Nothing works like an analogy to help an audience come to a shared understanding.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in initial qualifications, discovery meetings, or final solution presentations. When you can effectively characterize their situation, their systems, or their goals, an engaged customer will grab onto the characterization and start using it, changing it, adding on to it. They’ll use it to explain to their peers who didn’t make the meeting. It will become the water-cooler joke. They’ll name the project after it. They’ll remember it when you visit them two years later.
In a recent discovery meeting, we came to the realization with the customer that they “just wanted to replace the old van,” and nothing more. What do you think my demo theme is going to look like?