I am obsessed with Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan on NPR. When I heard a story on media strategist Frank Luntz back in March of 2011, I immediately added new components to my course lecture material. Conan and Luntz analyze commercials, campaigns, and advertisements and words/phrases that work and those that don’t. Luntz also talks about political rhetoric and successful business speak. He is BRILLIANT.
Here were my top three favorite quotes from Luntz in the interview:
“Without that inherent accuracy, then even the best words will still fail. But you can have the best product, the best service, the best argument in a debate, but without the effective words, you still lose. In the end, you need good principles and good language if you are to succeed.” (Source)
“The perfect opening is the word ‘imagine’ because ‘imagine’ allows you to communicate in the eyes and in the vision of the listener.” (Source)
“You only get one shot to make a good first impression, and what you say first colors everything that follows. It will either cast a shadow over your purpose or provide a foundation under it.” (Source)
The entire story is about 30 minutes, and you MUST listen to the entire thing. It is fascinating, and Luntz is a compelling speaker with amazing ideas. Listen here. Purchase Luntz’s book here. I haven’t yet read the book. Listening to this interview for the tenth (or eleventh… or twelfth) time is compelling me to put it on the top of my library list.