Orangeville, ON (My Corner Office) What’s the value of capturing excitement in customer testimonials? Often this is an ineffective exercise. The people interviewed rarely say why the event was awesome, only that that’s how they felt.

Many people hold a misconception about how emotion persuades. For the most part, it’s not contagious on its own. You can’t count on delight to spread from someone to others. Enthusiasm is not like a forest fire that jumps the gap from one dry treetop to another.

To persuade, excitement has to be informative as well as emotional. Suppose I tell you in a voice overflowing with admiration that my favorite restaurant is fabulous. How can you know whether you’d love it too?

Now I tell you instead – equally enchanted – that it’s quiet and romantic. I also describe the menu, with traditional Italian favorites and a mouthwatering dessert tray. Then you either let my enthusiasm influence you or you reject it, because you prefer innovative menus and a lively, upbeat atmosphere.

Excitement by itself isn’t very compelling.