Lessons From Aristotle On How To Create A Persuasive Speech

by drjim on July 8, 2014

What Aristotle said 2,000 years ago is still true today

What Aristotle said 2,000 years ago is still true today
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Almost every speech that we give has one goal in mind: trying to convince our audience about something. In order to accomplish that, we’ve got to find ways to work persuasion into our next speech. It turns out that exactly how to do this was laid out for us some 2,000 years ago by Aristotle. Now all we have to do is go back and listen to what he is trying to tell us to do.

Use Logic

At the heart of any speech that is designed to persuade an audience has to be logic. This is a key part of the importance of public speaking. In order to make this happen, you are going to have to incorporate fact-based thinking into what you are saying. In order to prove to your audience that you are using facts, a good thing to do is to cite creditable sources for the facts that you are sharing with them.

Learn To Connect With The Heart

As much as I’d like to be able to tell you that you’ll be able to sway an audience based on facts, the reality is that we are all emotional creatures. By connecting with your audience on an emotional level, you’ll be able to get them to both accept what you are saying and then be motivated to act on it Keep in mind that you can use your speech to gain empathy for the problem that you are trying to solve as well as to generate anger towards whatever caused the problem.

Use Your Authority

In order for you audience to be willing to stand up and take action based on what you’ve told them, they are going to have to see you as an authority figure. In order to make this happen, you have three different ways to accomplish this. The first is to use external sources for your facts and stories that you work into your speech. Next, use your own history to convince your audience that you know what you are talking about. Finally, show some passion. The more your audience believes that you care about something, them more they’ll be willing to support you.

What All Of This Means For You

More than 2,000 years ago Aristotle laid out the basic rules for creating a persuasive speech in his book Rhetoric. He said that we needed to include three key items in our speech in order to be successful: logic, emotional appeal, and credibility.

When you are delivering your speech, make use of facts in order to deliver all of the benefits of public speaking. Use clear reasoning to make your points. Make your next speech one that will be remembered by including an emotional appeal. Finally, use your authority by using external sources, relying on your own history, and by simply showing passion.

In the end, our goal is to change the way that our audience thinks. Aristotle got it right a long time ago – this is not that hard to do. Use his suggestions the next time that you need to create a persuasive speech and discover just how powerful his suggestions still are!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you can try to use too much logic when trying to persuade an audience?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Aren’t all of our speeches about trying to make the world a better place? Because of the importance of public speaking, isn’t our #1 goal just to share the information that we have with our audience? Well, no. More often than not, when we give a speech what we are really trying to do is to sell something. It turns out that in order to do this correctly, we need to know how to create a speech that sells. Let’s take a look at what we need to be doing…

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