Your Storytelling Ticket to SUCCESs


Your Ticket to SUCCESs

          Get sticky and read this book!

One of my favorite all-time non-fiction books is Made to Stick. The Heath Brothers, Chip and Dan (they ought to be in a mash-up Disney movie and candy bar commercial), wanted to find out what made some ideas survive while others died. They first looked at urban legends (think “kidney heist” or “razor blades in Halloween candy”) and tried to discern why people remembered them and passed them along so freely. They surmised that if they could come up with reasons people remembered those crazy notions – perhaps they could make it easier for others to get more important ideas in the public eye.

And so, here are the Heath Brothers’ six “Made to Stick” SUCCESs principles:
Principle 1: Simplicity
Finding the essential core of an idea you want to pass on is critical. In fact, the Heath Brothers talk about proverbs and highlight the Golden Rule as the epitome of a simple core idea that people can easily remember.
Principle 2: Unexpectedness
According to the Brothers Heath, “We need to violate people’s expectations. We need to be counterintuitive…For an idea to endure, we must generate interest and curiosity.” Now tell me, what Gospel story doesn’t do that?
Principle 3: Concreteness
This is about speaking in clear, non-jargony language. It means avoiding “insider” language and providing real images that people can remember. Think about the proverbs again. Clear, visual, and memorable.
Principle 4: Credibility
When Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks about science, we listen. When Oprah says we should read a book or buy a certain product, we perk up our ears. When someone has experienced trials in his life (see the video below), it carries a certain gravitas. Life experience makes people pay attention.
Principle 5: Emotions
It’s all about making people feel something. “We are wired to feel things for people, not abstractions.” It’s about creating empathy for someone else and helping people visualize who they can be if they reach out and make a difference.
Principle 6: Stories
Stories help put us in the action. A good story lets us see things in new ways, makes us more empathic, and it grips us. It is full of details, the narrative is strong, and contains clear nuggets of wisdom.
So there you have it folks – your ticket to SUCCESs in making your particular ideas “stick.” Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and using Stories – you have all the elements right there in the Good Book and in your congregation. Let me know how sticky you become.


                                              I like veteran.

It’s Veteran’s Day: One of my favorite websites that has lots of free videos is ilikegiving.com. 

“I like veteran” is particularly appropriate for today. Here’s a beautiful quote from it, “This is the way I look at other people – they are human beings. They are brothers and sisters no matter what.  Someone needs to reach out and give them compassion…and don’t think loving someone is weak. It is powerful. It is the most powerful thing in the world.”

Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Her favorite “sticky” stuff is Trident Bubble Gum. Donations are gladly accepted. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.