Sunday, June 1, 2008

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Are you a sales person, professional trainer, fund raiser or a public speaker? Do you find it difficult to plant your ideas in people's mind? Are you looking for effective ways to share your thoughts with others? This is the book to read.

The book explains 6 principles that make ideas to stick - Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Credibility, Concreteness, Emotions & Stories (SUCCESs).

Key takeaways from the book are :

  1. Six principles that make ideas stick - simplicity, unexpectedness, credibility, emotions, concreteness and stories
  2. Naturally sticky ideas are full of concrete images - because our brains are wired to remember visuals
  3. Research shows that mentally rehearsing a situation helps us perform better when we encountered that situation in the physical environment
  4. Common sense is the enemy of sticky messages. When messages sound like common sense, they float gently in one ear and out the other
  5. To get the facts, you tracked down the 5 Ws - Who, What, When, Why and Where
  6. Abstractness makes it harder to understand an idea and remember it. Concreteness helps us to avoid these problems. 

When reading this book, you'll feel many a times "Ahaa... this is what I've been missing all these days". If you review some of the memorable speeches you've heard, you'll realize that these STICKY factors are present in them.

This book gives you techniques that you can use in your next speech or presentation.

Author's website:

How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Savvy Socializing in Person and Online

Do you hesitate to approach strangers in a social gathering? Do you wonder how some people have good contacts and a solid network? Are you looking for tips to hone your networking skills? Susan's "How to work a room" capsule is the right medicine for your phobia.

Key takeaways from the book are:

  1. Extending yourself to people feels risky, but the benefits are well worth the discomfort
  2. Think about what you have in common with people at an event before you get there. Identifying the common ground can help you break the ice
  3. The people who are the most successful at working a room are those who genuinely like, respect and trust other people
  4. Have different self-introductions for different events
  5. Eye contact and being in the moment are critical in building rapport
  6. A sincere interest in people is the most important part of being a good conversationalist. 
  7. Always introduce the “less important” person to the “more important” person
  8. Talk to those different from you… as you would talk to those who are LIKE you

If this is your first book on "networking", you'll be able to appreciate the contents in its entirety. The book also highlights some techniques to adopt in the online/virtual world. If you've already read books or materials on this subject, you'll feel that portions of the book is boring. The book also gives some tips for public speakers to work the audience.

This book is worth a quick read.

Author's website: