s not just my opinion. I have two boys, ages 18 and 21. They watched it… and over a week later I asked them if they remembered it. Guess what? Their recall of most of the important points was almost perfect.

Well done, Thames Valley Police Department. Enjoy this for its communications brilliance… and make sure your kids watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ


Written by

Tim Pollard