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MadeTo Stick

Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die

Chip and Dan Heath

More books on Inventions

What's the hook? Journalism class tasked with writing headline for an article in school newspaper. Story was about the headmaster and all the teachers going to a course at local hotel. All students wrote headline something like "Mr Xand teachers going to Y hotel for a course on Z". But tutor showed them what headline really should be: "No school next Thursday!"

Most successful writing/story telling begins with a mystery: "How do we explain ...." Invites reader into story to help solve. Mysteries create a need for closure.

Our tendency is to tell people facts. But first they must realize that they need the facts. The trick is to highlight some specific knowledge they're missing.

HP had to make presentation to Disney to convince them to use HP computers in their theme park. Standard pitch would be another PowerPoint presentation. But HP hired a small SF firm that believed in making pitches a svisual and as visceral as possible. They built an exhibit of 6000 sq ft. It featured a 3 generation family going to Disneyland. First exhibit space was family living room, complete with furnishings and family photos. Each subsequent room followed family thru their Disneyland vacation, using HP tech all the way - buying tickets, speeding entry, making reservations for dinner, and then in hotel room at end of day, where a digital picture frame had auto downloaded a pic of themon roller coaster.

They turned an abstract idea into a clearsensory experience. Showed Disney execs, rather than ask them to try to visualize something they'd never seen before, in tangible terms, what HP tech cd do for them.

Bring stats to life: Instead of
Only 40% of employees had clear understanding of what company was trying to achieve and why
Only 1 in 5 cared about co goals
Only 20% trusted org they worked for

If a soccer team had these same scores, only 4 of the 11 players on the field would know which goal was theirs. Only 2 of the 11 would care. And all but 2 players would in some way be competing against their own team.

"Why should I learn this math? When am I ever going to use it?" Never. You're never going to use this partic formula. But why do you go to the gym and push weights? Just in case someone comes up to you and offers $1000 if you can bench press 200lbs? No, you push weights because you want to be able to carry your groceries, or dig a garden, or carry your kids/grandkids without being sore next day. MATH IS MENTAL WEIGHT TRAINING. You do math exercises to improve your ability to think through a problem logically.

Ten students each given some data and asked to give a one minute speech to communicateideas from data. Rest of class rated them on how persuasive. Invariably, the best speakers get the highest ratings. Then teacher plays brief Monty Python clip to kill a few minutes. Then he asks students to write down, for each speaker they heard, every single idea they remember. Students are stunned at how little they remember. Several speeches they cd not recall a single idea. But although only 1 in 10 uses a storyto convey idea, those a the ones universally remembered. There is no correlation between 'speaking talent' and what gets recalled. The stars of stickiness are the ones who tell a story, who make an emotional appeal, and who stress a single point rather than ten.

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