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The Art of Public Speaking

Supposedly more people fear public speaking than death itself. Whether or not that’s true, at one point or another you will probably need to speak publicly (best man speech, presentations, trainings, etc). With that, you should be aware of the 3 main parts of public speaking. When communicating, in order to justify and convince your audience that your point and ideas are valid, it is important to use persuasion. A bright man by the name of Aristotle broke this into 3 parts or appeals: ethos, pathos and logos.

Here’s a mini breakdown of each:

Ethos (credibility) is the appeal that lends the speaker to convince the audience he/she is qualified to speak on the topic.

You must prove yourself to be credible. Does the audience trust you? Do they respect your character? Do they think you have the power/authority to speak on this topic?

Pathos (emotional) is the appeal that strikes the audience’s emotional side.

You must have passion behind your delivery. Do your works evoke the proper emotions? Does your non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body language) exude compassion?  Are people feelings being affected with what you’re communicating?

Logos (logical) is the logical aspect of persuasion, which uses facts and statistics to support the speaker’s topic and ideas.

You must construct a logical argument.  Is your message valid? Do you back up what you’re saying with facts and evidence?

This is just a high overview of Aristole’s theory, but by being more conscious of incorporating these aspects when developing and delivering a speech, you are sure to find a lot more success!

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld