Made to Stick Summary – 8 Methods to Persuade Your Ideas to Others

Made to Stick Summary - Persuasion Books - Chip Heath & Dan Heath

In this Made to Stick Summary, I’ll discuss the book’s 8 different ways to make ANY idea stick.

Great ideas aren’t always successful.  Why do certain ideas stick and other’s don’t? There are definite reasons and psychology why an idea sticks. The book, “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die“, is an awesome read.  Here are some of the main highlights I learned from the book.

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Who Should Read This Book?

  • Anyone with an idea to share
  • Anyone interested in why some ideas catch on and others don’t
  • Anyone interested in getting their ideas and points across

 8 Keys to Making Your Ideas Stick

  1. Make it Simple – too much detail in an idea is counterproductive
    • Example:  Southwest Airline slogan “The Low Fare Air-line”.
    • Example:  McDonalds slogan “I’m Lovin’ it”
    • Example:  Walmart’s slogan “Save Money. Live Better.”
  2. Keep it Unexpected – shock value gets people’s attention.  Most people are on auto-pilot through out the day.  If you surprise them and derail their auto-pilot, all of their attention is yours.
  3. Make it highly Visual and Concrete – Make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later. Usually this means that the idea is highly visual in the reader’s mind.  The goal is to burn a mental image into their minds.
  4. Use Credibility – use well documented facts, figures, testimonials that are believable
    • Example:  The antiwar campaign claims the world combined current nuclear arsenal has 5000 times the explosive power of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
    • Example:  Ronald Reagan’s slogan was “Ask yourself, are you better off now that you were four years ago?” – This uses the audience itself as their own reference and establishes credibility.
  5. Use Emotional Triggers – use emotional constructs that grab people’s emotions. Emotions are the #1 driving force behind human behavior and is extremely powerful!
    • Example: TV advertisements showing starving children with the message that you can save their life by donating a dollar a day.
  6. Use Stories – Empower people to use an idea through narrative
    • Example:  Subway uses the story technique when they tell Jared Fogle’s Story about how an obese man slimmed down by eating two subway meals a day.
  7. Curiosity Gap – make people curious about your idea by asking intriguing questions that make them curious.
  8. Identify “What’s in it for me?” – make sure it is known to your audience what they are getting from your idea and how it will benefit them.

VIDEO REVIEW: Made to Stick Summary

BONUS TIP:  This tip isn’t discussed inside the book, only in this Made to Stick summary. Use confidence with all of these 8 methods. Confidence is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. If delivering this verbally, confidence is the holding glue that will keep your message and ideas intact. If your tone or your body language tips off other people that you’re hesitant or that you don’t have confidence in it, it will lead them to not have confidence in it either.  Confidence and energy is a very contagious thing.


Made to Stick Summary PDF - Success Model

Made to Stick Summary Illustration - Memory Aide

More Examples

Here are two sentences regarding the health impacts of Buttered Popcorn.

  • Bad Example: “37 g of saturated fat is in a bag of popcorn”.
    • This one doesn’t work because no one can really relate to how unhealthy 37g of saturated fat is.  Verses…
  • Good Example:  “A medium-sized butter popcorn at a typical neighborhood movie theatre contains more artery-clogging fat than a bacon and eggs breakfast, a Big Mac and fries for lunch, and a steak dinner with all the trimmings combined!”

Which one sticks better?  Using the above techniques, you can turn something bland into something great sounding that sticks!  Hope you enjoyed my Made to Stick summary of the book.  Please let me know if you have want a book summarized.

And that’s how you make things stick!

Like this Made to Stick Summary? Get the book for even more great info and examples!

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by Chip Heath and Dan heath – their website is