Notes to Self: Made to Stick

Here's a great book relevant to anyone who needs to make a presentation now and then. Notes to self are below the fold.

"Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die" (Chip Heath, Dan Heath)

What Sticks?
Kidney Heist. Halloween Candy. Movie Popcorn
Sticky = understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought/behaviour.6 principles: SUCCESs.
Villain: Curse of Knowledge. Hard to be a tapper. Creativity begins with Templates. Beat the curse with SUCCESS checklist.
Find the core.Commanders’ Inten. Determine the Single Most Important Thing. > THE low fare airline.Invert the pyramid. Don’t bury the lead. The pain of decision paralysis. Beat decision paralysis through relentless prioritisation: The Economy, Stupid.
Share the core.
Simple = Core+Compact. Best example is PROVERBS. Proverbs are memorable+profound soundbites “Love thy neighbour...” Proverbs can be visual: Palm Pilot wood block. Use what’s there: tap into existing schemas. (THE POMELO).Create the high concept pitch: Youtube for ppts. Use a generative analogy: Disney’s Cast Members.
Get attention. Use surprise.
The successful flight safety announcement. Break a pattern! Break people’s guessing machines on a core issue. The surprise brow: a pause to collect information. Avoid the gimmicky surprise---it should be “postdictable”. “THE NORDIE WHO”. “THERE WILL BE NO SCHOOL...”
Hold attention: interest.
Create a mystery: What are Saturn’s rings made of? Screenplays as models of generating curiosity. The GAP theory.
Highlight a knowledge gan, then use the presentation to fill it.
=> Start with an interesting question or a news teaser.
EG Fund-raising. Prime that gap. Roone Arledge making NCAA football interesting. Hold longterm interest: the pocketable radio and the man on the moon.
Help people understand and remember.
Write with the concreteness of a fable (SOUR GRAPES). Make abstraction concrete. The Nature conservation people and their LANDSCAPES. Provide a concrete context: Asian teacher’s approach to maths. Put people into the story: an accounting class taught through a huge case study soap opera. Use a Velcro memory trick: little hooks in the idea, lots of them. Simulation of RACIAL PREJUDICE.
Help People Coordinate.

Engineers vs manufacturers: Find common ground in a shard context/understanding level. Set common goals in tangible terms. Our plane will land on runway 4-22. Make it real: The ferraris go to Disney World. Talk about people, not data.


Help people believe: show them.
NOBEL Ulcer guy who poisoned himself to make a point.
External Credbility: Authority & Antiauthority. Surgeon General vs. Pam Laffin, smoker.Internal Credibility.
Use convincing details. Jurors & Darth Vader toothbrush. The dancing 73 year old.
Make statistics accessible. Nuclear Warheads as BBs. Human Scale he numbers: workplace as soccer team. SHARK ATTACK.
Find an example that passes the Sinatra test. “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” Transporting Bollywood movies. A business friendly environmentalist.
Use testable credentials. “Try before you buy”. Where’s the beef? NBA rookie orientation.


Make people care.
Mother Teresa principle: If I look at one, I will act.
Use the power of association.
Fight semantic stretch, it kills uniqueness.
Appeal to Self Interest (not just base self interest).
Mail order ads. WIIFY. Visualising what it could do for you. Avoid Maslow’s basement: our false assumption that people are baser than we. Floyd lee and the Iraq mess tent: I’m in charge of morale.
Appeal to Identity.
The firemen who rejected the popcorn popper. Understand that people make decisions based on identity. WHY STUDY ALGEBRA? Don’t mess with Texas: Texans don’t litter. Don’t forget the curse of knowledge: don’t assume, like the defenders of the duo piano, that others care at the same level you do.

Get people to act.
Stories as simulation (tell people how to act).
The day the heart monitor lied, how the nurse acted. Shop talk at Xerox, Visualising ‘how I got here”. use stories as flight simulators. Dealing with problem students.
Stories as inspiration (giving people energy to act)
Jared, 425 pound subway guy. How to spot inspiring stories. Look for 3 key plots: Challenge, Connection, Creativity. Tell a springboard story, a story that shows people how an existing problem might change. Denning @ world bank.
Use what sticks. 
Nice finish last. Wrong quote, right message. The power of spotting.
SUCCESs helps people to
Pay Attention UnexpectedUnderstand & Remember ConcreteBelieve and Agree CredibleCare EmotionalAct Stories

Simple helps at many stages. Most important, it tells you what to say.Symptoms vs. Solutions (pgs 247--249)JFK vs. Floyd Lee.