More effective communications – Made to Stick with the Heath Brothers

SimonCommunications, General

The Heath Brothers make a big play about making things stick – be it communications, presentations, training courses, interviews or more.

Their website is a real treasure trove of useful resources and information helping businesses organisations be more effective in their work.

In particular I like their SUCCESs model for communications – they say that “sticky” communications should meet as many as possible of their six criteria:

  • Simple – prioritising your message right down to the core concept and not cluttering it with unnecessary language or visual distractions.
  • Unexpected – your message needs to grab attention and keep it. Curiosity gaps or challenges can be useful devices for achieving this.
  • Concrete – your message needs to hook into as many different memory types (sensory, auditory, cultural etc) so think how you frame your message to do this.
  • Credible – get credibility from external authorities (endorsements) or internal authorities which help people validate the credibility of your message from their own experience, knowledge and background.
  • Emotional – remember people care about people, not numbers. And don’t forget to answer the “what’s in it for me?” question too.
  • Story-based – the Heath Brothers are right: “Stories drive action through simulation (what to do) and inspiration (the motivation to do it).”

It’s well worth reading more about this thinking. You can download the full model and read more from the Heath Brothers by registering for free at