Language is powerful. If you’ve ever been moved by a speech, whether it was MLK’s “I Have a Dream” or a toast at a wedding, you’ve felt how language can inspire emotion. Some messages not only resonate in the moment, but echo through the annals of history. The words of Jesus Christ in the Bible formed the basis of a new religion and continue to guide the lives of millions.
One of language’s most sought-after qualities is the ability to persuade. When the right words are used, people’s opinions can be swayed and listeners can be called to action. As it turns out, some words hold more power in this respect than others. Linguists and speech experts have sought out the most persuasive words in the English language. Through years of study, they’ve been able to identify which words are most likely to convince and change minds.
If the goal of your webinar is to increase sales and customers, you’ll have to do some persuading. This list highlighting some of English’s most persuasive words will come in handy when writing your content. On their own, they might not seem that powerful. Yet when inserted into key sentences, they can influence your audience’s decisions.
It’s human nature: everyone loves hearing themselves talked about. Hearing the word “you” when spoken to is the next best thing to hearing one’s own name, which according to research, makes our brains light up like a Christmas tree. Addressing your audience as “you” in your presentation gives it a more personalized feel, which is something that makes everyone automatically more interested in what you have to say.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? When offered something for free, with no strings attached, most people won’t turn it down. People sometimes go to great lengths to get free stuff – like sharing links across social media for a web contest or participating in a dare. Freebies are the ultimate lure for getting people interested in your product or service. However, be sure that you’re using “free” in the right context, and that you mean what you say. You don’t want to give customers the wrong idea, and you can only give away so much free stuff before it doesn’t make financial sense.
Life is hard. So is keeping is simple. When someone else can make life easier, with little to no effort on your part, it’s a relief. Many people will attend your webinar wondering what you can do for them. They’ve likely tried some products and services that turned out to be more of a hassle than anything. Inserting “easy” to describe how your product or service works will not only put them “at ease,” it will also get their attention. Everything in the world is complicated, but perhaps you have a way to make it a little less so.
It’s been established that a natural tendency towards novelty seeking makes the human brain susceptible to marketing tactics. We’re frequently on the lookout for the next big thing to stimulate our sense of adventure. Much of the time, when people hear the word “new,” their ears will perk up. People especially want new experiences that will have a lasting impact on their happiness. Offering products and services that bring something different and exciting will garner more curiosity than something that’s been seen and done before – so be sure to highlight what makes your brand novel and innovative.
Any time we can save money, time, and effort, it reserves more of those precious resources for other things. The word “save” is most powerful when it can be contrasted with something that you point out as wasteful. As a basic example, cleaning the house wastes time you could otherwise spend with your family, so investing in a cleaning service would save you that time. The contrast highlights the better overall outcome of the solution you’re proposing. It also associates you and your brand with being someone who saves – a savior, in essence, and someone your audience can count on.
Writer’s block gets the best of us. Next time you’re putting together a script and it just isn’t coming out how you want it, see if it might be missing one of these persuasive words. If you still need more convincing, next time you’re listening in on a presentation that gets your attention, think about what words they used. There’s no doubt one of those five words in there, probably more and used multiple times. Don’t underestimate the strategic use of these simple words – your audience is listening for them.