press the right button

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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 ?
As an avid gamer, he always needs to be alert, ready to press the right buttons and make the right moves at the right time.
I knew Victor, I had worked with him before, and I thought if he came here then I could press the right buttons and get him playing.
And after that I will ideally press the right buttons.
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.
She added that her place on the Gloriana gave her the opportunity to do a lot of research in preparation for her segments, but insisted "everybody has a story and you have to press the right buttons to find it".
I don't aspire to do three or four movies a year, but the ones that press the right buttons.
Nobody can say we have not enough to help them press the right buttons.
Some organisations are now providing a 'shopping list' of commitment factors, such as personal growth, salary and work-life balance, from which employees are allowed to develop a 'wish list', by selecting the factors that will press the right buttons for them.
As an ex PR guru, she will more than likely have the desired presence on doorsteps and press the right buttons, but the media circus which her husband wished to avoid on a family outing to Disneyland Paris, will more than likely descend upon Glenrothes and turn things into something more akin to a rugby scrum.
There was a general impression last season that operating USC's offense was about as difficult as playing a video game, with coaches merely required to press the right buttons with two Heisman Trophy winners.
It took me four windows before I found an operator who could do me a box exacta 6, 1 and 2, and that was only because someone with experience came through from the back to press the right buttons.
To motivate employees, a manager needs to know their team and recognise the individual factors that will press the right buttons.