2300 years ago, Aristotle wrote down the secret to being a persuasive speaker, the secret which forms the basis for nearly every book written on speaking since then.
Do you know the secret?
In this article, you’ll learn what ethos, pathos, and logos are (the secret!), and what every speaker needs to understand about these three pillars of public speaking.
So, what are ethos, pathos, and logos?
In simplest terms, they correspond to:
Ethos: credibility (or character) of the speaker
Pathos: emotional connection to the audience
Logos: logical argument
Together, they are the three persuasive appeals. In other words, these are the three essential qualities that your speech or presentation must have before your audience will accept your message.
Before you can convince an audience to accept anything you say, they have to accept you as credible pharmacieinde.fr.
There are many aspects to building your credibility:
- Does the audience respect you?
- Does the audience believe you are of good character?
- Does the audience believe you are generally trustworthy?
- Does the audience believe you are an authority on this speech topic?
Keep in mind that it isn’t enough for you to know that you are a credible source. (This isn’t about your confidence, experience, or expertise.) Your audience must know this. Ethos is your level of credibility as perceived by your audience.
Pathos is the quality of a persuasive presentation which appeals to the emotions of the audience.
- Do your words evoke feelings of … love? … sympathy? … fear?
- Do your visuals evoke feelings of compassion? … envy?
- Does your characterization of the competition evoke feelings of hate? contempt?
Emotional connection can be created in many ways by a speaker, perhaps most notably by stories. The goal of a story, anecdote, analogy, simile, and metaphor is often to link an aspect of our primary message with a triggered emotional response from the audience.
Logos is synonymous with a logical argument.
- Does your message make sense?
- Is your message based on facts, statistics, and evidence?
- Will your call-to-action lead to the desired outcome that you promise?
Which is most important? Ethos? Pathos? or Logos?
Some suggest that pathos is the most critical of the three. In You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard, Bert Decker says that people buy on emotion (pathos) and justify with fact (logos). True? You decide. Aristotle believed that logos should be the most important of the three persuasive appeals. As a philosopher and a master of logical reasoning, he believed that logos should be the only required persuasive appeal. That is, if you demonstrated logos, you should not need either ethos or pathos.
However, Aristotle stated that logos alone is not sufficient. Not only is it not sufficient on its own, but it is no more important than either of the two other pillars. He argued that all three persuasive appeals are necessary.
Is he right? What do you think?