PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, spoke of a type of persuasion he called ethos.  This persuasion is based on the character of a speaker and, specifically, how this character is communicated by what the person says.

Anyone attempting to persuade an audience needs to be concerned about ethos.  Are they communicating good character?  Aristotle speculated that “personal goodness revealed” could potentially be the “the most effective means of persuasion” a speaker possesses.  This is because we believe “good” people “more fully and more readily than others.”

One way to weaken ethos and become less persuasive is to be evasive when asked a question.   I just watched a press conference where the evasiveness was so pronounced I can’t imagine   anyone being persuaded by the person behind the microphone.  Someone may argue that this person was being politically or legally smart.  Maybe so; but he did not communicate “good” character and failed, I’m sure, to persuade anyone of anything.

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