You know you’re supposed to make your fundraising copy and images emotional, right? But chances are you’re using your intellectual brain to decide what is or isn’t emotional. That’s like using a thermometer to light up a dark room. It doesn’t work.

The good news is you already have a surefire tool to measure the emotional oomph of a story or picture and it’s with you right this second.

It’s your body.

This isn’t new age hocus pocus, it’s neuroscience. Your body reacts to many stimuli before your brain registers it. When you let your brain go quiet, your body becomes an exquisitely sensitive device for measuring emotional voltage. I have one client who cries. That’s the equivalent of an air raid siren. If she cries, the content passes muster. But if you tune into yourself, you can pick up cues of your own. Maybe it’s a shiver of energy, or a warmth spreading on your face, or pressure in your gut. Once you know your own ’emotional tells’ you can use them to assess your content far more accurately than your analytical brain can.

How do you find your tell? Watch a movie that makes you cry. What comes before the tears? If you’re an animal person watch Youtube videos. Take note of how your body registers that ‘awwwww’ reaction. Or go watch Fox News. What’s your body’s tell for rage?

Once you’ve tuned your body’s emotionometer you will have a remarkable and dependable tool for life.