The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

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I’ve heard over 100 presentations on philanthropy and giving.

I spend a lot of time recording people speaking on video. Luckily, many of us are motivated to give back, and we want to urge others to do the same. This is not a complaint – instead, there is a great lesson here.

Out of all of those presentations, I only remember one. And that’s the scary part. It had a silly, anonymous quote that goes like this: “Don’t save up big to give back only once. Find a way to give a little bit every day.”

That quote gave me chills behind the camera, and I still remember several other things from that presentation as a result. If that quote didn’t give you chills, I bet looking at one of these 30 powerful images will. Our goal is to get our audience to ‘feel’ something so that they’ll act on it. That’s influence. That’s good communicating.

This is why we emphasize the importance of using SHARPs
Stories. Humor. Analogies. References and quotes. Pictures and visuals.

A SHARP is that one bit of emotion that pushes our listeners over the edge – it makes them willing to act or be influenced. And it works because it makes them ‘feel’ something.

Most of us are pretty good at adding color in low risk situations, and we typically choose not to do it for high-stakes presentations because we think of it as fluff. But the high stakes presentation is exactly when we need to use that analogy – that humor – that SHARP.

It goes back to something we have stated at Decker for years:

Logic makes you think, emotion makes you act.

If you want to drive action – close the deal, secure your budget, fire-up your team – you need to appeal to their emotions, which is exactly what SHARPs do.

If today is Wednesday, chances are that you’ve already been presented to at least once this week.

What do you remember?

Hopefully, this motivates you to include a SHARP in your next presentation. Mix it up – images, stories, analogies – you’re bound to get a hit with your audience.

2 comments on “The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

  1. I will sometimes just ask my audience what they remembered about the speech. It’s almost always a story, gesture, or intriguing power point slide.

  2. Another great blog. I typically re-post these on our internal communications site, but due to the graphic nature of some of those images, I’m going to have to refrain this time. Regardless – this is another great post…keep them coming!