The twenty-eight second Ethos harakiri

Aristotle told us that there are three types of persuasion:

Ethos: Persuasion through character
Logos: Persuasion through argument
Pathos: Persuasion through emotion

Every speech and presentation needs all three in always different variations.

Of all three persuasion types, Aristotle warned us, Ethos is the most important. How do I perceive you as a human being, as an authority or as a leader? What type of person are you? Do I trust you? Ethos comes first because I will hardly trust your arguments if I don’t trust you.

The first task of every speaker, then, is to ask:
“How does the audience perceive me? Do I need to build my Ethos? Or do I need to correct it?”

Most of all, you don’t want to destroy your Ethos. But some people do. Here is a way to do it in just under thirty seconds.

Just under thirty seconds and we know his leadership style:

I don’t coordinate with the people who work for me.

Nor do I appreciate their work. I am happy to tell you that their stuff is boring.

So, let me ignore their script and ‘present my ideas…to you directly’.

Never mind that I will soon be referring to a script on the lectern after all.


Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash


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