How to Be Successful at Making Your Message to “Stick”

Made to Stick - Chip & Dan Heath, Arrow Books

Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck – Chip and Dan Heath

Several bloggers have mentioned this book as something amazing. I bought it over a year ago to find out what all the fuss was about. It ended up piling dust until now. Something else was always more important.

What an idiot I was!

This book complements the ever so great “The Tipping Point” book from Malcolm Gladwell. In his book Gladwell talks about “The Stickiness Factor” needed to cause a social epidemic. Chip and Dan Heath go beyond that, trying to identify the traits needed to create a message that “sticks”.

To quote the authors, by “stick” they mean that our ideas are understood and remembered and have a lasting impact – they change audience’s opinions or behavior.

I love the fact that the book and the advice are very tangible. The authors have used their research about the “stickiness”-traits to create a checklist for improving the stickiness of the message called SUCCESs. The structure of the book follows this checklist to explain you each trait thoroughly:

  • Simple – Stripping the ideas to their core helps you to define what is it that you should say
  • Unexpected – Surprising people helps to grab their attention and makes them focus on your ideas
  • Concrete – Avoiding abstract ideas in favor of clear-cut images makes you ideas easier to understand and to remember
  • Credible – Building the authority or credentials behind the ideas makes them more believable and forces you point through
  • Emotional – Tapping into peoples emotions can make them care about your ideas and to feel passionate about them
  • Stories – Telling stories gives people means to act according to your ideas

This is a checklist to go through whenever you are trying to convey an idea to others. It helps to determine how likely it is that it sticks and will have an effect on your audience. If you achieve only few or none of these traits, you should really consider revising your message.

The book is fun to read, the message is very powerful and it gives you clear advice on how you could use these findings in your own life. I strongly believe that communication skills and ability to drive your ideas through are one of the main keys to success in life both personally and financially.

Personally, I plan to frame the SUCCESs checklist and place it on my desk as a reminder for myself.

I can highly recommend the book!

The book “Made to Stick” is available for example from and

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