The Breakdown of ‘Assume’

Hopefully I don’t need to break down the word as some will joke, however, we all assume too much. We assume people know what we mean, we assume people appreciate an effort or a message we share. We assume THEY know what WE are thinking. They don’t, so let’s be intentional about that.

I was reminded of it this morning as I drove to the airport and passed a commuter bus. They’re all over the Bay Area, and this one happened to be from Genentech—others are less public: Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. Normally, I ignore them or don’t even notice them go by. This time, I saw the sign on the back stating “Saving 120 cars on the road for you.” Immediately, I had a different appreciation for that company and even that bus! It was amazing the different thought process I had—an almost opposite view—because of one, short, listener-focused message.

How often do we create messages and forget to tell the audience what’s in it for THEM? As we at Decker do a good amount of message prep, we see it fairly often. Why? Because we assume that the audience or that person knows what’s in it for them. They usually don’t, so it can’t hurt to remind them. Get people excited, remind them of the ‘why’ – it’s simple and so effective. There are all-hands coming up, Sales Kickoffs, annual meetings and even reviews, be sure to get that benefit TO them in there. You will benefit and probably influence a little more than if you didn’t have it.

PS: There’s no way I would ever take a picture while driving, I’m sure a passenger did that for me.

Feedback That Others Can (Actually) Use

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark A few months ago, as Decker was wrapping up a series of programs with a large pharmaceutical company, an L&D leader surprised us with his takeaway, stating, “This program made … Continue reading

Make Your Content Pop…Like a Rock Star

Nicky Jam. Ozuna. Gente de Zona. I am a huge Latin urban pop fan. I love dancing bachata to Dominican music. I listen online to a Spanish-language radio station. And I have a celebrity crush on Grammy award-winning global artist Pitbull. So when Pitbull recently hosted a weekend Caribbean cruise, I … Continue reading

SHARPen Your Edge

For those of you who know anything about Decker, you know we always push people outside their comfort zones—that’s where change happens! Last week, the marketing team here at Decker pitched a new idea to me. They were seeking buy-in on something that’s outside the scope of what we’ve done … Continue reading

What’s the Point of Your Story?

The weather at the Boston Marathon this year was brutal. Forty degrees, 20mph winds and rain showers. Everyone was freezing and drenched from head to toe. By mile 4, Olympian Des Linden was ready to call it quits. Convinced it wasn’t her day, she offered to help pace and shield … Continue reading

Are You Cursed By Knowledge?

It’s a tough question. Mostly because you probably don’t even know you’re cursed. That is, you don’t know what it’s like NOT to know what you know. This has HUGE implications in our communications. We end up communicating to clients, internal team members, and even our kids in a language … Continue reading

Great Messaging is Edgy

Great messaging is edgy. It’s easier to be safe—like when you’re sailing. For any of you who have ever been on a catamaran, it’s safer to have both hulls of the sailboat in the water. But to win, you have to go up on one hull—and the professional sailors even … Continue reading

The Telephone Game

The telephone game is fun, especially as a kid or with kids. It’s the one where everyone sits in a circle and one person would pick a word or phrase then “pass it on” by whispering it to someone next to them. The fun was seeing how much the message changed … Continue reading

The Vampire Effect: Do Your Messages Suck or Stick?

Have you ever seen a cool ad, but can’t recall what it’s actually for? You’re experiencing the Vampire Effect, a term coined after a study conducted by MediaAnalyzer Software & Research, which results concluded that attention-grabbing content—from sexy images to celebrity endorsements—was sucking attention away from what the ad was actually trying … Continue reading

You Are Your Presentation

It happened again. Another case of PowerPoint abuse. This time the offender was House Speaker Paul Ryan—and we’re just waiting for an SNL skit on this one. ICYMI: Last week, he held a press conference to explain the newly proposed healthcare plan—a massively debated issue. And he used a PowerPoint … Continue reading