GLSIG Workshop: Using memorable stories to help your gamification projects succeed


Last week I ran a workshop at the Games and Learning SIG Conference. The main prong to the session was to discover what causes Gamification projects to succeed or fail, with a particular look to see if there were any differences between corporate and academic worlds that we could learn from.

madetostickThe second part of the workshop was to have fun finding a memorable way to remember the keys to project success that we’d learnt. This did turn out to be the most fun part of the session. I took the attendees through an exercise using the very useful SUCCESs technique from Chip and Dan Heath’s book ‘Made to Stick‘. In their book they analysed the most memorable stories, particularly urban myths, to find out what made them memorable. They then boiled it down to these 6 tips:

Simplicity – Not dumbing down, but getting to the core message.

Unexpected – Get attention. Violate a schema. Use curiosity.

Concrete – Paint a mental picture such as to ‘Put a man on the moon’ or film pitching technique.

Credible – Quote authorities or stats. Give more details to make it more believable (technique for good lies). Ask a question.

Emotive – People care about people. Ask, what’s in it for me? How would this make you feel?

Story – stories make it believable and memorable. Showing the what and why of an idea.

SUCCES slide

I recommend using this SUCCESs strategy for storytelling whenever you need to pitch a gamification project.

About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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