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Publisher's Summary

The nation's premier communications expert shares his wisdom on how the words we choose can change the course of business, of politics, and of life in this country. In Words That Work, Luntz offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the tactical use of words and phrases affects what we buy, who we vote for, and even what we believe in. With chapters like "The 10 Rules of Successful Communication" and "The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century", he examines how choosing the right words is essential.

Nobody is in a better position to explain than Frank Luntz; he has used his knowledge of words to help more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies grow. He tells us why Rupert Murdoch's six-billion-dollar decision to buy DirectTV was smart, because "satellite" was more cutting edge than "digital cable", and why pharmaceutical companies transitioned their message from "treatment" to "prevention" and "wellness".

If you've ever wanted to talk your way out of a traffic ticket or talk your way into a raise, this audiobook's for you.

©2007 Dr. Frank Luntz. All Rights Reserved (P)2007 Hyperion

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Business Information/Educational, 2008

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Repetative vainglorious windbag

The main point and supporting material as already discovered by the end of the first chapter or two. Much of the material is repeated over and over and over and over... The author has many good points about word choice, but unfortunately often does not follow his own advice. His tone is often so self-aggrandizing that it is embarassing to listen. It is also a shame that much of the effort behind his choice of words is not to improve communication of ideas, but to obscure ideas in pretty wrapping so the (apparently ignorant) public may more easily consume them. I learned from the book, but it took too long, and I felt soiled after listening to it.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


It's not what you say it's what they hear; there, you've got it, no need to buy the book. Unless you want a 6 hour review of political word-smithing of past presidential campaigns. If you plan on running for President in 2008 this is a MUST read, otherwise this book does not live up to its title.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jason
  • Springdale, AR, USA
  • 02-28-09

Where are the words!

It takes this guy 4 hours of blabbering to give you 21 "words that work" that are actually concepts...then he tells you 20 political phrases not to use and replaces them 20 other. 95% of this is wordy boring political stories.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

self congratulations rather than information

Unfortunately, there is no real 'meat' in the book. I kept waiting for something more, and it was never delivered. Pretty much a waste of time and money.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tj
  • Valley Village, CA, United States
  • 03-12-07

Sooo much taaalk...

It's not what people say, it's what they hear. You will learn this in the very beginning of the book. It is the best part of the entire book. This book has a lot of political talk which for me was not very intersting at all... I would have better enjoyed a little more info, a little less political example. He also very much enjoys talking about himself... For me, this book was 5% good information, 95% blah blah blah.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Same stuff in a different package

Before I bought this audio I thought of Frank Luntz as a wizard of the English language. As I listened to the book I realized that I was more a victim of Mr. Luntz's self promotion. There is nothing new in this book. If you have ever read a book on influence and persuasive writing then you will likley hear the same stuff here.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marker
  • Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 07-07-07

Proof of its thesis.

This book listens well. It reinforces the concepts because the hearing of words that work is more powerful than reading the same words on a page. The author should renew your committment to think before you speak. Words have emotional impact and cultural subtext. The meaning is in what is heard, not what the speaker meant. The examples are very clear, showing how great communicators were effective and how the same smart people were derailed by using the wrong words.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


It was even better than I expected. I thought I would pick up a few phrases to use in business and social settings that would really get my point across. To my surprise there were marketing tips and affirmations that some of our word usage strategies are effective word choices. I highly recommend this book.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eve
  • Andover, MA, USA
  • 01-27-08

waste of money and time

The author certainly uses many "words that work" to sell his book. I quit after an hour. It reminded me an endless TV informational, that one can count on at 3 a.m. I want to ask the author 'where is the beef?"

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 05-18-07

better if Luntz narrated more

Luntz only narrates a small portion of this audio book - a disappointment since I really like his work and I am used to hearing his voice. Sorry but the other narrator's voice is just almost grating.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful