Humans were fascinated by the power of persuasion as early as the mid-300s BC.
As a result of this, Aristotle devised the “Rhetorical Triangle.”
A framework for persuading any audience using three straightforward appeals:
•Ethos •Pathos •Logos
Ethos (Ethics / Personality)
Ethos, the first of the three appeals, refers to the speaker’s perceived personality.
Anyone can be persuaded to do anything if they believe you are a credible and trustworthy source.
How do you go about doing this?
Establishing Ethos: (1)
•Language: Use language that is appropriate for the subject matter and audience you are attempting to persuade.
•Pedigree: Do you have any credentials or education related to the topic being discussed? Make it known if this is the case.
Ethos Establishment: (2)
•Rapport: Your audience must feel as if you are “on the same wavelength.”
You understand and can relate to their thoughts or feelings.
•Select the appropriate language •Communicate pedigree
Trust develops as a byproduct.
Ethos Establishment: (3)
Why not learn from the best if you want to learn how to do something?
Steve Jobs delivered a masterclass on establishing Ethos in his famous Stanford Commencement speech.
Pathos, the second of the three appeals, is based on the need to elicit emotion from your audience.
You must make them “feel.”
What matters is that the emotion exists, whether it is happiness, anger, or something else.
Establishing Pathos (1)
Pathos can be established in a variety of ways, including:
•Humor: A tried-and-true strategy for increasing engagement and winning people over.
•Imagery: Using images to elicit emotion from your audience is a simple way to do so.
Establishing Pathos (2)
•Narrative: Everyone enjoys hearing a good story.
Wrap your message in a compelling story, and people will be on your side before they even realize it.
Establishing Pathos (3)
JFK, one of the greatest orators in history, used Pathos to rally millions of people.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will inevitably lead to violent revolution.”
“Forgive your enemies, but remember their names.”
Logos, the final of the three appeals, refers to the idea of constructing a logical argument in support of your position.
To persuade a group of people to agree with you, you must present verifiable evidence to back up your claims.
Here’s how it works:
Establishing Logos (1)
•Facts and statistics: Cite data from authorities or well-known experts to support your argument.
•Rule out alternatives: State your claim in such a way that your audience is convinced that your point of view is not just “an option,” but “THE option.”
Establishing Logos (2)
•Aristotle’s Goal: Guide the conversation in such a way that the audience believes they have reached their conclusion.
What’s the catch? You’ve already established Ethos, Pathos, and Logos to ensure they reach the desired conclusion.
Establishing Logos (3)
The most common example of Logos we see today is in our politicians’ speeches.
Statistical evidence is frequently used to support their position, or alternative statistics are used to denigrate their opponents’ viewpoints.
Logos works in either case.
Focus on the three Rhetorical Appeals to influence your audience and change someone’s mind:
•Ethos (Ethics) – Convey Credibility
•Pathos (Emotion) – Elicit Emotion
•Logos (Logic) – Make use of facts and statistics