They key to persuasion is an even balance of emotion and logic. Highly emotional content can leave readers inspired, but when the emotions fade, there's nothing for them to fall back on. Highly factual content must strain to inspire readers at all, especially those who are strong feelers. In order to reach and inspire both factual and emotional people, it is necessary to have both factual and emotional elements in your writing. To achieve this proper balance, try using these 5 elements:
1. Avoiding Logical Fallacies
Content full of logical fallacies leaves plot holes and inconsistencies throughout itself. To enhance your piece's credibility, familiarize yourself with today's most common logical fallacies, such as the strawman, the red herring, or sweeping generalizations, and ensure your content does not include any of them. Even people who think more with their hearts than their heads will have a feeling something is wrong. While it is perfectly acceptable to write emotionally, content must always be logically grounded.
2. Using evidence
While using emotive language is highly necessary in writing, don't let yourself get carried away. Back up all your points with evidence, and be as specific as possible. Avoid generic phrases such as "studies show..." (unless you're going to reference the specific study). You can also mention the supporting opinions of credible people you're sure the audience is familiar with, especially if they may have an emotional connection to that individual.
3. Using numbers
Another great way to back up your points is by using statistics. Many statistics are highly manipulated, so be careful to ensure their accuracy. Presenting hard numbers to your audience enhances their belief in what you have to say, and the visual that numbers provide is far more emotionally striking than a generalization. (For example, consider the difference between the sentence, "Many people are without access to clean water." and "783 million people are without access to clean water.")
4. Balancing Your Word Choice
Strong words like "incredible" or "devastating" are excellent for evoking emotional responses from readers--however, if you use too many, your audience will become skeptical. It is generally more professional and credible to word your content in such a way that the reader is able to decide for themselves what is "incredible" or "devastating." There is a fine line between stirring up emotion in your audience and attempting to form their opinions for them.
5. Using Analogies
Analogies are the perfect balance between emotion and logic. As human beings, we see the world as it relates to us and what we know--we can hardly describe anything without referencing something similar to it. You can draw an emotional analogy to make a factual point about your topic. Your audience will then begin to feel emotional about that factual topic, because you have related it to something they personally understand.
In essence, ensure that logic always stands as the cornerstone of your content--always backing emotion with hard, thoroughly researched evidence. For more information on how to evoke an emotional response from your readers, please click here.