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The Greeks invented the science of persuasion – they called it rhetoric. The posts in this category give a brief overview.

Evoking Emotions

After you use your communication skills to establish that you’re trustworthy and deliver the logic of your argument, it’s time to touch on the emotions of your audience.  You can do this by the way you behave — your enthusiasm and tone of voice can convey your emotions.  You should also touch on the audience’s emotions by answering a simple question: why is this good for you?  Learn more in the video.

Delivering the Logic

After you’ve established your credibility and built a foundation of trust during your speaking presentation, it’s time to move on to the logic of your argument. If you share a core belief with your audience (known as a commonplace or a shared belief), you can start with it and proceed from the general belief to the specific conclusion. This is deductive logic and most logicians consider it the most powerful argumentative form. If you don’t have a shared belief with the audience, however, you’ll need to start with specific cases and proceed to a general conclusion. This is inductive logic. With deductive logic, you start with a shared belief. With inductive logic, you end with a shared belief.  Learn more in the video.

Building Credibility & Trust

Trust MeYour first task in delivering a persuasive presentation is to establish your credibility and show the audience that they can trust you. The Greeks called it “ethos” — it has to do with your character and your degree of fit with the audience. The audience will ask several questions of you.  Does she respect us?  Does she use our time wisely? Does she know what she’s talking about?  Is she an egghead or does she have the practical wisdom to recommend a practical course of action?  Does she share our values? These are all subliminal questions but your actions during the first five minutes of a speaking presentation will answer most of them.  Find out more in the video.

The Perfect Structure

The Greeks loved things that came in threes.  That’s certainly true with the “perfect structure” they designed for the persuasive presentation.  You start with “ethos” — using your character and the art of decorum to establish credibility and a foundation of trust.  Then you progress to “logos”, stating the logic of your argument.  You conclude by touching on the audience’s emotions, what the Greeks called “pathos”.  Ethos, logos, pathos — watch the video to see how it all fits together.

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