Making Your Story Sticky with S.U.C.C.E.S.
In her class presentation on policy communications, Rhonda McMichael, ADM Communications, Ontario Cabinet Office referenced the six principles in Made to Stick, a 2007 book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (reference below, link on right) on how to improve the likelihood that a message will “stick” with an audience.
The six principles, which can be remembered with the pneumonic S.U.C.C.E.S., are summarized by Friedrich Pétré (reference below) as follows:
Simple: find the core of any idea. You need to prioritize your ideas. Providing 10 arguments to a public is doomed to fail since people will not be able to remember them all. Be a master of exclusion and stick to the core.
Unexpected: grab people’s attention by surprising them. You need to violate people’s expectations with counterintuitive surprise. Generate interest and curiosity to endure your idea.
Concrete: make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later. Explain in terms of human actions and use sensory information. Use concrete images and proverbs.
Credible: give an idea believability. Look for ways to help people test your ideas for themselves.
Emotional: help people see the importance of an idea. Let people feel something. Research shows that people are more likely to make a charitable gift to a single needy individual than to an entire impoverished region.
Stories: empower people to use an idea through narrative. Tell stories. Hearing stories acts as a kind of mental flight simulator preparing us to respond more quickly and effectively.
Atlas topic, subject, and course
Chip Heath and Dan Heath (2007), Made to Stick – Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Random House, New York.
Friedrich Pétré (2013), Make your story sticky using 6 principles (S.U.C.C.E.S), BooksInBusiness, at https://booksinbusiness.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/make-your-story-sticky-using-6-principles-s-u-c-c-e-s/, accessed 8 March 2018.
Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 8 March 2018.
Image: Amazon.ca site for Chip Heath and Dan Heath (2007), Made to Stick – Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, at https://www.amazon.ca/Made-Stick-Ideas-Survive-Others/dp/1400064287/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520518140&sr=8-1&keywords=made+to+stick#reader_1400064287, accessed 8 March 2018.