The Power of the Written WordThe written word is one of the most persuasive tools ever invented by humankind. Sure we’ve been to the moon, our future arch enemies are exploring Mars, and we appear to be finding cures for diseases almost as quickly as new ones appear.
There’s something magical about the written word (even in a blog form). See when something is written, even written by an obvious crackpot (uh, wait where is this argument going) … it has the aura of credibility.
Obviously if the idea is way out there, the number of people who will buy into the idea will be small, but there will be some people. And it only takes some people to start a revolution (if you’re into that sort of thing) or become fanatical about your product or idea. And that persuasion happens because of the power of the written word.
But there’s an even more powerful thing that happens when someone reads the words you write. It’s the voices in our head …
Brain scans are revealing what happens in our heads when we read a detailed description, an evocative metaphor or an emotional exchange between characters. Stories, this research is showing, stimulate the brain and even change how we act in life… The brain, it seems, does not make much of a distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case, the same neurological regions are stimulated.
Increasingly we are learning that stories and the written word impact our thoughts and emotions in ways we’ve always known, but now are being confirmed by science.
What Does This Mean For You?
In getting someone to work with you, buy your product, or even spread your idea, your credibility is being checked within the first second. But even more deeply is the connection someone has with you.
If you think of your favorite book you’ve read, by the end you feel like you know the character. In many ways they are real (meaning you know they are out there somewhere). Even though in the back of your mind you know they aren’t, they are fiction, but the story was so powerful (and as we are finding) the connections in your mind make it so you functionally can’t tell the difference.
That’s why it’s important to master the written word. That’s why content marketing is an effective strategy when it has heart and a voice.
Image by Chiara Marra
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