Words That Work – Dr. Frank Luntz
We all use words, and they can build bridges or gaps, depending on how the other person is understanding them.
These, then, are the ten rules of effective communication, all summarized in single words: simplicity, brevity, credibility, consistency, novelty, sound, aspiration, visualization, questing, and context
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Remember, everything you need to say should be up front. All that you want to say can come later.
10 rules for successful communication
- Simplicity: Use small words
- Brevity: Use short sentences
- Credibility: Be credible in every word or statement you make
- Consistency: Iterate the same message, over and over
- Novelty: Breed excitement
- Sound: The texture of your words matters
- Aspirational: people forget what you say but not how you made them feel
- Imagery: Visualize, the word “imagine” is an incredibly powerful tool
- Question: Question everything, ask questions and provide the solution
- Context: Give background to why you’re here and why people should bother to listen to you – give relevance to the situation.
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Some “Don’ts” in communication
- Never use a metaphor, simile, or another figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.
- Never use a long word where a short one will do.
- If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
- Never use the passive where you can use the active.
- Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
- Don’t assume that people know what you do, or are even aware of you.