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“Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

I read “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. This book is written by the same authors as “Switch” that I read and reviewed on April 8th: http://andrewgrose.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html

I liked ”Switch” and I really liked “Made to Stick”. The main idea of “Made to Stick” is that there are certain criteria that make a presentation or story stick with the audience or reader. What will the audience remember about a presentation a day later? This is important for business leaders and for that matter everyone in order to make your ideas stick! It is well known that conveying ideas in stories is more effective than explaining bullet after bullet and this is one of the key concepts – So what are the other nuggets?

Made to stick discusses how to make the stories more compelling by drawing in the audience at the beginning. It discusses the gap theory which is essentially that we do not like a gap in knowledge and this is why we will sometimes watch a lousy movie to the end because “We just have to know what happens!” The book discusses several techniques and boils it down to an acronym SUCCESs: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Story. The book then walks through stories that reinforce these 6 key components to make ideas stick. It is a good check list when you come up with a marketing advertisement to check off each box to see how many you hit. The more you hit the more likely your ideas will stick.

One example that the book gives of a sticky story is the Subway story of Jared. The story is that Jared goes to Subway everyday and enjoys the food and looses 245 lbs. It is definitely simple! It is unusual since usually you gain weight eating fast food. It is very concrete and credible. Finally it is an emotional story about a guy going from 425 lbs to 180 lbs, essentially saving his life by eating at Subway! There is a check mark in every box so it is no surprise that this story sticks.

I recommend reading “Made to Stick.”