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Long before you step onto stage, you should lay out your persuasive objectives and create a plan to achieve them. The posts in this category help you step through the process.

Establishing trust with the audience

The Greeks called it “ethos” and said that’s it’s the most important element of persuasion. If the audience trusts you, they’re likely to accept your argument — no matter how illogical.  If they don’t trust you, they’re likely to reject your argument — no matter how logical. So how do you establish trust?  Find out in the video.

Five Tips for the Job Interview

Can Greek rhetoric help you in a job interview?  You betcha.  As rhetoric teaches, you first have to build trust with the audience. Then you have to state the logic of your argument. In a job interview, that means you need to clearly state the reasons why the company would benefit from hiring you. Finally, you have to touch on the audience’s emotions. You’ve already stated the benefits to the company. At this point, you can state the benefits to the individual. How can you help him or her if they decide to hire you?

In many ways, a job interview is no different than giving a speech. In either case, you can use Greek rhetoric to structure your communications. But a job interview also has some unique characteristics that you need to be aware of. Here are five tips for doing a better job in a job interview.  Just watch the video and then go get ’em.

Are you ready?

Woody Allen says that eighty percent of success is just showing up. Unfortunately, it’s not true in the world of public speaking.  I’ve seen far too many speakers — even those with a compelling message — defeat themselves because they didn’t prepare properly.  They thought they could just show up, deliver a well-crafted message, and win the day. It rarely works that way.  Audiences can tell when you’re “just showing up” and when you actually care about their wants and needs.  The key to preparing is to start weeks ahead of time and to listen intently to your audience.  Ask them open-ended questions and draw them out.  Get them to open up and then listen closely.  Remember: you must breathe in before you breathe out.  Now watch the video.

Sources of Argumentation – Beating Writer’s Block

What should I say?

What should I say?

While preparing for a public speaking engagement, have you ever had writer’s block? Can’t figure out the logic that’s most likely to move your audience? Or maybe it’s the opposite: there are so many possible arguments that it’s difficult to choose among them?  According to the Greeks there are seven basic sources of argumentation. In order of persuasiveness, they are security, health, utility, the five senses, community, emotion, and authority. Learn more about each in this week’s Persuasive Communication Tip of the Week.

Code Words & Tribal Grooming

You may not have noticed it but, throughout this video series, we’ve been talking mainly about deliberative presentations.  In such a presentation, you present a logical argument and your audience deliberates on it.  You’re recommending a course of action and trying to convince the audience of the wisdom of your logic.  There’s an entirely different animal called the demonstrative presentation — where logic is simply not needed.  In a demonstrative presentation, you’re building group solidarity, a sense of belonging, and esprit de corps.  It’s sometimes called identity politics. Jay Heinrichs calls it “tribal grooming” and logic has nothing to do with it.  Before you develop your presentation, you should decide whether you want to be deliberative or demonstrative. Learn more in this week’s Persuasive Communication Tip of the Week.

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