That’s a STICKY Idea

That's a STICKY Idea

I am always trying to read and grow in my business knowledge. A great book that I recently read was “Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die Hard” teaching what it takes to keep your idea from going into one ear and out the other of your audience. I wanted to share what “stuck” with me from the book.

Made to Stick


There are 6 principles to making your Idea Stick:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness: 
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories


Simplicity, simple: : find the core to your idea and help people understand it without complicating it.

The biggest problem of communication is getting people’s attention. Don’t demand attention, attract it. The best way to do this is to break a pattern because the human brain is made to be keenly aware of change.  Surprise gets people’s attention, but it takes interest to keep it. So why do movies work? How can they hold our attention that long? They create a sense of mystery, excitement, humor and desire to know the ending. When we create a knowledge gap, people will hang on until the end to close the gap, know the ending. When making the core stick, create an unexpected situation that will draw people’s attention and open a gap to keep them interested and questioning this sticky information.

How do we move toward concrete ideas for our own messages? Ideas might be easier to make if they are guided not by our own needs; but the needs of specific people: our readers, students, or customers. Concrete language helps people understand new concepts.  Your idea should not be abstract, keep it simple and concrete, this may be the easiest of the six principles.

What makes people believe our ideas? Give knowledge of details. By making a claim tangible and concrete, vivid details make it seem more real, more believable. When it comes to statistics, use them as input, not output. Use the statistics to help you make up your mind, then  you will be in great shape to share the details, the number, the credibility with others.

When the emotional nerve is struck, we remember. The best way to make people care is to create an association with something they don’t yet care about with something that they do care about.  If people already care about our core concept, emotional will not have to be created, because it will already be there.

Finally have a story that provides simulation (knowledge about how to act) and inspiration (motivation to act.)  And emotional idea makes people care; the right story makes people act. Stories are almost always concrete and most of them have emotion and unexpected elements. The hardest but most important aspect of a story is to make sure simple and that they reflect the core message.


Until Next Time,




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