I’ve always been fascinated by the topic of psychology – how the mind works, how people respond, and what motivates them to do the things they do.
There is an incredible power that words have when put onto paper. Words have the power to cause the reader to feel fear, get excited, cause action, or even shut down.
To effectively engage and cause a reader to respond to your words, you must succeed in emotionally connecting with them. Without emotional connection, there will be no success.
There are many tools you can use to emotionally connect with your reader. One of the most powerful and effective ways to accomplish this is to ask a question.
You see, the human brain is actually required to answer questions. Even if the person being asked the question doesn’t want to answer it, their brain will continue to go through the process of answering it – and it will connect with the answer. This is so powerful.
There was a book I read years ago, whose title and author I don’t remember, that spoke about a man doing marketing research. He came across a homeless man holding a sign that said “Will Work for Food” and asked him if he could pay him $60 to change the message on the sign for one hour… The homeless man agreed and the marketing guy changed the sign to say:
What if you were hungry?
The result was phenomenal … in one hour, people gave him three times as much money as he normally got.. And why?
Let’s take a look at what was written and why it worked so well.
There are two powerful reasons why this phrase was so successful. First, it asked a question that required the reader to ask themselves, “What if I were hungry?” Even if the person reading the sign said to themselves, “I am not going to answer that” – too late! Their brain was processing the question, and it was going to answer it.
Then, the answer hit directly into the heart and emotions of the reader – causing them to emotionally connect to their feelings and thoughts about what it would be like if they were hungry. The most common answer for most people would be … I would hope somebody would give me money to feed me.
This is such a powerful principle. You see, most people have a wall over their heart and the way to penetrate that – and get them to open up to what you’re writing – is to bring that wall down. Only after you bring that wall down can you connect with them on an emotional level.
Does asking a question always work? Absolutely not. You never want to ask a question to which the reader may answer “no” because what will actually happen is that the opposite will take place and their wall will go up. You want to only ask a question you are pretty sure they will say yes to or agree with.
Next time you find yourself wanting to emotionally connect with your readers, or even to your listeners in person, remember the power of emotionally connecting through questions. If you can successfully connect with them, you’ll be on the path to getting what you want.