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Library notes: You’ve got a good idea, how do you make it stick?

By Ed Hirst
Rowan Public Library
Mark Twain once said, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”
Urban legends such as the one that involves Microsoft giving you cash for forwarding an e-mail to help test an e-mail tracking program have circulated for years while important ideas and messages from business people, government leaders and teachers can hardly be remembered the next day.
Crafting a message so it will “stick” or communicating it so it leaves a lasting impression can be a challenge. The most successful messages have the power to last and influence the recipient to change his or her mind or even take a course of action.
How can this message be constructed? Can one motivate others through the selection and arrangement of words? How can they be communicated so that there’s a shared understanding between sender and recipient?
In “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip Heath, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and his brother Dan Heath, a Harvard-educated consultant at Duke Corporate Education, discuss the common traits of the stickiest ideas.
A sticky idea is one that is rendered in vivid, clear imagery. According to the authors simple ideas aren’t “sound bites” or speaking in monosyllables, simple ideas come from finding the core of the message. Stripping away the superfluous elements is easy; the hard part comes from weeding out the pieces that are important, just not the most important. “There can’t be five North Stars and there can’t be five most important goals”.
The book’s premise is that “creating sticky ideas is something that can be learned,” and they offer the results from an Israeli study of award winning ads to prove it. They found that “89 percent of the best ads could be classified into six basic categories, or templates, while only 2 percent of the less successful commercials could be.” Creating a sticky idea is possible by following certain rules or principles no matter what the message.
Each tended to have six common traits: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and story-based.
You can find this and other similar books at Rowan Public Library.
Children’s storytime: Through Nov. 19, weekly story time. for more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters ó Tiny Tots (infants-23 months), Wednesdays, 11 a.m.; Toddler Time (2 years), Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time (3-5-year-olds), Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead (4-8 years), Thursdays, 4 p.m.
South ó Preschool Time, Mondays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead, Mondays, 4 p.m.; Toddler Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.
East ó Toddler Time, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 11 a.m.
Teen program: Does your locker need some help? Come to the library to create a denim locker pocket or marble magnet. For information, call 704-216-8234. Headquarters, Monday, 5:30-7 p.m.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
Children of all ages will enjoy September’s movies celebrating the birthday of author Roald Dahl.
Tuesday, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Displays: Headquarters ó Hispanic Coalition and Blues and Jazz Festival; South ó Hispanic heritage by Suzanne White. East ó Folk art by Tim and Lisa Kluttz.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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