Ethos, Pathos and Logos
Ethos, Pathos and Logos
In life, we are often faced with situations whereby we need to persuade people. In business, in our workplaces or even when giving out a speech one has to persuade his or her audience to identify with what they are talking about. There are many modes of persuasions also called ethical strategies. While persuading an individual you can use ethos, logos or pathos to wow the audience (Edlund & Pomona 1)
Ethos also referred to as the ethical appeal is a mode of persuasion whereby the narrator uses the audience’s perception of his or her character and credibility. An individual is gauged by the audience according to what they know about the topic they are speaking about. Ethos can be either extrinsic in terms of a person’s character, education background, expertise in a certain field or experience one has had on the topic of discussion. An example is an oncologist giving a talk on the causes of cancer to a group of medical students. The fact that the speaker is an expert in the field of cancer and has had experience for a long time dealing with cancer patients no matter what he or she tell the students they will tend to believe in what the speaker says. Also, ethos can be intrinsic in the case of how one speaks or writes about the topic. We often want to listen to someone who makes sense when they talk and not an individual who does not have an idea of what they are talking about. In this case, how an individual talks may lead to the audience judging their character and ganging their confidence about what they are talking about. Someone with a loud commanding voice is likely to convince an audience to believe in something other than a meek humble person who is so shy to stand and address the audience. While using ethos the audience determines the credibility of what you telling them and are you even fit to be talking to them about that topic.
Pathos which is also referred to as the pathetic appeal uses emotions of the audience to identify with a certain topic the speaker is talking about. This is whereby the speaker tries to create a common sense of identity among the audience and himself or herself. The speaker or writer tries to evoke different emotions from people such as love, pity, hatred sympathy, affection or fear. In the recent past, obesity has been on the rise. A health provider may invoke fear in an audience whereby he or she may discourage consumption of certain foods and a certain way of living by explaining the dangers of being obese. By the health talking about obesity being a risk factor for certain chronic diseases will make people afraid of indulging in processed foods and also leading a sedentary lifestyle. In a charity event whereby people are raising money to feed the hungry in refugee camps the events, holders can give a speech which can invoke feelings of pity and sympathy which in turn will lead to many people giving more and more for the charity event. The speaker can ask the people at the event to imagine themselves in the shoes of the refugees or also give an account of how the refugees are undergoing a lot of struggles and also die due to lack of food or healthcare. This touches the inner soul of people and the human nature of them will lead them to be convinced to contribute for a cause.
The logic appeal which is also referred to as logos is whereby an individual makes a reasonable claim by using strategies of logic and also give proof in terms of numbers and facts to support that claim. In most business negotiations logos is used whereby to convince a client you give them figures and facts about that certain deal in order to close a deal. In the case of an insurance policy sales person, they will have to use facts about the policy they are selling give details on benefits and also they give facts from insurance regulating authority to justify their companies in order for a client to take up their policies. In this mode of persuasion, the character of the persuader and also the emotions they invoke doesn’t matter but the logical explanation they make is what matters.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a famous Nigerian writer often uses ethos and pathos in her speeches which often are about fighting for the rights of the girl child. She is one of the most popular feminists in the world and often convincing the audience to identify with her is quite easy.
In each and every situation we are in we will always find a way to explain ourselves. Evaluate the situation, study the audience and from that then you can identify which mode to use whether to use ethos whereby the audience will have to validate your credibility or use pathos where you invoke their emotions or use logos where you give the logical explanations.
Edlund, J. R. & Pomona, C.P. “Ethos, Logos, and Pathos: Three Ways to Persuade.” web.calstatela.edu. Calstatela. 2016. Web. March 2016.