In a Yale study, “You” ranked as the number one, most influential power word in English. Think about it: before making any purchase or decision, you first consider how it will impact your life. Most marketers try to do this for you, framing their product in terms of your needs, your desires, and your emotions. “You” shows empathy, which is necessary to convince someone that what you want and what they want are mutually beneficial. In fact, the only way to boost the power of “you” is to replace it with your audience’s actual name. You know it’s true, Dave. (That definitely just freaked out a few of you.) Make sure you never, ever use these words and phrases if you want to sounds smart.
Logical thinkers (and, children) seek a cause-and-effect relationship between everything that happens; our minds crave order and answers. Using the word “because” satisfies this craving, and can also create empathy. Consider a classic experiment in which a woman tried to cut in line at the library photocopier. When she asked, “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” 60 percent of people let her go in front. But when she asked, “I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I am in a rush?” 94 percent of people said yes. Often a stated reason, however flimsy, is all it takes.