• List Price: CDN$ 19.50
  • You Save: CDN$ 1.79 (9%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 9 left in stock - order soon.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Words That Work: It's Not... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Ships from the USA. Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. Almost in new condition. Book shows only very slight signs of use. Cover and binding are undamaged and pages show minimal use . Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Thriftbooks is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear Paperback – Aug 5 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 17.71
CDN$ 9.64 CDN$ 3.83

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear
  • +
  • The ALL NEW Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate
  • +
  • The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics
Total price: CDN$ 50.44
Buy the selected items together

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; Reprint edition (Aug. 5 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401309291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309299
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

After repeating his mantra—"it's not what you say, it's what people hear"—so often in this book, you'd think that Republican pollster Luntz would have taken his own advice to heart. Yet in spite of an opening anecdote that superficially attempts a balanced tone, the book as a whole truly reads more like a manual for right-wing positioning. Even in the sections where he is less partisan, Luntz's advice is not particularly insightful. For instance, his first chapter, on "Ten Rules of Effective Language," starts by instructing readers to use small words and short sentences in their communications. The least effective section in the book is the chapter on "Personal Language for Personal Scenarios," where Luntz advocates manipulative strategies for getting out of traffic tickets, boarding airplanes at the last minute and apologizing to one's wife with the "miracle elixir" of flowers. The most readable and redeeming feature is the two case studies, where Luntz demonstrates his skill as a communicator by identifying real-world communications successes and failures. Unfortunately, by the time nonpartisan readers reach these chapters, they will have already lost patience. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Frank Luntz is one of the most respected communication professionals in America today. He has written, supervised, and conducted more than a thousand surveys and focus groups for corporate and public affairs clients here and abroad. He has developed campaigns for Merrill Lynch, Federal Express, AT&T, Pfizer, and McDonalds. Currently the host of America's Voices on MSNBC, Dr. Luntz is the first resource media outlets turn to when they want to understand American voters. His recurring segments on MSNBC/ CNBC during the 2002 election cycle won an Emmy. He lives in Alexandria, VA.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I’m a copywriter, so I read this book to gain insight into the way words can influence perceptions and behaviors. Putting aside all political squeamishness (I’m not a fan of the Republican agenda or corporate interests Dr. Luntz works for), I found this book fascinating and a valuable addition to my bookshelf.

Fair warning: it’s America-centric and politically focused, so if you’re looking for a more general, universal handbook on the principles of effective writing, you’ll be disappointed. And perhaps predictable, Luntz is much more compelling and original when he talks about language in political contexts, whereas his points are less focused and veer into the banal when he talks about consumer brands and product marketing.

Overall, the book offers a good overview of principles all professional communicators should know but that never hurt to hear again.

The reader will need to be careful not to fall under the sway of Dr. Luntz’s practiced rhetoric: his opinions are disguised as truths throughout. (In a section on “authenticity,” only Democratic politicians seem to be singled out as inauthentic, for example.)

He has an insidious tendency to conflate rhetoric and truth throughout the book. His argument seems to be that if words make a powerful connection with its audience, they reflect reality, which of course sidesteps the issue of whose reality we’re talking about. For example, rephrasing “drilling for oil” as “exploring for energy” may encourage people to view oil extraction more positively, but it doesn’t actually make it less damaging to the environment.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
The author resents accusations that his language hides and distorts meaning. "I do not believe there is something dishonorable about presenting a passionately held proposition in the most favorable light, while avoiding the self-sabotage of clumsy phrasing and dubious delivery." He then outlines his ten rules for effective language (Simplicity, Brevity, Credibility, Consistency, Novelty, Sound, Aspiration, Visualization, Asking Questions and Context / Relevance) and spends the rest of the book illustrating their use. Frank Luntz's book makes a good case that these rules are effective.

Several topics are worth reading closely. Luntz describes the "dial session" focus group methods he has devised to elicit and test snippets of effective language. He lays out the linguistic techniques he used to make the Republican "Contract with America" so appealing to voters. Chapter 9 debunks language-related myths the author's research has uncovered. These myths include that Americans are well educated, read a lot, and are generally happy. The truth corresponding to each myth has implications for choosing effective political and advertising language.

Frank Luntz's in-your-face style comes through in his stories--particularly the ones that end with him being thrown out of yet another client meeting. For readers who may be uncomfortable with this style, I'll suggest a brief test. The political and business arenas that contribute the bulk of his examples are far from most readers' experience. But Chapter 11, "Personal Language for Personal Scenarios," is different. It recommends the best language for apologizing, requesting a raise, avoiding a traffic ticket, and other everyday situations. This ten-page chapter is a quick read.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
A great read about crafting language and how it affects opinions.(Consider the death tax vs. the estate tax or pro-choice vs. pro-life) The book also describes the average American and their perspective. Luntz also offers some advice on crafting your own message - brevity and simplicity being his preference.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the book to be more of a political history lesson and description of the authors accomplishments than a detailed description of common poorly worded scenarios.
I picked up what the author was laying down but found the detail unsatisfying.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse