Eternal Debate

To avoid criticism say nothing - ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle quote printed on grunge vintage cardboard

Aristotle developed rhetoric 2,500 years ago and instructed speakers to include three things to be influential: Ethos = character, Logos = logic, and Pathos = emotion. Most agree that character (Ethos) must be displayed when speaking, but whether to feature Logos or Pathos has been argued for centuries. Rational types focus on left brain elements of data and facts (Logos), regarding Pathos as a soft skill employed primarily by actors, politicians or motivational speakers. However, today’s forward-thinking leaders understand that to be persuasive, they need to infuse their presentations with Pathos or right brain elements of emotions, shared values, and the whole idea.

We can now examine the interior of the brain to separate myth and opinion from fact. Yoval Harari (author of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) discusses how we make decisions and what little freedom we have to do so. He defines feelings as biochemical mechanisms that mammals use in order to quickly calculate probabilities of survival and reproduction. So, contrary to public opinion, feelings aren’t based on intuition or inspiration-- they’re calculations. These algorithms come from millions of years of evolution and take only milliseconds to compute.

At Eloqui, we implore speakers to access genuine emotion, but only for a specific purpose. Without it, you’ll rarely persuade an audience to your message or point of view. And equally as important, you may very well fail to win a pitch or have donors support your cause. Activating emotion makes the listener feel you are the right partner and their instant computation puts to rest “rational” doubt. You win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *