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 before as a company. They started our meeting by pointing to the poster that hangs inside our office with the Decker mantra, “Safe is a dangerous place to be. Get outside your comfort zone.”

They were reminding me to stay open-minded as I considered this new initiative—calling me out on my own commitment to taking risks. It wasn’t long or drawn-out, but it was effective.

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 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. They can be quick, easy and powerful.

Today is Wednesday, and chances are that you’ve already been presented to at least once this week. What do you remember?

One comment on “SHARPen Your Edge

  1. Thanks for the post! I had read about the Decker Grid in a Blink (see Blinkist), and came looking here for more information on the system.
    And behold, your blogpost already shows that the usage of SHARPs actually works! And indeed, that not using a SHARP, or not addressing emotions, doesn’t work…
    And now, I’m of to SHARPen some of my own presentations!

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