Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

Want to know how to communicate ideas effectively? In “Made to Stick” authors Chip and Dan Heath practice what they preach by providing concrete examples of successful messages that are understood, remembered and have a lasting impact. To design one, simply follow their SUCCESs checklist.

Simplicity gets right to the core idea and packages it in compact form. If there was time to communicate only one thing, what would it be? The curse of knowledge is that once we know something, we forget what it was like not to know it. We arrive at answers by reading data and arriving at conclusions, but sharing this information is not the effective way to tell others.

Gain attention and interest with the unexpected. Arouse curiosity by posing a question which points out a gap in knowledge. Then reveal one clue leading to another down a path to an answer we now want to know. 

Get concrete by converting abstract ideas into clear images of tangible, specific things.

Boost credibility with authorities, demonstrations, and details that symbolize the core idea.

Inspire emotions with imagination. Appeal to interests by spelling out the benefit of the benefit with why, not what. Identify on an individual level to create an emotional response. 

Stories involve us in the idea and invite participation. Stories remain in our memories. Be alert for stories with the potential to inspire, entertain, illustrate and teach.

With these ideas, anyone can make an idea stick.

Made to Stick Blog

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I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in Books, Ideas That Work, information management
2 comments on “Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  1. Mike says:

    I especially like the part about simplicity- seems like companies like Apple and others have tapped into this. The iPod is so simple and easy to use- makes you wonder why other companies don’t copy their formula more often…

    Thanks for the post,

  2. […] Storytelling is one of the essential strategies described in the book Make It Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s also one that doesn’t come easily to me. These links […]

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