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

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2007

    Practical guide to communication

    This book's readability says a lot about the power of author Frank Luntz's advice on communicating. The text flows, usually matching actions with concepts. For instance, Luntz repeats how important it is to repeat your message. He uses simple language to illustrate the importance of simple language, and so on. What's more, the book is entertaining. Luntz has been involved in major media campaigns with key American products and politicians, and his story about demonstrating an important principle to the Senate is hypnotic. The caveat is that such stories sometimes seem boastful and end up being off-putting when they are clearly meant to be engaging. That grain of salt aside, we recommend this extremely useful book to those who want to improve their communication skills. The book is directed toward Americans, though it debunks myths about them for the entertainment and edification of everyone else. Some of the book's principles are familiar, but so deeply fundamental that they are worth repeating ¿ which is actually Luntz's fourth rule of effective language use. Say it right, and then say it again.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    The Power of Lies and Misdirection

    On C-SPAN2's Afterwords program on January 29 discussing this book, Luntz made the following statement: (podcast transcript 19:07-20:26) ***Begin transcript*** Interviewer to Luntz 'You are also saying, 'do not say drilling for oil', say 'exploring for energy''... Luntz: 'You and I have not talked about this. When I say the phrase 'drilling for oil, what do you think of? What visual comes up to you?' Interviewer 'A derrick?' Luntz: 'Perfect. People think of the derricks, these tall structures, with black goo, with the oil coming up inside, almost like the beginning of the 'Beverly Hillbillies' show.' Interviewer: 'Sure' Luntz: 'That's not what oil exploration, what 'energy exploration' looks like anymore, it is so much more technical. The engineering that's involved is 22nd Century, practically. And so it doesn't look like that and so if you are, and here is the best example, offshore drilling has the support of just under 50%. 'Deep Sea Energy Exploration' has the support of two-thirds of the American people. 'Offshore' they think, 'I can see it from the beach'. It's not. Deep sea is ten miles, twenty miles. You can't see anything from the beach. 'Drilling' suggests that oil is pouring into the ocean. In Katrina, not a single drop of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico from the rigs themselves. That's why deep sea exploration is a more appropriate term.' ***end transcript*** Frank Luntz misdirects the people away from the heart of the argument. Exploration is not the issue. The modern low impact techniques of radar, sonar and ultrasound exploration of the sea bed is not in question, but rather production facilities. He also misdirects people away from what is actually mined, it is not uranium, tidal forces or wind. What is mined are hydrocarbons, usually black sticky goo. People don't really care about exploration, they care about production, because visible or not, spills harm the environment. Refineries pollute. People are aware that petroleum production involves pipelines, refineries, storage tanks and other infrastructure. 'Exploration' may be a clean and pure term, but the rest of the production chain is not. Luntz can't argue against that, so he also lies, saying 'not a single drop of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico from the rigs themselves.' Not true. According to the US Department of Interior: 'As of August 8, 2006, MMS has identified 124 spills of petroleum products totaling 17,652 bbl (barrels) that were lost from platforms, rigs, and pipelines on the Federal OCS (Offshore Continental Shelf) as a result of damages from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Using the USCG size classifications for offshore spills, 110 of the spills or 89% were MINOR in size (less than 238 bbl), and 14 or 11% were MEDIUM in size (238 to 2,380 bbl).' Frank Luntz can help you join him in becoming an obfuscating charlatan of misdirection....for only twenty bucks! But do you *really* want to? Do we really need any more with a Congress already full of idiots talking about 'abandoning the troops' instead of 'defunding the Iraq occupation' and 'Patriot Act' rather than' US Citizen Surveillance Domestic Act'? Haven¿t we had enough of Luntz and his ilk? Haven't enough heavy blows to truth and accuracy been landed in US politics?

    8 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    Don't waste your time.....!

    Wow. I have attended focus groups run by this author. Some of the most unpleasant, irritating hours I have ever spent. The author is a bully, and forces his audiences into saying what he wants them to say. He is a manipulative, condescending charlatan. If you want to read a book to help you become a slimy, deceitful, Fox- News-type guy... then this is the book for you. If you have a shred of decency, please pass on this one. This is the man who decided to rename Bush's environmental policy the 'Clean Air Act'.

    6 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Great read if you must persuade people as part of your work

    If communicating is part of your job description, you should read this word guru's book. He works for all the top politicos and CEOs, it seems--and this Republican even has favorable book jacket quotes from Dem. Sen. John Kerry and liberal Al Franken!--so he must be doing something right. And as the book shows, indeed he is. Too often we get caught up in what we believe we are communicating, rather than what the other party is hearing. This book will help you change that. You'll be giving this book out to your colleagues.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2007

    'It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear'

    Dr. Frank Luntz jam-packs his book 'Words That Work' with special insight into the worlds of business and political communications. He is clearly in the forefront of listening to people and understanding what these consumers and constituents want. Although folks who disagree with the people Dr. Luntz has worked for try to pigeonhole him as a spinmaster, this book dispels that notion. Clearly, Frank Luntz can be controversial but more because he is direct and honest and many people do not want to hear the facts. There are many layers to this book and after a first read it can be used as a reference guide of sorts for effective communication for corporations and political types. The are many ¿focus group tested¿ charts of words and phrases that give more effective choices. The footnotes are often hilarious and could be a book by themselves given all the political scuttlebutt included. Beginning the chapter on ¿Personal Language for Personal Scenarios¿ I was skeptical if there could be anything to add to `Asking for a Raise¿ or `How to Avoid a Ticket¿. But by the end of the chapter, the simple concepts of being sincere, asking for forgiveness, and putting oneself in the shoes of the person being asked to help, win the day. My only disappointment is that there are more juicy insights about political America than corporate America. Perhaps the political battles are public domain and many corporate assignments are protected by non-disclosure agreements. Nonetheless, there is plenty of detailed information to help the staffer to the Congressperson and the management trainee to the CEO.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2007

    Don't Waste Your Time

    No lie, the guy that wrote this book is trying to sell you swamp gas. How pitiful that he tries to suggest that truth is not important. He's the sort that would try to convince children that smoking is really a great social interaction.

    3 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    Early Christmas shopping

    Bought as an early Christmas present for a 'writer son'.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted June 29, 2011

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