press the right button

press (all) the right buttons

To do something very skillfully and in a way that produces the best or desired result. While the movie's plot is a bit thin, its charming 1980s aesthetic pushes all the right buttons. I must have hit the right buttons, because they've asked me back for a second interview.
See also: button, press, right

press the right button

or

press the right buttons

If someone presses the right button or presses the right buttons, they skilfully do the things to have the effect they want. It is hard to know if you're pressing the right buttons because one reader's fantasy is another reader's yawn. Note: You can also say that someone presses all the right buttons. In what it describes as a well-judged performance, the newspaper says he pressed all the right buttons to please the representatives. Note: Verbs such as push and hit are sometimes used instead of press. In later talks with the chairman, he helped his cause by pushing all the right buttons.
See also: button, press, right
References in periodicals archive ?
It's as simple as that: press the right button, and they'll do what you want.
After 50 trials, the rules were reversed so the participants had to press the right button if "M" was in the middle and the left if "N" was in the middle.
Summary: They call it the kayamat ki raat in Uttar Pradesh, the night when you confront both your maker and those you want to make in your own image so that they press the right button on the electronic voting machine tomorrow, a sort of Doomsday night without end.
All my friend Lee had to do was press the right button but instead he played the first track on the CD, which was Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson singing The Best Things in Life are Free.
I didn't want to call reception and have a 18-year-old Polish girl come, press the right button and throw me a look of pity.
All he had do was to position Galileo into the right slot and wait for the right moment to press the right button.
All played a computerized risk-taking game that repeatedly presented a choice between a cautious and a risky behaviour: press the left button and always win one cent, or press the right button and either win five cents or lose ten cents.
So, uh, if we, like, dig sports man, we just have to press the right button on the remote and we're, like, watching sports.
Where we are staying in Dubai, all I have to do is press the right button in the lift to get from our apartment to the gym and everything I need is on the doorstep,' The Daily times quoted Flintoff, as saying.
she looked all right spread out on the bed when she asked me to press the right button - on the remote - to take her to the Stade de France.
And after that I will ideally press the right buttons.
We've all had captains who were great leaders by example, or who could press the right buttons and motivate people, or who were very good strategically and could change things around," McCall said.
We didn't make a lot of mistakes but he caught on to how things would work and how to press the right buttons to get players doing the right things.
If Nev and Marc press the right buttons and the lads perform to their full potential they can win the game.
He certainly knows how to press the right buttons with the fans but elsewhere in his chat with the French magazine, Moyes spoke of an ambition to manage abroad.