Posted by fridayafternoonwriter under book review
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by Chip Heath & Dan Heath
This book covers reserch on how to make your ideas stick. They start off with several very compelling urban legends, and then analyse several of them to see what succesful stories have in comon. And with succesful, one means ideas/lectures/stories that stick and people remember for some time. In a nutshell, these are the important ingredients for anything to stick:
1. Simplicity: get to the core, don’t forget about the curse of knowledge (commander’s intent).
2. Unexpectedness: get people’s attention, maybe through a surprise element, hold people’s attentions by creating interest. Create a gap in people’s knowledge, or at least awareness of the gap.
3. Concreteness: talk about people, instead of data (e.g. use a more journalistic style).
4. Credibility: external (who is the authority?), internal (details that can be checked), make sure the credentials in the storie can be tested.
5. Emotional: make people care, appeal to the self-interest of people, to their sense of identity
6. Stories: get people to act, to inspire them.
While you don’t need all of the above to make something stick, stories tend to be more sticky when several elements are covered. Definitely a book that reads easily, and the authors also mention that they were influenced by the style of Malcolm Gladwell. Although they don’t make it to Maeda’s ideal of a 100 pages (i.e., my copy has 257 pages without the notes), it’s very possible to chop the book in smaller pieces and read more piecemeal.