Made to Stick
Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Chip Heath, Dan Heath – 2007
There is no question that one of the qualities of great leaders is the ability to articulate ideas in a way that makes them come alive. When this happens, people tend to follow the leader and her ideas. A few seem to have this skill at birth. For the rest of us, we can sigh a deep sigh of relief because brothers Chip and Dan Heath have written an instruction book which teaches us how to make our ideas be memorable and have impact—how ideas can be “made to stick.”
We used this book as a text for students in the collegiate leadership program I directed. To say that the book’s how-to principles dramatically impacted the ability of our young student leaders to communicate would be an understatement. Student presentations moved from mediocre to tantalizing. These students, some of whom were fairly ordinary on the surface, began giving speeches and presentations that were anything but ordinary. They made ideas come alive and they increased their own stature and charisma in the eyes of their audiences.
Nonprofit leaders are always needing to communicate in effective ways—to clients so they will want your service; to funders so they will want to give you money; to boards so they will be passionate proponents of your mission; and to the community to build political and social capital.
What this means to you:
If you want to improve your communication skills dramatically, get Made to Stick and learn how to apply its six principles:
Principal 1: Simplicity
Principal 2: Unexpectedness
Principal 3: Concreteness
Principle 4: Credibility
Principal 5: Emotions
Principal 6: Stories
Although this is a handbook of sorts, the Heath brothers have filled it with wonderful examples and stories that make the book very fun and easy to read and digest. I wish I would have had this book much earlier in my career. What a help it would have been. It is an absolute must for your bookshelf!