The Three Pillars of a Persuasive Speech

Pillars of Persuasive Speech

Public speaking in a persuasive manner is one skill that everyone has to master. It can be very useful in many ways. From giving a sales pitch, to giving an influential talk, you’ll definitely see the importance of learning how to do a persuasive speech. Lucky for you, Aristotle found the three essential components of doing a persuasive speech. What are they? Read on further to find out.

Ethos (Ethical Appeal)

In persuasive speeches, it’s important that one’s credibility and reliability is established at the very start. Otherwise, your audience might not listen at all. “Who is this person?”, “why is he in front of us?”, “should I listen to him?” are just few of the many questions that your audience might ask. With ethos, it is important that the audience knows what the speaker is talking about.

There are four characteristics of ethos, namely trust & respect, similarity, authority, and expertise & reputation.

1. Trust and Respect

The audience have to deem you as someone who is trustworthy. Are you honest? What are your principles? Are you compassionate of what you are saying? What are your ethics and values? With these information, the audience can already make a judgment.

2. Similarity

One would most likely be convinced if the person that is speaking is someone they can relate to. It can be with simple characteristics like age, race, career, culture, and many more others.

3. Authority

Authority is very simple. If you are viewed by the audience as someone who is an expert of what you are saying, then it is most likely that they would listen to you. Are you a well-experienced advertising practitioner? Are you a priest at church? Are you the president of an organisation?

4. Expertise and Reputation

It would be nice to back yourself up with a few achievements, or the number of years you have worked in the area. During graduation, there are usually some keynote speakers. In the introduction, there would be a spiel of who the speaker is, what achievements they have achieved, how many years he is in the business, and the like. This builds up your reputation in the process.

Logos (Logical Appeal)

Logos is simply being able to logic your way to justify your argument. It is mostly based on facts. With the information that you give, you appear more knowledgeable. In this pillar, you have to make sure if your messages are rational. Do you have enough evidence to backup your thoughts? Here are three ways to make sure you tick off logos in your persuasive speech.

1. Comprehensive

Make sure that the audience can easily understand your thoughts. If your thoughts are all over the place and the audience cannot understand you, you are not an effective speaker. Try not to use any jargons that only a few would understand.

2. Logical

Does your arguments make sense? During a persuasive speech, people may have opposing ideas against yours. Your role is to make them agree to yours. If your ideas aren’t feasible, then you can bid your audience goodbye.

3. Specific

Have you noticed that some ideas are easier to understand when it is something concrete and specific? When you are able to give data from research, historical happenings, and the like, you are being specific to your claims.

Pathos (Emotional Appeal)

There are some speeches that take advantage of the audience’s emotion in getting a message through. As a speaker, you want the audience to feel what you are feeling towards your topic. Here are three ways you may take in order to emotionally appeal to your audience.

1. Use visual aids

Images and videos are a great technique because it lets your audience feast on something. They can relate easier to something that they see rather than something that they just hear. For example, you may want to use a photo of an injured dog or a video of a natural disaster.

2. Storytell

With this approach, you let the audience imagine on their own what you are narrating. It can create a different kind of impact because it depends on the member of the audience on how they would perceive your story. It creates an emotional response that is triggered by you.

3. Connect on a personal level

Find something that you can level with from your audience. Perhaps, you may talk about family, a pet, or a career goal. When you do, the audience is more likely to pay attention because you appear relatable.

Try to tick off the three pillars of persuasion in your next speech. You’ll be a really effective speaker when you do.

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