Its explicit “Money” is hard to miss — it’s probably the ultimate greed word and it’s sitting there in capital letters.
But a title like “Total Money Makeover” also implies another greed word (even though it doesn’t directly state it): money-saving. Of course, building that kind of trust starts with having a quality brand and reputation, but the words you use to describe yourself and your product or service also matter.
Specifically: Power words are persuasive, emotional words that trigger a positive or negative response. Each underlined word makes the audience feel something.
They can make us feel scared, encouraged, aroused, angry, greedy, safe, or curious. Under attack from Germany, Britain was fighting for its survival, and somehow, someway, Churchill had to find a way to inspire his countrymen to greatness. In this case, Churchill intermixes words that cause fear, such as “struggle,” “tyranny,” and “terror,” with words that cause hope, such as “strength,” “God,” and “victory.” The last, in particular, is repeated over and over, practically drilling the emotion into the minds of the audience. Smart speakers, as well as their speechwriters, sprinkle their speeches with carefully-chosen power words drenched in sensory details, drawing the audience from one emotion to another as skillfully as any novelist or screenwriter. Emails, resumes, blog posts, sales copy, and proposals are all designed to influence the reader in some way.
Not for the fun of it, mind you, but because someone is doing something wrong, and the community needs to take action to correct it.
The problem is, with wrongdoing, most people are pretty apathetic — they’ll wait until the situation becomes entirely intolerable to do anything, and by then, it’s often too late. The authors of this Forbes headline don’t pull any punches: I didn’t realize some people get angry over business jargon, but apparently it’s a thing.
Want to bring your ideas to life, to make them take up residence in the mind of the reader, lurking in the background, tugging, pulling, and cajoling their emotions until they think and feel exactly as you want?
Then you need to infuse your content with power words. Just for a moment, stop reading this post, turn on the television, and go to a major news channel.
Watch it for five minutes, listening for the words below. Here’s why: Fear is without a doubt the most powerful emotion for grabbing and keeping an audience’s attention.
To make sure you don’t change the channel, news networks load up with fear words, making you worry you might miss something important. One moment, I was on a webinar talking to a few hundred people about traffic, walking them through exactly how to start a blog and make it popular. When they’re reading, most people aren’t exactly bouncing off the walls with energy and enthusiasm.