Connect with Ethos

Would you like to communicate more effectively with your audience?

Starting today, for the month of October, I’ll be sharing one tip per day, to help you communicate your ideas more effectively with your audience, through speech or writing.

To start off this series, we turn to what I consider a primary source document on communication and a highly regarded authority of the art of persuasion:  the book Rhetoric by Aristotle.

In this compact but very dense little book, Aristotle outlines what he calls the “artistic proofs”. These are three distinct means of persuasion, identified by three Greek words:  Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Today, we will consider “Ethos”.

Ethos refers to the credibility, or character, of a speaker or writer. Does your audience think you are a credible, trustworthy source?

Below are a few ideas to add “ethos” into your communication:

  • Choose the proper level of vocabulary for your audience
  • Use correct grammar
  • Help your audience identify with you
  • Develop expertise in your subject area

Question for you: Are you growing in any of these areas? How specifically can you help your audience identify with your message?

Tune in tomorrow for an explanation of the next artistic proof:  Pathos.

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