Thursday, 19 May 2011

Persuasive Speaking Part 1 - Aristotle's Rhetoric

The Greek Philosopher Aristotle defined rhetoric as “the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion”. Aristotle’s Rhetoric was a very influential work in the development of the art and now, millennia after it was written, it is still regarded as an important work in the academic study of rhetoric.

Aristotle identified three types of persuasion that a speaker can use:-
  • Ethos: Persuasion based on the moral character of the speaker,
  • Logos: Persuasion based on logical argument,
  • Pathos: Persuasion based on emotional appeal.
By far the most powerful persuader is pathos. If you want to win people over trying to appeal to reason can be difficult as can relying on your reputation – would I lie to you? Emotion will trump these almost every time.