Why are certain urban legends memorable while most (even important) business communications are not? What is it exactly that makes something “stick” in our brain?
Dan Heath and Chip Heath explore these and similar questions in their book, Making Ideas Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. They explain six priciples that increase the liklihood of a message being heard and remembered.
- S — Simple: Find the core of your message and compact it into a proverb-like saying.
- U — Unexpected: Get audience attention by surprise, and hold their interest by creating a mystery.
- C — Concrete: Help people remember by making abstractions concrete.
- C — Credible: Help people believe by using convincing details, accessible statistics, and testable credentials.
- E — Emotional: Make people care.
- S — Stories: Use stories as simulation and inspiration.
The Heath brothers relate these principles using the principles. The book is filled with dozens of simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional stories. I found the book to be both an informative and enjoyable read.