When Gary Vorpahl of Hoard’s Dairyman magazine and chair of the American Business Media Agri Council, introduced keynoter Dan Heath as a “manic expressive,” NAMA Opening Session attendees didn’t have to wait long to see why the moniker fit.
The entrepreneur-turned-best-selling author began by debunking three highly disparate urban legends. Then, once the crowd was nodding, he quickly shifted into the theory that has made him (and his brother Chip) famous: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.
After extensive research in organizational and entrepreneurial behavior, the Heaths concluded that there are similarities in the way ideas are designed that predispose them to succeed. They’ve narrowed these patterns down to these common traits: the stickiest ideas are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional Stories.
Dan proceeded to demonstrate why not all ideas are created equal … substantiating his hypothesis with anecdotes and examples ranging from medical research to the U.S. Navy to online dating, with a dozen or more stops in between. Along the way, he also sprinkled in a number of hands-on tips, like why you want to “Anchor & Twist” (combine common sense to establish context uncommon sense to attract interest) or how to avoid “the Curse of Knowledge” (assuming everyone has your expertise).
It was a highly entertaining, energetic and informative kick-off to the conference program that left delegates thinking about how to present their own ideas a lot more powerfully!
Special thanks to American Business Media Agri Council for sponsoring the Opening General Session!