How to make your ideas stick like duct tape

Duct tapeDuct tape is designed for a long-term bond. If you’re trying to change someone’s behavior, beliefs or opinions, wouldn’t you like your ideas to stick in the same way?

I’m rereading a great book called “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.” I first read the book when it was recommended by a client for whom I was doing a writing project. It’s written by two brothers: Chip and Dan Heath. Among many other kudos, “Made to Stick” was on several “best books of the year” lists and was selected as one of the best 100 business books of all time.

Over the next few posts, I’ll explore the book’s six principles. For now, here is a brief summary.

Principle 1. Simplicity. Don’t think sound bites, think proverbs. You want to create ideas that are both simple and profound.

Principle 2. Unexpectedness. You need to generate both interest and curiosity.

Principle 3. Concreteness. This is the opposition of being abstract or ambiguous. Think in terms of concrete images, something you can see in your mind.

Principle 4. Credibility. Present your idea in a way that lets people try it on for themselves, see if it passes the sniff test.

Principle 5. Emotions. I talk a lot about getting beyond facts to emotions. If we want people to care about our ideas, we need to make them feel something.

Principle 6. Stories. Another of my favorite topics. Think of stories as a mental flight simulator, allowing us to mentally rehearse a situation before we encounter it in the real world.

Stay tuned for more.