2 minute read

Book title: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

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  • Main problem in communication: the “Curse of Knowledge”;

  • Strategies to make the ideas stick: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional (for the times), and a story;

  1. find the core: simple and distilling to the most important idea at the core.

  2. Unexpected:
    • effective communication needs attention and keeps the attention;
    • unexpected: to break these patterns, but still connecting and reinforcing the main message.
  3. Concrete:
    • the “curse of knowledge” is the main enemy of being concrete.
    • the main difference between an expert and novice is the ability of the expert to see things abstractly
  4. Credible:
    • people believe ideas based on authorities - parents, traditional, experts, etc.
    • If can, bring in a true authority
    • If cannot? several ways: (1) Use an anti-authority, (2) use concrete details, (3) use statistics (and make the statistics more concrete), (4) use like the Sinatra Test (looking for the one test case that make your idea completely credible) and (5) use testable credentials (asking the reader to test for themselves the idea).
  5. Emotional
    • goal of making message “emotional” is to make people care
    • For people to take action, they have to care.
    • To make people care about ideas, create empathy for specific individuals; or show how our ideas are associated with things that people already care about, or appeal to their self-interest (more important to appeal to their identities - not only to the people they are right now, but also to the people they would like to be).
  6. Stories
    • A key to making an idea sticky is to tell it as a story.
    • Most good stories are collected and discovered, rather than produced de novo.
    • a few existing plots:
    • 6.1 The Challenge Plot: the obstacles seem daunting
    • 6.2 The Connection Plot: A story about people who develop a relationship that bridges a gap – racial, class, ethnic, religious, demographic, or otherwise. All connection plots inspire us in social ways. They make us want to help others, but more tolerant of others, work with others, love others.
    • 6.3 The Creativity Plot: This involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle, or attacking a problem in an innovative way.
    • stories usually automatically meet other criteria for making ideas sticky: almost always concrete, often emotional and have unexpected elements. The real difficult is to be sure the stories are simple enough.