Persuasion Is More About Emotion Than Content

When I was younger I liked to write and blog about controversial topics–politics, philosophy, religion.

As you might imagine, I would naturally get into a lot of debates and arguments with other bloggers who had opposing views.

I always thought if I could just get my argument right, if I could just bring enough evidence and clear articulation to the table, the other person would see the light.

Focus on the facts of the case, and the other side will see the error of their ways.

And yet, time after time, my strategy failed.

Not only was I rarely convincing anyone, but the dialogues often went off on tangents and random topics barely related to the original issue.

Now we had even more stuff to disagree about.

Sound familiar?

I was making a classic mistake: I was focusing too much on information and hard data without addressing the root emotional causes of the other person’s beliefs.

Too much information with no emotion leads to disaster in any dialogue.

This is one of the most common challenges I have observed with speakers. People who are uninspired, boring or rambling when they speak are usually focused too much on informational communication.

They fail to persuade or inspire others because they don’t speak to their feelings, hopes, dreams and fears.

Information, facts, figures, and data are important and valuable. There is a time and a place for them.

But when it comes to moving people to action–whether in business, romance, politics, or any other sphere–emotions and feelings are so much more critical.

For someone like me, very analytical, technical and detail-oriented by nature, this was a hard thing to realize.

But once I understood the power of the “softer” stuff, it totally transformed my conversations and my impact on audiences.

If you find that people tend to be bored when you talk, that groups are looking down at their phones more often than they are looking at you, that customers or clients seem detached and disengaged from your presentation, too much information may be the problem.

Try injecting some more passion and enthusiasm into your conversations. Get vulnerable with your audiences, and watch them suddenly have a much greater appreciation for your message.

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