Editor’s Note: This essay first published in the author’s personal blog.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating — especially in discussions about persuasion: Logic makes you think, emotion makes you act.
Some words are more compelling than others because of their emotional heft. They create powerful mental images to which listeners can readily relate.
That’s why some of the best word choices are aspirational (terms that compliment and inspire), emotional (ones that prompt an immediate response) and involve loss language (which spells out the potential consequences or risks):
- Our savviest customers; the company’s diverse suite of products; your compelling presentation
- A sensitive situation; an urgent response; a feel-good solution
- If we don’t act now, we might have to forfeit this opportunity; are you really willing to surrender to the competition?
Unpack your trunk of adjectives and punch up the power quotient.
Instead of just saying the team has to make a decision, try describing it as a crucial decision, or perhaps a far-reaching decision or a key decision.
Be descriptive of your perception of another person’s perspective as enlightened,critical or well- informed.
You’ll often see these words repeatedly used in advertising copy, because they repeatedly work: fast, easy, guaranteed, powerful, quick, inexpensive.
Remember that a strength overdone is a weakness. Judiciously used, well-chosen adjectives can work tremendously; overuse, on the other hand, leads to hyperbole.
Choose your words wisely.
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