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December 23, 2014 12:01 AM EST
Barker is the author of Barking Up The Wrong Tree

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

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

2) Brevity: Use Short Sentences

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

3) Credibility Is As Important As Philosophy

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

4) Consistency Matters

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

5) Novelty: Offer Something New

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

6) Sound and Texture Matter

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

7) Speak Aspirationally

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

8) Visualize

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

9) Ask a Question

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

10) Provide Context and Explain Relevance

Via Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear:

This piece originally appeared on Barking Up the Wrong Tree. Join over 145,000 readers and get a free weekly email update here.

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