Made to Stick

  • by Chip Heath, Dan Heath
  • Narrated by Charles Kahlenberg
  • 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Mark Twain once observed, "A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on." His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas (business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others) struggle to make their ideas "stick". Why do some ideas thrive while others die? And how do we improve the chances of worthy ideas? In Made to Stick, accomplished educators and idea collectors Chip and Dan Heath tackle head-on these vexing questions. Inside, the brothers Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the "human scale principle", using the "Velcro Theory of Memory", and creating "curiosity gaps". In this indispensable guide, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds (from the infamous "kidney theft ring" hoax to a coach's lessons on sportsmanship, to a new-product vision at Sony) draw their power from the same six traits. Made to Stick is a book that will transform the way you communicate ideas. It includes a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures), such as the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass full of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers, the charities who make use of "the Mother Teresa Effect", and the elementary school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice. Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

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What the Critics Say

"An entertaining, practical guide to effective communication. Fun...and solidly researched." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the best communication books ever written

You know when a management book is great - because the information is obvious and hardly ever followed. I found this very inspiring - exactly what I needed.
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- Mr. R. D. Cox

Best in class

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read this book three times over in three weeks. As a young advertising creative, I found it helped enormously with the way I structure my approach to a brief. Using informative anecdotes and laser-guided analysis, it breaks down 'big ideas' from across all walks of life, and shows concretely why they were such a hit. The book practises what it preaches, too- using many of the 'sleight-of-hand' techniques covered to keep you hooked. It's full of jokes, and majestically narrated. Journalism, advertising, psychology, the military, urban legends, politics- this book gives you 'the keys to the city', looking inside some of the most sensational messages of our generation- and I'd recommend this book to anyone who has, or thinks that they might at some point have, a message to spread.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Made to Stick?

As the book is all about 'memorable moments', saying which was the 'most memorable' would not be so much about the book as one of the anecdotes covered. One of the most useful lessons, however, was about Clinton's presidential campaign- where consultant James Carville kept reminding Clinton that if he said three things, he said- nothing. 'It's the economy, stupid' became the campaign's Crie de Cour, and helped him to win. Saying one thing forcefully is immeasurably better than saying three things. This is a point which is demonstrated again and again in the book.


Which character – as performed by Charles Kahlenberg – was your favourite?

I think the character of Charles Kahlenberg is pretty fantastic- he's got a fantastic voice,
slow, knowing, urgent, assertive, and really brings the book to life.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely, yes- although as said in the book with regards to Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, 'if you say three things, you say nothing'- there are so many really really useful lessons in here that I'd actually recommend taking it slow and trying to absorb it in chunks- otherwise you will end up with an idea melange. A very pleasant melange though I must say. Anyway that's why I'm reading it for a third time.


Any additional comments?

This is my first ever review- I wouldn't usually take the time to do one, but I felt compelled.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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- Max

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-12-2006
  • Publisher: Random House Audio