Putting It Together: Persuasive Speaking

Persuasive speaking has had a pretty consistent playbook since ancient times. The Greek philosopher Aristotle¬†identified three artistic “proofs”:

  • Ethos: Appeal to the speaker‚Äôs character.
  • Pathos: Appeal to emotions.
  • Logos: Appeal to logic and reason.

Schooled in psychology, modern persuasive speakers also try to consider psychological needs and desires in their arguments, asking how a particular policy, fact, or value can fulfill the underlying needs of the listener.

Like any speech, persuasive speeches need to be structured, and the speaker needs to support their claims with evidence.