Wisdom From Books

Coca cola rots your bones!

Posted on: March 29, 2010


Have you ever made a presentation to your boss? or to your teacher at your college or university? Have you tried to speak before a gathering? People do find situations where they have to speak up. What makes a good speech a good presentation? Why do people remember some ideas and forget some ideas altogether?

In the book: Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, there is a very simple technique to make your ideas stick:

Its: SUCCESs!!!!

There are six very simple points which will help us to make our ideas presented in a manner that people remember it:

1. Keep it Simple

2. Give some Unexpected thought

3. It should be Concrete

4. Attach some Emotions

5. It should be Credible; and finally

6. People love Stories

Extracts from the book:

Chip (one of the authors of the book), as a professor at Stanford University, had spent about ten years asking why bad ideas sometimes won out in the social marketplace
of ideas. How could a false idea displace a true one? And what made some ideas more viral than others? As an entry point into these topics, he dove into the realm of “naturally sticky” ideas such as urban legends and conspiracy theories. Over the years, he’s become uncomfortably familiar with some of the most repulsive and absurd tales in the annals of ideas. He’s heard them all. Here’s a very small sampler:

  • The Kentucky Fried Rat. (Really, any tale that involves rats and fast food is on fertile ground.)

  • Coca-Cola rots your bones. (This fear is big in Japan, but so far the country hasn’t experienced an epidemic of gelatinous teenagers.)
  • The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object that is visible from space. (The Wall is really long but not very wide. Think about it: If the Wall were visible, then any interstate highway would also be visible, and maybe a few Wal-Mart superstores as well.)
  • You use only 10 percent of your brain. (If this were true, it would certainly make brain damage a lot less worrisome.)

Chip, along with his students, has spent hundreds of hours collecting, coding, and analyzing naturally sticky ideas: urban legends, wartime rumors, proverbs, conspiracy theories, and jokes. Urban legends are false, but many naturally sticky ideas are true. In fact, perhaps the oldest class of naturally sticky ideas is the proverb—a nugget of wisdom that often endures over centuries and across cultures. As an example, versions of the proverb “Where there’s smoke there’s fire” have appeared in more than fifty-five different languages.
In studying naturally sticky ideas, both trivial and profound, Chip has conducted more than forty experiments with more than 1,700 participants on topics such as:
• Why Nostradamus’s prophecies are still read after 400 years • Why Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are inspirational
• Why ineffective folk remedies persist

A few years ago, he started teaching a course at Stanford called “How to Make Ideas Stick.” The premise of the course was that if we understood what made ideas naturally sticky we might be better at making our own messages stick.

By the way, if you want to check if the email you receive is true or the story sent by some one to you is fake, visit:


More ideas from the book in coming days. Visit the book’s website: http://www.madetostick.com/

Your thoughts?



2 Responses to "Coca cola rots your bones!"

With the evolution of WWW, there has been tremendous increase in such myths/urban legends. It has become very difficult to separate facts and fiction.

As for the myths, I would recommend watching MythBusters, a Discovery Channel Program. It is dedicated to testing all such myths scientifically and see where they rank.

Have a great week!!

This is so true. Simple and effective is the best.

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