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The Three Tenets Of Persuasion

Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. – Aristotle.

You can find these principles on books like Talk Like Ted by Carmine Gallo and they can be used to explain the character development in modern fiction like Game of Thrones.

They are:

  • Ethos: character or reputation of the speaker.
  • Pathos: emotional influence on the audience.
  • Logos: content and logic argument.

Masterfully leveraging those three, you can persuade any audience.

By Luca Sartoni

Team Lead at Automattic, WordPress contributor, co-organiser at WordCamp Europe, blogger, photographer, geek, nerd.

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