I stumbled across Words That Work, a 2007 book by Dr. Frank Luntz recently, and I’m so glad it happened! It is about how to use the right words at the right time to meet all of your goals, both personal and professional.
The author works with CEOs, politicians, activists, and world leaders. He teaches them how to use language to inspire people, to evoke emotion, to gain credibility, and to satisfy their listeners.
- Simplicity: use small words
- Brevity: use short sentences
- Credibility is as important as philosophy
- Consistency matters
- Novelty: offer something new
- Sound and texture matter
- Speak aspirationally
- Ask a question
- Provide context and explain relevance
The details of each rule are completely relevant to library leaders and managers. Anyone who gives performance reviews, persuades voters, presents to library board members, runs meetings, trains employees, looks for buy-in on new ideas – and so many other activities library leaders do every day! – simply must read this book.