"A lie will go round the world while
truth is pulling its boots on."
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92),
Sermon, Sunday morning, April 1, 1855

Made to Stick

Chip and Dan Heath wrote a really cool book called "Made to Stick" about what makes some stories and marketing messages "stick" while others, even if part of massive advertising campaign, fail to resonate with their target audiences. In this book, they describe six key principles for how to communicate your message so that it sticks.

It has the obligatory acrostic - SUCCESs, lacking one S so add your own:

  1. Simplicity - Striping ideas to their core so they are easy to remember
  2. Unexpectedness - Avoiding predictability in your statements
  3. Concreteness - Using specific details to help people understand and remember ideas
  4. Credibility - Doing what is necessary to make your story believable
  5. Emotion - Ensuring that others care about your ideas by making them feel something
  6. Stories - Getting people to relate to and act on your ideas

One of the things that inhibits people from crafting simple messages is the curse of knowledge. The curse of knowledge occurs when the speaker cannot put themselves in the position of the audience because they are too familiar with the situation and assume information which is not evident. The curse of knowledge keeps you from creating a simple, good message (as opposed to JFK's speech about putting a man on the moon.)

This book has lots of great stories and is a fun read.

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