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Frank Luntz
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Frank Luntz

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  • 1. Frank Luntz Testing Language – Finding Words That Work Overview: Frank Luntz is a corporate consultant who’s specialty is testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or candidate. Luntz does testing and field research seeking words that move people to act on an emotional level. 80% of our life is emotion, and only 20% is intellect. His job is to look for words that trigger emotion. “There are words that work, that are meant to explain and educate on policies that work, on products that work, on services that work. Words with emotion can change destiny, can change life as we know it. We know that words and emotion together are the most powerful force known to mankind.” Luntz’s job is to take clear-cut words from the English language and figure out which words, which phrases to apply at which opportunities, which times. How does this work?: Luntz uses focus groups to gather information and data on a certain issues which he then uses to come up with “words that work.” He complies a list of 15-20 words, phrases, and metaphors then tests them to see which words are important emotionally. Then he uses dial technology to measure movement by movement responses to a speech looking for sides to meet at an emotional crescendo.
    • Focus Group
    • Things needed:
    • Room which can hold at least 20 people
    • Chairs
    • TV Monitor
    • Dial Technology
    • Separate viewing room next to the other room where you can have people measure data instantly
    • A list of 15-20 words, phrases, or metaphors about the subject
    • At least 20 people for the focus group
    • Time: 2 ½ hours
    • Things to take into consideration:
    • Ask a lot of questions and listen
    The needs to know to get America to say “You know what, it’s ok.” What’s the language? What’s the information? What’s are the facts? What are the figures? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/interviews/luntz.html
  • 2. Procedures – Focus Group
    • Procedure 1: Show of Hands
    • Gather focus group in room
    • Using the 15-20 words, phrases, or metaphors ask them to raise their hand if they felt the word was emotionally important to them.
    • (*Note they are not limited to one response.)
    • 3. Record the number of responses
    • Procedure 2: Dial Technology
    • Gather focus group in room
    • Give focus group the dial technology and explain to them:
    • This device is used to say whether you agree or disagree, whether you believe or disbelieve
    • Dials go from 0 – 100. 0 being you disagree/disbelieve. 100 being you agree/believe
    • 3. Show a video of a person speaking about things that pertain to what you are trying to gain insight into
    • 4. Analyze data from the viewing room
    Purpose: Dial technology measures intensity that is immediate, specific, and anonymous. It picks out every single word, every single phrase (that you hear) and you know what works and what doesn’t. What we are looking for is where we see an emotional crescendo. Purpose: From the list of 15-20 words, phrases, or metaphors the show of hands provides us with a number that shows which words, phrases, or metaphors are more emotionally favorable. The ones with the most show of hands are the ones you need to focus on. This will tell us how to talk about it and how not. Language to Explain: Which words, which phrases to apply at which opportunities and which times Words, phrases, or metaphors with the highest responses Highest intensity (words, phrases, etc.)