“Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath explores the phenomenon of what makes some ideas sticky and why we just can’t seem to remember anything what a professor at the lecture has just said.
Chip and Dan Heath are brothers who collaborated on “Made to Stick” based on their research on the topic. One is a professor of Organizational Behaviour at Stanford University, while another a researcher at Harvard Business School. It is safe to say then, that these ideas are not a bunch of hogwash like most books in this genre of ‘business’ or ‘motivational’ books.
Are you a marketer thinking about the copy to write? A salesperson thinking about your pitch? Or maybe a teacher who just wants to have concepts stick with your students? This book is for you.
The book includes practical ‘clinics’ to test your understanding and to illustrate each point that was made in the chapter, making reading easy and memorable.
The essence of the whole book is summarized in a sticky acronym which stands for:
S – Simple
U – Unexpected
C – Concrete
C – Credible
E – Emotional
By going through each of these points, the authors show the reader how to make an idea instantly stickier.
Some tips include:
- Come up with unexpected angles to lure your audience into your topic by exposing a gap in their knowledge (ever wondered what Saturn’s Rings are made of?)
- Resisting the urge to make something complex to sound wiser
- Not using corporate jargon that no one other than ourselves understand
- Providing examples that we can all relate to instead of statistical numbers that are difficult to imagine
- Tell stories that challenge or create a connection with people
“Made to Stick” is a quick read that will have profound impact in the way that you make your presentations, or even talk to people. The seemingly basic ideas in this book are woefully underused because we all feel the need to sound smart.
I was doing up a presentation for work while reading this book, and made many useful changes because of it. Sometimes the urge to squeeze in all the information that we know about a subject compromises the clarity and persuasiveness of it. The book taught me how to radically simplify information, and yet still maintain the core of my message.
A gem of a read.