Words That Work

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by Frank Luntz

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. Hell 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."

If you ever wanted to learn how to talk your way out of a traffic ticket or talk your way into a raise, this book's for you.

My thoughts on Words That Work

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You can have the best message in the world, but the person on the receiving end will always understand it through the prism of his or her own emotions, preconceptions, prejudices, and preexisting beliefs. It's not enough to be correct or reasonable or even brilliant. The key to successful communication is to take the imaginative leap of stuffing yourself into your listener's shoes to know what they are thinking and feeling in the deepest recesses of their mind and heart. How that person perceives what you say is even more real, at least in a practical sense, than how you perceive yourself.

— Frank Luntz, Words That Work