No matter what you’re doing – communication, networking, and having the ability to “sell it” is key to success. Your ideas, discussions, speeches, ramblings, sales pitches; they all have to have an impact. They have to stick.
Well, Chip Heath and Dan Heath wrote the authoritive book on the subject. It’s called Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. In the book, they map out 6 principles for making your ideas stick and it’s filled with great stories, real experiences, urban legends; the works.
So here’s a 6 day challenge for you. Take the principles from Made to Stick and concentrate on one of them each day; throughout the day. Whatever you’ve got to say, write, or convey to others, use the principles to do it and make your ideas stick …
The 6 Day Made to Stick Challenge
- Simple. An idea has to be simple if it’s going to stick. People have to be able to understand it, focus on it, and relate it to things they already know. Simple ideas are short and sweet; they get past the confusion and right to the core of what you’re saying. Sell it in a sentence.
- Unexpected. An idea with an unexpected twist is extremely powerful. It stops people in their tracks and it’s the secret behind great comedy (the unexpected punchline) and thrilling never-saw-it-coming endings in movies like The Sixth Sense. Keep everyone on their feet and give them something they’d never expect.
- Concrete. Relating your ideas to “real world” things makes them just as real. It makes them concrete. If you can take people to a place or show them an object, you can make the idea that much more real. You can also paint a mental picture that relates your idea to something visual. Or a smell, a taste. A place they’ve been or a common childhood experience that most people have gone through.
- Credible. Albert Einstein once said … well, Einstein could pretty much have said anything and it’d be credible. Because he could prove it. Prove your ideas; cite expert testimony, show the figures and statistics. And best of all, demonstrate it; if you can provide indisputable real-world proof your idea is real, it’ll stick.
- Emotional. If you can make people care about it, they’ll get it. Emotions are all about change. And if you can inspire and motivate, create a call to “right a wrong”; if you can compel people to take action to make change, your ideas will stick.
- Stories. Since the beginning of human history, stories have been our most powerful vessels for knowledge. Stories paint the whole picture; heroes, villains, triumphs and tragedies. Stories combine the simple, the unexpected, the concrete, the credible and the emotional. Turn your ideas into stories and they’ll not only stick. They just might become legendary.
Good luck with the challenge. And don’t worry, if all else fails …
There’s always duct tape.