Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is the best business book I’ve read in quite some time. Chip and Dan Heath teach you how to make the ideas you are trying to convey to others memorable and actionable. In other words, “sticky” so your listener can’t help but remember what you talked about.
This book is broken down into several sections, with each section elaborating on a different letter of their “sticky” formula: SUCCESs (Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotional, Stories). When you use the SUCCESs steps, people will remember your ideas, internalize them, and take steps towards what you want them to do.
You need to boil your ideas down to their basic, simple core. This often means avoiding the “curse of knowledge,” frequently mentioned by the authors, which is: when you know something, it is hard to remember that other people don’t also have that knowledge.
Simple messages are easy to remember, easy to convey to others, and easy to understand.
People are used to finding patterns in life. You have to break this cycle if you want your idea to be effectively communicated. Breaking patterns by sharing the unexpected grabs the listener’s attention. For example, newspaper headlines (starting with the end result and working backward).
Tangible ideas are easy to remember. Abstract, vague, or jargon-filled ideas are difficult to remember and hard to internalize. Think of Aesop’s timeless fables like “The Tortoise and the Hare” or “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” These ideas are so solid, you can almost touch them and thus they are extremely easy to remember.
No one will believe your idea if you aren’t credible. If you are already an expert in the field, great. If not, you may need others to add the missing credibility.
Does your idea engage the emotions of others? If you can help the listener view themselves enjoying the benefits of your idea, you’ll have them hooked.
Since the beginning of time, we’ve loved to hear stories. You can better convey your idea when it is the moral of a story. Keep your eyes open for compelling stories from which you can extract your own idea.
Buy a copy – Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is a great read that keeps you entertained and delivers actionable steps you can use to improve your communication, ideas, and messaging.
The Heath brothers essentially eat their own dog food by applying the SUCCESs steps as they present countless stories and examples throughout the book.
This book is a classic and worthy of your attention and a place on your reference shelf.