Made to Stick

Order Made To StickHave you ever wondered why you remember what you do? The authors have distilled the essence of “sticking” (remembering a message) into 6 principles (“SUCCES”):

1) Simplicity: One great idea stated (or displayed) well. A classic sticky message is a proverb (“A rolling stone gathers …” and “A bird in the hand is worth …”). The message is short, concrete, and wise.

2) Unexpectedness: Challenging your knowledge creates curiosity. A message that starts with a provocative question gets the reader invested in the message (“Which of these animals is more likely to kill you? A shark or A deer?”).

3) Concreteness: Nouns are remembered better than verbs. Showing something is much better than talking about it.

4) Credibility: Do you believe the messenger? The more details you provide, the more believable the message. Does the messenger personally know the benefit to the problem you’re solving?

5) Emotions: Do you care about the message? The message needs to focus on a specific (“concrete”) individual. Does the messenger really care about solving a problem?

6) Stories: We seldom remember facts. We remember stories. It’s how we’re wired.

Crafting a message that uses these values is not trivial. You need to make sure you have something worth remembering, something that matters to improving someone’s life. You need to pique interest and provide useful information.

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