In the classic communications book, Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear, author Frank Luntz offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the tactical use of words and phrases affects what we buy, who we vote for, how we get along with others, and even what we believe in.
Here are his 10 rules for effective communication:
- Simplicity: Use small words.
- Brevity: Use short sentences.
- Credibility: People have to believe it to buy into it.
- Consistency: Repeat what you are saying to make a point.
- Novelty: Get your message across in a fresh, new way.
- Sound and Texture: These elements should be as memorable as the words.
- Speak Aspirationally: Messages need to say what people want to hear.
- Visualize: Paint a vivid picture.
- Ask a Question: A statement, when in the form of a question, can have greater impact.
- Provide Context and Explain Relevance: Give people an understanding of the why of a message. Without context, it isn’t relevant.