Secrets of Ideas that Stick

Are You Joking?

People laughed at Susan Boyle when she walked on stage. A 47-year old woman who has never been kissed, Susan goes under the scrutiny and the sneers of the judges and audience of Britain’s Got Talent.  With an air of confidence, she answers questions cheerfully and refuses to be intimidated.  When she tells them she wants to be like Elaine Paige,  and that she’ll be singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, she elicits even more snickers from the audience.

The moment she opened her mouth, however, the audience is quickly transformed. Her powerful voice and a stunning rendition of the Les Miserables hit song leaves everyone completely awestruck. She receives a standing ovation way before ending the song…  and gets the three biggest yeses from the astonished judges.

This video took YouTube by storm over the last couple of weeks, garnering around 100,000 views from the time I saw it, to 35,565,543 views now, as I write this post. 35 Million! Imagine that.

What made this video spread like wildfire?

This story is a perfect example of what makes ideas stick.  According to Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the book, Made To Stick, ideas that take hold actually follow some principles, all of which are captured in the Susan Boyle episode.  Their book explains these principles in depth. It’s definitely worth a read.

Keep Things Simple

Keeping things simple helps you know what you want to say.  Find the essential core of your ideas and focus on that.  Prioritize, prioritize prioritize. “The Golden Rule is the ultimate model of simplicity; a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it”, says Heath.

Make it Unexpected

How do you get people’s attention and keep their interest?  We get attention by using the element of surprise and keep it by sustaining their interest.  Break your audience’s guessing machines and then fix it.  Keep their interest by piquing their curiosity.

Be Concrete

Concreteness helps people understand and remember.    People filter out ambiguous and meaningless things and keep memorable ones. Speak in terms of human actions and senses.

Be Credible

To see is to believe.  People need a trial period before they’re convinced.  You can also use statistics,  try-before-you-buy strategies, and other convincing details to support your idea.

Make it Emotional

Make people care by tugging at their emotions.  When people feel something, they are more likely to act on it.

Tell Stories

Stories inspire people to act and tell them what to in certain situations. They are easy to remember and are often passed on and retold.  Susan’s video is a typical underdog story, with her being ridiculed at first, and then winning people’s hearts in the end.  Several lessons can be found in her story, two of which are,  “Do not judge a book by its cover” and “Never give up on your dream”.

These principles will help people understand and remember your ideas.  Keep them in mind when presenting to your bosses, colleagues, clients and partners and you’ll be sure to leave a lasting impression.

About Pepper Social Media

Pepper Social Media is an online marketing firm that specializes on social media management, content marketing, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, copywriting, and targeted blogging. Our creative team consists of experienced marketing strategists who can fortify your brand identity and amplify your reach.




  1. Marissa

    Piece of writing writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with after that you can write otherwise it is complicated to write.

  2. black friday att

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website provided us with useful info to work on. You’ve done an impressive activity and our entire community might be grateful to you.

  3. printable coupons for kohls department store

    I’m not positive where you are getting your info, however good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out much more or understanding more. Thank you for excellent information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  4. shopko black friday ad

    Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you
    have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thank you

  5. Jere

    We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a new scheme in
    our community. Your web site provided us with valuable information to work on.
    You have done an impressive job and our entire
    community will probably be grateful to you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This