The 3 Pillars I Learnt about Public Speaking & Persuasion
Ethos, Pathos & Logos
Persuasion is at the heart of public speaking. To convince or to sway an audience’s thought processes, for them to buy into what you do but more importantly to what you say.
Ethos, pathos and logos are methods of persuasion which are used to influence and shift the perception of an audience. You need these qualities when delivering a speech for your audience to accept your what you are saying and your core message.
Ethos: Is your credibility and character
Pathos: Is about your emotional bond with your audience who are the ‘listeners’
Logos: is the logical and rational side of your argument
So, lets look at this slightly more deeply and when each 3 pillars are important when it comes to public speaking:
Ethos is about convincing your audience that you have good character and you are credible as a person of influence; therefore, your words can be trusted. It is crucial you establish Ethos from the start of your talk or the audience might not accept what you say.
Here are the 4 characteristics of Ethos I learnt, a number of years ago. Each are values which you must have before you even speak in order to be considered a person of high ethos and a person of influence.
- Trustworthiness and respect
- Similarity to the audience
- Expertise in knowledge and experience
My advice is for you to become an expert or a person of influence in the topics you present in order to develop your level of Ethos. People are more likely to want to listen to someone who has researched a topic for 5 years rather than a single year.
Promote yourself well, so people know what you stand for and represent in terms of your expertise; for example, ensure that people can easily access your work, testimonials or reviews about your work.
Pathos is about connecting and appealing to the audience’s emotions. As you are the speaker, you want the audience to reflect the same emotions you have about the experience or message in which you are delivering. You want to emotionally connect with them and influence them.
Did you know that emotions are great motivators, which means that you are more likely to connect and persuade your audience, even to act upon your requests by using pathos. Pathos enables your audience to:
- Understand your message from your point of view
- Accept the arguments you put forward
- Act upon your requests
To improve your level of Ethos, I encourage you to choose emotional points and topics, that people would find relatable and word them in a way that points to a course of action such as: “Fight your seizures and stage freight in 3 simple ways.’ – Those who fear public speaking and might be epileptic will be more tuned in. And yes, if you are wondering, I was scared of speaking publicly when I was young and diagnosed with epilepsy aged 11. Yet, I’ve traveled the world to deliver almost 1,000 talks.
Storytelling is a quick way to form a personal and an emotional connection. It’s often used to link a part of a key message with an emotional response.
Also, match what you’re saying with your body language, face and eyes. People often mirror emotions so by matching your body language with your words which increases the chances of triggering the desired emotions.
Logos is the logical appeal. It relies on the audience’s intelligence and with the offering of evidence in support of your key argument or message.
The 3 things I learnt about Logos is that:
- It must be comprehensive: This means that your message and arguments have to be understood
- It must be logical: What you share and say, must make sense. Even in a heated debate, you must ensure that you have a plan for dealing with opposing points of view that your listeners may already be convinced about.
- It must be specific: Use facts and examples, as this will mean you your message is accepted quicker. The more easily the evidence is accepted, the more easily the conclusions will also be accepted.
Learn to develop and implement these 3 pillars of public speaking and persuasion and you will be hitting new heights as a speaker, as you continue to become person of influence, authority and in demand.
So, if you are serious about transforming your public speaking skills, register your interest in my upcoming public speaking course and let me take you on a 6-week learning journey, where I will guide you each and every step of the way to ensure deliver nothing less than a showstopping presentation.