This week we look at 3 books that will make you a better communicator by making the useful usable. Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, is amazing at detailing how to get your message to stick with your audience. They make that information usable with an acronym: SUCCES. A great message is Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and tells a Story.
Peter C. Brown’s Make It Stick is about the science of learning. Brown details a few different concepts of learning, both what they are and how they’re applied. The case studies at the end are particularly helpful to show how these learning concepts work in the real world.
The third book that Tamsen uses every day is Magic Words by Tim David. This book tells us why little words like “and,” “but,” or even someone’s name, are so powerful when you use them the right way in your message. Taken together, these 3 books will make you a better communicator and unlock the power behind your message.
- The Two Learning Styles You REALLY Need to Master – EP022
- The Irresistible Idea Formula – EP069
- Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
- Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown
- Magic Words by Tim David
– What are 3 books that will make you a better communictor, presenter, speaker, and message maker? That’s what we’re talking about this week on Find the Red Thread. I’m Tamsen Webster, your host. If you are a fan, please do me a favor. Like and subscribe.
When we want to get better at something, a lot of times we turn to books. We turn to books that are full of information on the topic we’re trying to get better at. Maybe it’s messaging, or maybe it’s communications, or presenting. Maybe it’s ideas. Whatever it is, we want to get as much information as possible.
But it’s not just information we want, right? We actually want to move from being informed about something to being transformed in how we think or use that information. We’re reading the book because we want to transform the way we think or do.
So what is it about books that really make that difference? For me, and the three books I want to tell you about today, I think the difference is they make the useful usable. Because if something isn’t usable, we’re not going to use it. Therefore, it’s not going to transform us.
In every case, these three books have taken something that will have very high impact and found a way to communicate it. And in a way that takes very little effort in the part of the reader to put in place. Now, what are these three books?
Well, the first book is about the messages themselves. It’s a book called Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s a book that’s been around for a while. You may have read it already. But it is so sticky, which is appropriate given its title, about how to make your messages resonate with other people.
And the low effort way they make that information usable is by turning all the information into an acronym. Success: S-U-C-C-E-S. Captured in that acronym are the qualities that your message needs to be as sticky as possible. The more qualities, the more likely it is to stick.
That’s a book that can help you get better at the messages. But how do we get better at making sure people interpret them, use them, and actually use them in their own lives? After all, that’s what we’re trying to do with our ideas a lot of the time.
That’s where a second book, very similar in name to the first, comes in. That book is called Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown. So, Made to Stick is about the messages, Make It Stick is about the science of learning.
What Peter Brown does in his book is take all these different concepts of learning and tell us what they are and how they’re applied. He has this great section at the end. It talks all about case studies, how different people have applied different methods to get learning to happen. And these are methods you can use yourself to make yourself learn better. But it’s also things you can use to make sure that other people learn them well as well.
So, what’s the third book? Well, the third book is a book I stumbled across quite by accident a number of years ago. But it is the book that I still everyday use information from it. And it’s called Magic Words by the author, and now friend, Tim David.
Tim collected just a few little words. Words like “and” and “but” and someone’s name and tells us why they’re so powerful when you’re putting messages together. My favorite example is just how moving what’s before or after the word “but” can completely change how someone hears and responds to a message.
Now, Tim has gone on to write several other great books as well but that book, Magic Words, like I said, literally affects how I put messages together everyday in a really practical way. And so for Tim, that low-effort, high-impact mechanism was taking it down to these simple words that you can use. As you’re constructing the actual language of a message you can make sure it’s as powerful as possible.
So, those are the three books that will make you a better communicator. At least in my experience. What are your favorite books? What are the books that have had that kind of impact on you? I’d love to know. So please respond in the comments or online. I’d love to hear from you. That was this week’s episode of Find the Red Thread. I’m your host, Tamsen Webster of tamsenwebster.com.