How (Power) Words Really Can Change Your World
How to enhance your impact with powerful copy
Do you ever find that some words jump out at you. If you’re ever reading a paper, or a new website, there will be words that just demand your attention. These words will be used time and time again.
Often, these words have been used because they are scientifically proven to prompt emotional connections.
Maya Angelou was quoted as saying ‘people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’.
Whether these are the words of Angelou or, as rumoured, actually belong to Carl W.
Buehner, a high-level official in the Mormon church in the mid-1900s, they make a very important point. By using words that trigger an emotional response, you make your headlines more clickable and your content more memorable.
A 2009 neuroscience experiment entitled ‘Do Words Hurt?’ found that painful or negative words increase implicit processing within the subgenal cingulate cortex… Might sound impressive but what does this mean? It means that negative words trigger your body to release stress and anxiety inducing hormones.
In the book ‘Words Can Change Your Brain’, neuroscientist, Dr Andrew Newberg, and Mark Robert Waldman, a communications expert, state that “By holding a positive and optimistic [word] in your mind, you stimulate frontal lobe activity,” They explain how the frontal lobe includes specific language centres that connect to the motor cortex which moves you into action. They also say that the more you focus on positive words, the more these words affect other areas of the brain.
The power of visualisation
This could explain why so many athletes and ‘mind coaches’ swear by the process of visualising success. Muhammad Ali, Jim Carrey and Michael Jordan have all spoken about having envisioned big moments before actually living them.
Whether you’re wanting your reader to think differently, or you need them to hit that button, the right Power words can help get that action. The right words can trigger the release of anxiety and stress hormones such as cortisol, or deliver a shot of oxytocin to make the reader feel good.
Carefully choosing words can help your business make the emotional connection with visitors to your website that you need to start growing your sales.
Power words to use in your writing:
- Hot Special
- How to
If you want to make your reader feel anxious, there’s a whole new set of power words you can tap into. These include:
- Running Out
- Last Chance
- Never again
The principle of scarcity
The principle of scarcity says that you can boost appeal of a scarce resource. It’s often seen on travel booking websites where hotels proudly proclaim ‘only one room remaining’. However, these words come with a word of warning. Only use the principle of scarcity, if it genuinely applies to your product of service. Here’s a list of words and phrases you can tap into to boost your the scarcity appeal.
- Members Only
- Ask for an Invitation
- Be one of the few
- Become an insider
- Be the first to hear about…
- Only available to subscribers/existing customers
- Class full
- Login required