The Persuasive Power of Words Colin Neville. Rhetoric The persuasive power of words was discussed by Aristotle around 350 BC. He presented an analysis.
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Rhetoric The persuasive power of words was discussed by Aristotle around 350 BC. He presented an analysis of rhetorical strategies, which included three elements: logos, pathos and ethos:
Logos Logos are appeals to reason and an attempt to persuade the audience (or reader) through sound reasoning. This will be done by the presentation of reliable evidence, usually in the form of facts, definitions, statistics and other data that appeals to the logic and intelligence of the audience.
Pathos Pathos is concerned with an appeal to the emotions of the reader or audience. The speaker or writer will attempt to induce a particular state of mind in the audience (or reader), which can include anger, understanding, sympathy, tolerance; it will tap into the sentiment or feelings of the audience or readership.
Ethos Ethos is the appeal of the speaker or writer to the audience or readership, in terms of his or her credibility and experience. The writer or speaker will present, directly or indirectly, a profile that sets a stamp of authority on the words used to persuade.
Aristotle Updated Aristotle’s ideas are still relevant today, and are applicable to both spoken and written forms of communication
Logical Appeals Logical appeal is the strategic use of logic, claims and evidence to convince a reader or listener of the points made. Logical appeals, both in spoken or written forms, can occur when: The writer or speaker presents clear descriptions and a definite point of view or position There is a good structure and organisation to the talk or writing: (sequential and logical; easy to follow) Evidence is presented to support arguments (and referenced, if in academic writing) Opponents arguments are acknowledged and considered
Emotional Appeals Emotional appeals are about connecting with the emotions and humanity of the listener or reader. Written work can be persuasive: If the writing looks good; it looks readable; when it invites you to read it When the language is personal; it addresses the reader directly and their particular needs When the writing is fresh and not leaden by cliché, pomposity or jargon When the writing sounds natural (formal or informal speech) Spoken presentations can be effective when: The speaker appears open, approachable, humane, polite and ‘human’ The senses of the audience are engaged through sound, vision, touch, or words are used that have an appeal to the senses Direct, clear and simple language is used to communicate with the audience The speaker gains and keeps eye contact with audience The speaker look relaxed
Credibility Ethical appeal is necessary to establish the credibility of the writer or presenter, as someone who should be taken seriously. credibility and written work : When there are no spelling or grammatical errors in the work The writer engages in an adult-to-adult communication with the reader: not condescending, patronising or aloof, but in direct touch with the readers credibility and spoken presentations: When the speaker is there on time, prepared and well-organised When the speaker is dressed appropriately for the occasion When the speaker establishes his or her authority or credentials with the audience, e.g. states their position and experience, or this is obvious to the audience When the talk is pitched presentation at the right level, and does not patronise, speak down to, or intimidates the audience
Logical elements in the ‘data’ presented Emotional: in the style of language: speaking directly to you Credibility: the women are not models and are named