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Persuasive speaking is an incredible skill. Those that can successfully establish an emotional bond with their audience using PATHOS wield a fantastic power!

Key Takeaways

  1. Pay attention to who your audience is
  2. Add emphasis on certain words to evoke emotions
  3. Take your time, and don’t rush to build an emotional connection with your audience
  4. Harness the power of humor and laughter
  5. Offer themes that contribute to your point
  6. Storytelling will be the center of it all

But how can you truly utilize PATHOS in public speaking? Here are six ways you can do so.

See Related: How To Organize A Conference With An Event Emcee

#1. Pay Close Attention To Who Your Audience Is

Over two thousand years ago, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle established something known as the three pillars of persuasive speaking. Those three pillars are ethos, pathos, and logos.

  • Ethos refers to the credibility of the speaker
  • Logos is the logical argument that a speaker presents
  • Lastly, pathos is the emotional appeal of a speaker

Now, you might wonder what a philosophy from 2,300 years ago has to do with public speaking today. Well, the truth is that these three pillars are still exceptionally essential for anyone who wants to use the art of spoken word to communicate with or influence the world around them.

In this blog, we’ll look at how to use PATHOS in your speeches.

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Learning Who Your Audience Is

You need to know how to tailor your speech to your listeners to garner a genuine emotional response. The exact phrases that might win over a tech startup might not do the trick for some blue-collar workers.

Analyze your audience and pay attention to how you can connect with them.

Is your audience predominately male or female? Older or younger? What sort of emotional triggers do they have?

Just remember your audience is human, and they will always have emotions. So it’s up to your to awaken them and master your delivery!

#2. Add Chosen Emphasis On Certain Words

If you’re trying to appeal to your audience’s feelings, you need to utilize specific terms.

Some words are more emotionally charged than others. And by emphasizing these terms, you can win over your audience the way you want to.

Use phrases and terms that contribute to your causes.

Credible source anger appealing language credibility credibility ethos logic subject certain emotions emotion example rhetoric argument pathos speaker

#3. Take Your Time To Build A Connection

Humans are naturally emotional creatures. We find sorrow, happiness, or distaste in things all around us. Our emotions are constantly poked and prodded.

However, keep in mind that convincing your audience won’t happen immediately. Instead, it will take time to appeal to your listeners on an emotional level.

Rushing it will only take you back to square one. Be patient, and your audience will inevitably be won over!

Bonus: Why Employee Empowerment Matters

#4. Harness The Power Of Humor And Comedy

Some persuasive speakers have the misconception that sympathy and emotions should only be solemn. But one of the best ways to appeal to your audience’s feelings is through humor.

Laughter is the best medicine, and it’s a great tool to use. If you want to reach your listener’s emotions, make them laugh!

I never walk on stage without some sort of authentic and applicable joke up my sleeve. As an experienced corporate emcee, I’ve learned that laughter is perhaps the most powerful emotion.

So use it!

Ethos pathos and logos authority rhetoric talk persuasive appeals person persuade persuasion speech persuasion emotion appeal pathos persuade#5. Offer Themes That Contribute To Building An Emotional Connection

Your speech or presentation should be carefully crafted before the day of delivery. Often, convincing your audience takes mindful execution.

You could be persuading your listeners of anything. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what it is. Sometimes, it can be hard to convince them to follow your train of thought.

Some people are more stubborn than others. And it will take more “oomph” to get them convinced.

That’s when it becomes important to stick to a theme. You want to guide your audience into a certain emotional response, and if you’re constantly changing the emotion they should be feeling, you’ll be unsuccessful.

Bringing Your Listeners On A Meaningful Journey

It might also be a good idea to utilize rich metaphors, analogies, or other figures of speech. This can help them understand the journey you’re taking them on.

Also, pay attention to the content in which you’re delivering your presentation to your listeners.

For example, you might have a speech planned with ten compelling reasons for how your listeners can grow their small businesses. However, you put the most attractive reasons at the end and run out of time because you didn’t pace yourself correctly.

In this case, the audience will walk away with only a tiny percentage of what you had to offer them. And you were likely unsuccessful in reaching their hearts.

Subject correct grammar improve pathos ethos pathos ethos ethos sense persuasion logic logic example example rhetoric pathos pathos convince persuade story#6. Stories And Personal Narratives Will Go A Long Way

Now, we’ll talk about the best way to reach your listeners emotionally.

Stories have a way of appealing to our feelings. Telling your audience impactful and emotionally jarring personal stories is a great way to get the outcome you want.

Storytelling has been a powerful tool of communication for many years. It’s how we understand our history and learn about the world around us. But it’s also how we come to terms with our thoughts and desires.

Telling a perfectly crafted story can invoke a genuine response from your listeners. Stories are often the most memorable part of any speech.

Stories help us relate to our audience. They help our listeners see us as real humans. And when they know we have feelings, they’ll be keener to awaken their own.

When it comes down to it, you need to incorporate all of these aspects into your speech to truly utilize PATHOS. But by telling true, genuine, and heart-wrenching tales, you can reach your listeners on a level you might not have thought possible.

Wrapping Up

To be a great persuasive speaker, you need to know how to use all three pillars in your act. Without credibility and logic, your listeners will see through your PATHOS.

However, you need to know how to successfully use PATHOS in order to fully reach and impact your listeners. There is so much that goes into it. But here is the perfect place to start!

Keep Reading: 8 Types Of Motivational Speakers You Should Consider

Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetingsspecial eventsgala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on InstagramFacebookPinterestLinkedIn, and YouTube.