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March 2015

What’s more persuasive: head or heart?

Write for Results

Comic Relief

Last Friday saw the UK charity Comic Relief raise an impressive £78 million for individuals in need in the UK and Africa. As I sat, with my family, watching the programme without donating, I felt un-moved. That is until a story came on describing how a 72-year old Grandmother and her granddaughter search for food every day in a mountain of rubbish. The young girl was stalked by men trying to abuse her as she and her frail Grandmother rummaged through the waste for scraps of food. As I watched and listened to the TV, I felt outraged that anyone should have to live like this and it ‘moved’ me.

The language here is key; I was ‘moved’ to donate. ‘Move’ is a multi-layered word meaning ‘motivated to act’ and ‘affected emotionally’. This story is living proof that logic provokes people to think but emotions make them act.

Therefore, when writing, if you don’t affect your reader emotionally, they are less likely to do what you would like them to do.

One technique in my 21-technique toolkit is ‘Establish your objective’ using the acronym K.F.C. What you want your reader to Know, Feel and Commit to doing.

Knowledge is all about wanting to inform your reader, Feeling is about the emotions you want to arouse in them in order for them to take action and Commit to something as a result of reading your words.

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