Frank Luntz has “engineered some of the most potent political and corporate campaigns of the last decade.” His wordsmithing helped Republican Rudy Giuliani get elected twice in New York — a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 5-to-1.
Luntz and his polling firm have learned a great deal about language by conducting nearly 1500 surveys and focus groups for a wide range of products and politicians.
The key takeaway from his book is actually part of the title:
It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.
In Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear Luntz breaks down the ten main lessons he’s learned from years of crafting political messages; lessons we can all learn from:
1) Simplicity: Use Small Words
2) Brevity: 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
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