3 Ways to Create Influence: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

entrpreneur ethos influence kevin kepple leadership logos pathos Jan 12, 2024

Influence is about having an impact on the behaviors, attitudes, choices, and opinions of others.

Influence isn't about power or control; it's about building trust and communicating value.

To influence effectively requires the right balance of ethos, pathos, and logos - the three pillars of persuasion as defined by Aristotle.

Chances are some of the most frustrating times in our lives happened when we couldn't influence others to listen to an idea, sales pitch, direction, or need.

On Shark Tank, Robert Herjavec often shares some great advice with competitors "It's not my responsibility to listen. It's your responsibility to make me hear."

 
 

The Question

 In a highly distracted world, how do we capture attention and get people to listen and take action on our ideas?


The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle was the first to recognize this power of persuasion and how to harness it. He was one of the first philosophers that worked on the art of speaking.

It was his treatise Rhetoric that founded the basic principles of rhetorical theory and spoke openly about the art of persuasion. To this day, most rhetoricians regard it as the most important single work on persuasion ever written.

Aristotle's model of communication is also known as the "rhetorical triangle" or as the "speaker-audience-message" model. It consists of three main elements: the speaker, the audience, and the message

 

The Power of Effective Communication: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos

 

1. The Speaker - Ethos

 Ethos refers to the speaker's credibility and trustworthiness.In other words, why should the audience listen to you? As a speaker, you must establish your authority and expertise on the subject matter. This includes not only the content of your message but also how you deliver it. Your tone, body language, and delivery style can all contribute to how your audience perceives you. Remember, if your audience doesn't trust you, they won't be receptive to your message.

 

2. The Audience - Pathos

 Pathos represents the emotional appeal of your message. This is where understanding your audience comes into play. You need to know their needs, interests, beliefs, and values. By understanding these elements, you can craft a message that resonates with them emotionally. This could mean using stories or anecdotes, appealing to shared values, or simply acknowledging their feelings and experiences. Connecting with your audience on an emotional level makes your message more compelling and memorable.

 

3. The Message - Logos

 Logos is all about the logic and reasoning behind your message. Your arguments need to be well-structured, clear, and persuasive. But remember, it's not enough to just present facts and figures. Your message needs to be relevant and engaging for your audience. This means crafting your message in a way that makes sense to them, using examples they can relate to, and presenting your arguments in a logical and coherent manner.


My friend, effective influence is a delicate balance of ethos, pathos, and logos. It requires a credible speaker, an emotionally engaging message, and sound reasoning. It's not just about what you say, but how you say it and who you are saying it to. By mastering these three elements, you can become a more persuasive and effective communicator. And in the end, isn't that what we all strive for - to be understood, to connect, and to make a difference?

 
 
 
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