You sit down at your desk and start typing on your computer. You know you’re supposed to write in a conversational way about a particular topic, but you’re not sure what words to use.
You want your copy to resonate with your reader, to stir their emotions. That’s how you earn their attention and establish a connection with them. Those are the things that keep a reader engaged.
But what’s the exact emotion you’re appealing to?
When you feel stuck about your emotional word choices, the lists I share below will help you organize your thoughts, so you can write to the exact emotion that will connect your copy to your reader. When you do that, you’ll put words to paper in a way that is most readable, relatable, and enjoyable for your audience.
Before we get to the list, let’s reflect on why conversational writing matters… and why, by its very nature, it’s emotional.
When you write in a conversational way, your words flow like they would when you sit down to talk to someone — you know, a friend or a colleague at a coffee shop. The style is free and relaxed, as opposed to rigid. And you don’t hold back expressing your feelings about whatever topics come up.
The Benefits of Writing Conversationally
When you write like you talk, you help your audience:
- Understand your meaning. They can follow along with you easily, and that keeps the communication smooth and moving forward.
- Take an interest in what you’re saying. When that happens, they tend to stay with you to the end.
- Relate to you as one person to another. They feel like you understand their situation and care about their outcome.
But here’s the thing…
Merely writing in a conversational way isn’t enough to accomplish all this. You need to strengthen your writing with emotion.
The Benefits of Including Emotion in Your Conversational Copy
Why is adding an emotional tone to your copy important? Well, you can present facts and logical information in an understandable, organized way. However, if you want your audience to experience the benefits of taking a vacation to Siargao Island in the Philippines, for example, you need to “take” your readers there.
Not only will they read the descriptions and visualize the place, but it should feel like they’re also living out the experience in person.
Specific feelings-based words strengthen your copy and better enable you to make that emotional connection.
As in the above example referring to Siargao Island, you connect with your reader in a deeper way when you describe things conversationally and emotionally. You could talk about the cost of the trip and the available excursions — facts and features. Or you could say something more like, “At the end of the day, when you slip into your private hot tub overlooking the pristine sands and turquoise waters… you’ll notice a strange feeling come over you. Don’t worry. It’s called relaxation, and you’re going to love it.” That emotional tie to painting relaxation as unfamiliar makes the copy relatable. You’re showing your reader you know what they’re seeking and you’re going to help them get what they want.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the words you can weave into your copy to heighten your emotional connection with your reader.
We’ll explore five emotional categories:
The Power of Content Filled With Emotion
Remember, appealing to your reader’s emotions will strengthen your writing.
Often when you’re writing content, your goal is to present a solution to a problem or a path to a desirable outcome. You write copy to persuade your reader that there’s a way to enjoy a better life than the one they’re currently living. In those cases, pay special attention to conveying happiness and ambition in your writing.
Don’t overlook the negative or distressful emotions, though. Words that relate to human struggles “speak” to the reader… they show you understand what they’re going through.
Of course, the emotions you appeal to will depend on the topic and industry, but the lists below will give you 50 emotion-based words you can draw from no matter what specific subject you cover. I’ve created these lists to focus on words that may not be the first that come to mind, but are easily understood by a broad audience.
Conversational Words Related to Happiness
When you’re describing the benefits of a product or service, you’ll want to use words related to happiness, because you aim to please the customer, right?
If you want to encourage someone to visit a remote tropical island, use words that help your reader picture themselves enjoying their time in that location.
If you’re writing to persuade someone to join you at your favorite restaurant, include words that describe how happy and satisfied that person will feel after the meal.
Weave in “happiness” words like…
- Fulfill or fulfilling
So, instead of saying, “You’ll have a nice time”… how about, “You’ll delight in the vibrant atmosphere and relish the tasty dishes on the menu.”
Rather than writing, “It’ll be a good experience for you”… describe how “magical” and “thrilling” the retreat is and how fulfilled they’ll feel afterward.
Conversational Words Related to Surprise
Many people like the element of surprise in movies, stories, and other forms of entertainment. News headlines often include shocking information. Words related to surprise capture peoples’ attention. They stir their curiosity, and curiosity is a powerful emotion… one you want to tap into when writing content.
To build curiosity and surprise your readers, use words like…
Instead of the headline, “7 Discoveries Made at the Archaeological Dig”… doesn’t this sound more captivating?… “7 Stunning Discoveries That Even Surprised the Archaeologists Leading This Dig.”
You might describe results as being “successful.” However, adding the word phenomenal in your sentence and description will likely increase the reader’s level of curiosity.
Conversational Words Related to Ambition
Often in persuasive copy, your goal is to help people get to the point of reaching their goals. Something isn’t right in the person’s life. They’re looking for a solution to a problem. Maybe they want their financial situation to improve. Or they want to fix a broken relationship.
The following words can help you add an ambitious tone to your copy…
It’s encouraging for the reader to know they “will see results.” However, you can cement the idea in their mind and give it more weight by saying they “will see monumental, positive changes.”
Another example might have to do with improving your writing. AWAI will help you improve your writing career. But an impactful description would be, “With a variety of tools in the toolbox, AWAI helps you build a skill set that will transform your writing career.”
Conversational Words Related to Distress (Sadness, Stress, Anxiety, Fear, Anger…)
Persuasive writing often uses words related to ambition and happiness, because such language paints a before-and-after picture that helps your reader decide to take action. Initially, though, you might include words that grab their attention and empathizes with what they’re going through. Such words speak to the pain points in their lives. You might use words like…
You can start your copy by saying, “Hey, I’ve got this great product that can help you!” But your reader will respond better to empathy — that is putting yourself in their shoes — as in this statement: “When you have a slow internet connection, it can feel like you’re falling further and further behind. And that can leave you feeling apprehensive and unsettled.” Then, you go on to describe the solution after you’ve acknowledged how the problem is affecting them.
Instead of starting out with, “I have the perfect solution to your mountain of debt,” try opening with something like, “So you’re distressed by how much your debt has mounted over the years. You get agitated every time you open one of the endless stream of bills.” Then continue with a revelation of what will help that person break the cycle.
Conversational Words About Curiosity
We already talked about the connection between curiosity and surprise. But you can also use curiosity to create the desire for more information in your reader. Try out the following words as a starting point…
In your leads, you can add elements of curiosity by the words you choose. Compare an article with an opening that reads like this: “I’d like to share a story about a recent trip I took”… to one that begins like this: “I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but after trying it once, I was hooked.” Which one evokes more curiosity?
People like to hear and read stories, including ones that strike them as odd. You could tell a story in chronological order, or better — take your reader into one part of the story first: “Driving through the boondocks as darkness was falling, I could barely see the road in front of me. Then, something uncanny happened. Strange lights appeared in the distance changing color and zigzagging around. I couldn’t look away.”
Obviously, these lists aren’t exhaustive, but they’ll give you a starting point to create a richer emotional appeal in your work. And that will make your writing more conversational and effective.
What about you? Do you have any favorite emotional words or lists? Share them in the comments if you do.