Ethos Pathos Logos – Communicating Aristotle Style

June 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Communicating Aristotle Style:

1)  Ethos  – Establish the Who and How of  You:  Establish your Character and Credibility with the Audience

Ethos  is a Greek word meaning “character” that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence the listener’s emotions, behaviors, and even morals  The word’s use in rhetoric is closely based on the Greek terminology used by Aristotle in his concept of the three artistic proofs.:

2)  Pathos – Make an Emotional Connection to your Audience;  Make your communication matter to them;  Lead them down the path with a compelling story.

Pathos:  Greek for “suffering” or “experience;” representing an appeal to the audience’s emotions. Pathos is a communication technique used most often in rhetoric (where it is considered one of the three modes of persuasion, alongside ethos and logos).

Aristotle focused on whom, toward whom, and why stating that “It is not enough to know one or even two of these points; unless we know all three, we shall be unable to arouse anger in anyone. The same is true of the other emotions.”

Emotional appeal can be accomplished in a multitude of ways:

  • by a metaphor or story telling, common as a hook,
  • by passion in the delivery of the speech or writing, as determined by the audience.
  • Language choices matter. Specific words matter.  Great writers and storytellers are born from tremendous pathos.

3)  Logos – Logic;  Make fact based connections explicit from your analysis to conclusions.  Persuading by use of reasoning.  This was Aristotle’s favorite.

Effectively Communicating was figured out over 2000 years ago……a simple 3 step approach.

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