When it comes to communication, what you say matters just as much as how you say it. If your content lacks the ability communicate in a way that taps into the emotions of your audience, it will also lack the ability to connect and inspire them. This makes evoking the emotions of your readers one of the most critical aspects
of writing. Here are 5 ways to reach your audience on an emotional level:
Images are almost always appropriate to use in blogs and articles, and can have a surprising amount of impact on your content. For example, featuring an image of smiling men and women can lead your readers to believe your content is positive, even before they begin to read it--putting you ahead of your game.
Color choice is also important when it comes to images. Psychologically speaking, different colors have different effects on the human mind. For example, Las Vegas is full of red neon lights because people tend to make riskier bets around the color red, as opposed to the color blue. If you want your audience to experience positive feelings while reading your content, use images with colors that suggest positivity.
Imagery is all about showing, not telling. Simply describing a person or event as 'happy' does not engage the reader--it is far better to describe the person or event in such a way that the reader can discern the happiness themselves, without you explicitly telling them it exists. For example, consider the difference between the following sentences:
1. John walked home, feeling happy.
2. John raced home, skipping along the sidewalk and greeting every stranger he passed.
In the second sentence, it is easily discernible that John is excited, friendly, and outgoing. It illustrates a vivid picture of who John is, where he is, and what he's like--all without explicitly mentioning these things. Contrastingly, although the first sentence is clear about John's emotional state, it is quite boring to read. Especially if using actual images is inappropriate for your content, imagery is a critical element of achieving emotional depth in writing.
3. Word Connotation
Another important aspect of creating an emotional reaction includes using words with a proper connotation, or undertone. The English language holds a variety of words that mean virtually the same thing, yet their connotations are completely different. Some examples include skinny versus slender, or difficult versus challenging, among many others. Thus, if you were describing a beautiful woman, you may use the word slender as opposed to skinny, as its implication is far more positive.
4. Relatable Stories or Metaphors
As human beings, we tend to see the world as it relates to us personally. Thus, it is essential to recognize who your audience is, and relate your content to them in a way that makes sense (particularly when you are describing a complex or technical subject.)
5. Sensory Elements
The idea of using sensory elements in writing relates somewhat back to imagery. Whenever you are describing an action or event, be sure to constantly ask yourself, "How can I make my audience smell, see, hear, taste, and touch what I am describing?" Then, use imagery and careful word choice to accomplish these things. Never say, for example, that you cut open a lemon, and leave it at that. Instead, describe the lemon's fresh scent, the sound of the knife slicing through the peel, and the sour yet refreshing taste of the fruit. Put your audience in the moment--don't just tell them about it.
By using these five emotion evoking elements, you'll be well on your way to engaging your audience more deeply than ever before.