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?

How About a Little Wabi-Sabi With Your Communications?

Almost Famous is one of my wife’s favorite movies. There’s a part in it when the main character, Russell, travels to Topeka and gets sick of hanging out with his rock and roll band and crew — instead, he just wants to hang out with ‘real people.’ I think craving … Continue reading

Smile With Your Eyes

As Guy Kawasaki says, don’t be afraid of the crow’s feet. That’s right, the most sincere smile is a Duchenne smile (named for French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne) that lights up your eyes and shows off your pearly whites. Guy is a powerful influencer and speaker – and his Duchenne smile … Continue reading

Product vs. Solution Selling: Learn it from a Plumber!

Our leadership team recently got into a conversation about product selling versus consultative selling. And it got me thinking about our clients and how many of them deal with this same issue. We’re asked and tasked to help with this. A lot. How do we do it? It’s similar to … Continue reading

Top 10 Communication Moments of 2017

Communication drives moments, and moments matter. When we experience something bold, it jolts us to action, leaves a measured impact, ignites a collective memory, or empowers the afraid. These are the moments that punctuated 2017. These are the moments that changed the way we think or inspired us to act. … 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

Presenting With Your Hands Tied

Do you ever feel like there are so many people weighing in on your slides and talking points that you’re actually presenting with your hands tied? I recently worked with a client who was asked to present to the board of its Fortune 30 company. In preparation for his presentation, … Continue reading

Moderating A Panel: 3 Tips

Being asked to moderate a panel is an honor—but no one will tell you it’s easy! If you get selected to moderate an upcoming panel, here are three tips that will help you prepare: Being the facilitator of a panel is a huge responsibility. It’s on you to create a great experience and keep … Continue reading

Speaking On A Panel: 3 Tips

So, you’ve been asked to speak on a panel—what now? Whether you like to prepare a lot (or not at all), here are three things to think about that will help ensure success at your next panel. When you’re on a panel, it should feel like a casual conversation between you … Continue reading