Aristotle’s best presentation tips
Imagine you have a brilliant idea. It just feels right. You know it answers the problem you were trying to solve. All you have to do now is persuade your peers – or worse still – senior management.
You could do worse than follow some presentation advice from a couple of thousand years ago.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion, into three categories-Pathos, Ethos, Logos. All are vital elements of a successful presentation.
Do your words evoke feelings? This is the strongest of all the three categories.
Tap into a collective emotion
Tap into a collective emotion, people’s feelings, their desires, their needs and you win hearts and minds. An emotional connection can be created in many ways by a speaker, perhaps most notably through stories.
The goal of a story, anecdote, analogy or metaphor is often to link an aspect of your core message with a triggered emotional response from the audience.
Think and ask – Why?
- Why are you making this proposal or undertaking this project now?
- Why is this change needed?
- Why will things improve?
- Why should people care?
Ethos is your level of credibility as perceived by your audience.
Do you really know your stuff?
Think and ask – How?
- How did you discover, invent, create or refine whatever it is you are talking about?
- How does it work?
- How will the audience use it?
Compare and contrast it with how things are currently done.
Are you logical in your argument? Is your message based on facts, data and evidence?
Will your call-to-action lead to the desired outcome that you promise?
Think and ask – What?
- What are you talking about?
- What is your main idea, product, service, initiative or recommendation?
- What is the goal you want to achieve?
- What are the risks and rewards of achieving it?
Simplify and define your idea in a way everyone can understand. Even a child.[clickToTweet tweet=”Follow some presentation advice from a couple of thousand years ago | Byron Wijayawardena” quote=”Follow some presentation advice from a couple of thousand years ago” theme=”style6″]
Recent studies tend to show that people buy on emotion (pathos) and justify with facts (logos) but believe through trust and credibility (ethos).
So the next time you have a great idea, write it down and break it up into the building blocks. Use the first principles of why, how and what.
It’s more convincing when people realise you’ve really thought deep and hard about the problem. So don’t rush it. Take your time, go for a walk, let it sink in.
Be passionate – even obsessed – with getting to the right answer.
This is the philosophy all the best presenters have.http://openforideas.org/blog/2016/10/19/aristotles-best-presentation-tips/https://i1.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/BRAND_BIO_Bio-Shorts_Aristotle-Mini-Biography_0_172231_SF_HD_768x432-16x9.jpg?fit=768%2C432https://i1.wp.com/openforideas.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/BRAND_BIO_Bio-Shorts_Aristotle-Mini-Biography_0_172231_SF_HD_768x432-16x9.jpg?resize=150%2C150Corporate CreativityPresentationsaristotle,ethos,logos,pathos,philosophy,presentations
Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.
great piece Byron. Check out james Fox in ‘A Bridge Too Far’ explaining this plan of attack to his troops – my favourite example of converting complex information into a relatable story, and if you read William Goldimans book ‘which lie did I tell?’ this was the key for cracking a really hard script.
Thanks Silas! Two great recommendations, I’ll check them out. The William Goldman book sounds particularly interesting, I love reading scripts and books on scriptwriting. Story by Robert McKee and Into the Woods by John Yorke are two of my favourites.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this. Thank you! Any example video of a speaker who uses these three elements beautifully please? 🙂
I’ve always been impressed by this one by Jamie Oliver.
Nice and concise summary of the best of Aristotle, Byron! And for a longer read on the subject, try the excellent book on rhetoric by Mark Thompson, “Enough Said”.
That looks like a very good read! Thanks for the heads up.
Here is a link to anyone else interested: