Find your message

Do you struggle to get your ideas heard and remembered? Maybe you are having trouble deciding what your core message is? Maybe you don’t know that you need a core message?

In the book Made to Stick – Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath, the authors discuss a logical and repeatable two step process you can use to make your message stick.

Have you heard (or read) the story about the guy who gets drugged and wakes up in a bathtub full of ice? The “stolen kidney story” has pretty serious stickiness, where your last meeting probably does not. Chances are you can describe a number of specific facts from that kidney story, but nothing from the last staff meeting you attended. What is the difference?  

First, the message is simple. Not simple as in dumbed-down, but simple as in “core”. What is the message? “Don’t take free drinks from strangers.”

Second, it fits into the SUCCESs formula, described in the book: Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions and Stories.

Simple: The message not to take free drinks from strangers
Unexpected: Waking up in a bathtub full of Ice? Hello
Concreteness: Very specific steps in the process
Credible: E-mailed to you from a friend, happened in Vegas (in some versions) and we all know anything is possible there, and we know there is a black market need for kidneys (according to TV and Internet sources)
Emotional: You could lose a kidney!
Story: Presented in a short, readable story format

Knowing that, you can take the first step in getting your message received and repeated like the kidney story. Find your message, and make it simple. 10 words or less is ideal. If you can’t state it clearly, how will your audience understand it?

Simple: Find your message

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