Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact

What is the central message or theme of the book?

The central message of Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact is that the words we choose in our conversations have the power to influence and create a significant impact. By mastering the art of effective communication, we can enhance our ability to connect with others, persuade them, and achieve our desired outcomes.

In this book, author Phil M. Jones emphasizes the importance of choosing our words carefully to navigate various social and professional situations successfully. Through a series of specific techniques and strategies, he teaches readers how to craft their messages to elicit desired responses, build stronger relationships, and ultimately achieve greater influence and impact in their interactions.

What problem does the book address or seek to solve?

Exactly What to Say addresses the challenge of effectively communicating and influencing others. Many people struggle to convey their ideas, opinions, and intentions clearly, leading to misunderstandings, missed opportunities, and strained relationships. This book recognizes that words have the power to either hinder or facilitate our desired outcomes, and aims to equip readers with the tools to overcome this challenge.

The book acknowledges that in our fast-paced and information-saturated world, it is essential to cut through the noise and capture people's attention and interest quickly. It offers practical solutions to address common communication obstacles, empowering readers to effectively express themselves, persuade others, and achieve their goals.

What unique insights or perspectives does the book offer?

Exactly What to Say offers several unique insights and perspectives that can revolutionize the way we approach communication and influence:

  • Conversational Empowerment: The book highlights the significance of understanding the power dynamics in conversations and provides techniques to navigate them effectively. By offering practical advice on how to engage others, ask powerful questions, and actively listen, readers can empower themselves to steer conversations towards desired outcomes.
  • Strategic Language and Framing: The book delves into the art of framing statements and questions to create a more favorable response. It introduces concepts like "Redefine and Rephrase" and "Labeling," which help readers reframe their messages, influence perception, and establish stronger connections with others.
  • Emotional Engagement: Exactly What to Say emphasizes the importance of emotional engagement in communication. It provides insights on creating curiosity gaps, leveraging social proof, and using storytelling techniques to capture attention, maintain interest, and evoke powerful emotions that can drive others to action.

What notable anecdotes or stories are featured in the book?

Throughout the book, Phil M. Jones shares various anecdotes and stories to illustrate the effectiveness of the communication techniques he presents. These real-life examples help readers understand how the concepts can be applied in practical situations and inspire them to adopt these strategies in their own interactions.

  1. Building rapport: The book may highlight the importance of building rapport with others and offer strategies for establishing a connection quickly. It might include examples of icebreakers or openers that can help initiate a conversation or create a positive first impression.
  2. Overcoming objections: The book may provide techniques for handling objections and resistance in sales or negotiation scenarios. It could offer specific phrases or strategies to address common objections and turn them into opportunities for agreement.
  3. Persuasive language: Exactly What to Say might showcase various words or phrases that can be used to increase persuasiveness and influence in everyday conversations. It could explore the power of using specific language patterns, storytelling, or emotional appeals to capture attention and sway opinions.
  4. Motivating action: The book might offer insights into how certain words and phrases can encourage others to take action. It might provide examples of effective calls-to-action or ways to inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals.

What are some of the best quotes from the book?

"Just out of curiosity, what needs to happen for you to make a decision about this?"

"It works great."

"So, what do you like about it?"

"I’m guessing you didn’t get around to speaking to Steve?"

"Would it be okay if I gave you a call next week to find out how the chat with Steve went?"

"Get comfortable being uncomfortable."

"When introducing a new idea, start with, “How open-minded are you?”..."

"How open-minded are you?"

"Don’t worry."

"What happens next is that we are going to take a few moments..."

"I couldn’t do it because of this," say, "That’s great, you’ve just found out another way that doesn’t work,"

"Just out of curiosity, what is it specifically you need some time to think about?"

"What most people do is complete the forms with me here today..."

"The real world tells us that people will work far harder to avoid a potential loss..."

"If I can match that price for you, then would you be happy"

"You couldn’t do me a further favor, could you? Next time you see Steve..."

"You wouldn’t happen to know..."

"Magic Words are sets of words that talk straight to the subconscious brain..."

"As I see it, you have three options,"

"If you give me a chance in the role, then I am confident you will thank me later."

"Before you make your mind up, why don’t we just run through the details one more time so you can know what it is that you are saying no to?"

"The good news is you already know that what you are doing now is not working, so what is the harm in trying this?"

"What questions do you have for me?"

"There are two types of people in this world: those who resist change in favor of nostalgia and those who move with the times and create a better future."

How can reading this book benefit or inspire the reader?

Reading Exactly What to Say can offer numerous benefits and inspire readers in multiple ways:

  1. Improved Communication Skills: By learning and implementing the strategies outlined in the book, readers can significantly enhance their communication skills. They will gain the ability to express themselves more clearly, ask impactful questions, and listen actively, fostering better understanding and rapport with others.
  2. Enhanced Influence and Persuasion: The book equips readers with a toolkit of persuasive techniques that can help them influence and inspire others. They will learn to frame their messages effectively, utilize social proof, and leverage the power of storytelling to create compelling narratives that lead to desired outcomes.
  3. Strengthened Relationships: "Exactly What to Say" emphasizes the importance of building and nurturing relationships. By understanding and applying the principles discussed in the book, readers can develop stronger connections, foster trust, and navigate difficult conversations with more ease, ultimately leading to healthier and more productive relationships.
  4. Increased Confidence: The practical techniques and insights offered in the book can boost readers' confidence in their communication abilities. Armed with a deeper understanding of how to choose their words wisely and influence others positively, readers will feel more self-assured in various personal and professional situations.


In conclusion, Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact by Phil M. Jones serves as a compelling guide for anyone looking to enhance their communication skills and achieve greater influence and impact in their interactions. This book's central message revolves around the power of words and how they can shape our conversations, relationships, and outcomes. By offering practical techniques, unique insights, and real-life anecdotes, the author equips readers with the tools to navigate social and professional situations successfully.