The Art of Persuasion: On the Edge of Emotions
Logic may convince, but emotions serve to inspire. At a superficial level, persuasion merely gives a good reason to do something. True persuasion, however, makes you want to do something (and sometimes, without a reason to boot). Emotion and logic must coexist as one.
Getting an Emotional Response
1) Say something relevant
There’s really no substitute for an emotional topic. It’s hard to get emotional about something your audience doesn’t naturally resonate with. Some topics are naturally dry –it’s hard to get an emotional response from a lecture on financial analysis. Know when to stop searching for an emotional approach. It doesn’t always work.
More importantly, try to identify a problem your audience can relate to, or a cause that is eagerly championed. By doing so, you can adapt your substance to appeal to the crowd at hand.
2) Use emotional words
Calling something ‘bad’ isn’t as emotionally disturbing (or classy) as calling something ‘abhorrent’, an ‘abomination’ or even ‘horrible.’ Some words are inherently mundane and lackluster. Using these words rarely aid in your efforts to invoke emotions.
People place connotations on words. Understanding these connotations is essential in order to select the ideal phrase of words that would resonate best with someone. Overly sophisticated words are detrimental to your cause, mostly because their connotations aren’t easily identified by your audience. Simple words are almost always preferable; unless a sophisticated word cannot be substituted without loss of meaning.
When creating video, a presentation, or anything that requires sending a message, think of it as a journey. You are creating the paths and the people watching you will decide if the journey is worth following.
Open with a statement that entices followers to go on the journey. Ask a provocative question, or describe a problem that resonates with your viewers. From there on, make the path easy to navigate. Fill in the content as necessary, but don’t bog down your audience with too much information lest they drop out of the journey.
As your audience nears the peak of the journey you have led them on, end with an end worth ending with. Let them know that the journey was worth the undertaking. Give them a vision of where the journey will lead them even after you have finished your presentation. End with a story that culminates the entire trip; maybe set them off on their next journey with yet another provocative question.
4) Mean it
This seems like a cop-out point, but in reality many who speak of emotions rarely reflect the emotions they speak of. Even if we believe in a particular topic, it’s easy to get disconnected from it after researching it or going over it in preparation. There isn’t anything that can be done to remedy this except to remind yourself of why you bothered to speak about it in the first place.