Words That Work - Its Not What You Say Its What People Hear
The nation's premier communications expert shares his wisdom on how the words we choose can change the course of business, of politics, and of life in this country.
In Words That Work, Luntz offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the tactical use of words and phrases affects what we buy, who we vote for, and even what we believe in.
With chapters like "The Ten Rules of Successful Communication" and "The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century," he examines how choosing the right words is essential.Nobody is in a better position to explain than Frank Luntz: He has used his knowledge of words to help more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies grow. He'll tell us why Rupert Murdoch's six-billion-dollar decision to buy DirectTV was smart because satellite was more cutting edge than "digital cable," and why pharmaceutical companies transitioned their message from "treatment" to "prevention" and "wellness."
The world's best message is ineffective if the person on the receiving end does not understand or relate to it.
It is a harsh standard. It is a message communicators ignore at their own peril. You can be brilliant, creative, even right, but your message will fall flat unless it touches the hearer's prism of experience, beliefs, preconceptions and prejudices.
In Words that Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear, Frank Luntz offers insights into finding and using the right words to achieve your goals. The key to communication is to place yourself in the listener's situation and understand his or her deepest thoughts and beliefs. What the listener perceives constitutes the listener's reality.
Based on his experience as a political and corporate pollster he recommends 11 rules for effective communication:
1. Use small words.
2. Use short sentences.
3. Credibility is as important as philosophy.
4. Consistency matters.
5. Novelty: offer something new.
6. Sound and texture matter.
7. Speak aspirationally.
9. Ask a question.
10. Provide context and explain relevance.
11. Visual imagery matters.
Luntz does not stop there. In addition to an insightful discussion complete with illustrations from his professional experience of the 11 rules, he adds critical elaboration:
1. Never assume knowledge or awareness.
2. Get the order right.
3. Gender can obstruct understanding.
4. It's about the children.
5. How you define determines how you are received.