Say It As Well As You Possibly Can

I was re-looking at my handout from the book Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank Luntz.  This quote jumped out at me, again:

We have certainly seen instances in which language has been used to cloud our judgment and blur the facts, but its beauty – the true power of words – is that it can also be used in defense of clarity and fairness.  I do not believe there is something dishonorable about presenting a passionately held proposition in the most favorable light, while avoiding the self-sabotage of clumsy phrasing and dubious delivery.  I do not believe it is somehow malevolent to choose the strongest arguments rather than to lazily go with the weakest.

The underlying truth is smile:  if you have something to say, and if it is important (or, why else would you say it?), then it is the right, the smart, the most effective thing to do to say it as well as you possibly can.

This means that you choose the best words, put them in the most effective order, and then (if the presentation is verbal) you say these words with passion and conviction.

To not put time into the best possible choice and arrangement of words, and then to not invest time in “rehearsing” your delivery, is laziness that will cost you much.

If you have something to say, don’t you want to say it in the most effective way possible?


You can purchase my synopsis of this terrific book (and many others) with handout + audio, at our companion web site,

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