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Chantal’s Influence Tips 66: How to make your Ideas Stick! Part Five – Ulcers and Nobel Prizes


So far we’ve explored the concepts of SIMPLICITY, UNEXPECTEDNESS and CONCRETENESS to make your messages stick. Now the 4th one..
What makes a message or an idea believable? What makes it trustworthy and convincing?How do you engage the eye-rolling skeptics?
How do you make your ideas CREDIBLE?
In the book Made To Stick, there’s a story of medical researchers Marshall and Warren who in the 80′s, discovered that ulcers were caused by bacteria. This was a massive medical breakthrough because it meant that ulcers
could be cured. But even with hard scientific evidence they couldn’t build credibility or belief in their discovery.
There were 3 reasons that made it almost impossible for them to get buy-in.
1) Their discovery defied perceived wisdom – it violated current understanding amongst the medical fraternity.
2) Marshall was an intern not a Doctor and interns didn’t cure diseases. At least they hadn’t done until then. He lacked credibility.
3) They came from the wrong location. They were in Perth. That wasn’t where huge medical breakthroughs happened!
In the end, Marshall took drastic measures (literally). He made himself sick, inducing an ulcer and then cured himself with antibiotics. He used the “see for yourself” approach.  In 2005 they received the Nobel Prize for their amazing contribution.
So how can you build credibility for your message or idea in the minds of others?
The following is a useful start:
-it has to be believable based on the listener’s own experience or someone they know
-there’s hard evidence or proof
-it’s backed or presented by someone in authority or a trusted source
But these aren’t always guaranteed to work, as the story above proves. So it really helps to be prepared by asking yourself:
a)  What aspect of my message or idea might not seem believable or credible to [ x person ]?
b) If I was them, what would add credibility? What would I need to see, hear or experience to be convinced?
c) What real world stories, examples or case studies can I share to add authority?
d) How can I make my message/idea more concrete?
e) Do I need someone of ‘authority’ to back it up? or if appropriate, how can I increase my own authority?
Next time, the 5th sticky strategy.
Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

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