Get inside your audience’s minds with the help of this LOGICAL persuasion mode! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
“Persuasion occurs through the arguments when we show the truth or the apparent truth from whatever is persuasive in each case.” – Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher
Today, we’ll be discussing another important factor that helps increase your chances of persuading an audience by making sound arguments or claims.
We’re referring to the third pillar, which is…
Logos is the appeal to your audience’s logic or reasoning by offering evidence to support your claims.
This evidence can be in the form of:
- Personal stories or anecdotes
Why is logos important in persuasive speaking?
It’s because clear, concise, and logical statements provide substance to your message.
According to Aristotle, humans are “fundamentally reasonable and capable of making decisions.” This means if you provide your audience with logical points in your speech or presentation, they’ll be compelled to act based on what makes the most sense for them.
Aside from that, logos reinforces ethos and pathos in public speaking.
For example: If a politician delivers an address to the nation and mentions significant statistics related to a national issue, these facts may appeal to the audience’s emotions and intellect, thereby strengthening the pathos and logos aspects of the speech.
Such information also increases the politician’s ethos or credibility because that gives listeners an impression that he or she knows his or her topic well.
Take a look at one passage from the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s 2015 speech at The Partnership for a Healthier America Summit.
Here, she updated listeners on the success of her “Let’s Move!” project for improving children’s nutrition:
“I mean, just think about what our work together means for a child born today. Maybe that child will be one of the 1.6 million kids attending healthier daycare centers where fruits and vegetables have replaced cookies and juice. And when that child starts school, maybe she’ll be one of the over 30 million kids eating the healthier school lunches that we fought for. Maybe she’ll be one of the 2 million kids with a Let’s Move! salad bar in her school, or one of the nearly 9 million kids in Let’s Move! Active Schools who are getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day, or one of the 5 million kids soon attending healthier after-school programs.”
By including statistics to convince her audience that the “Let’s Move!” project was a success, Obama was also able to stir up enthusiasm for her cause!
While it’s easy to spot whether or not a speaker is using logos by presenting figures or research results, you must keep in mind that numerical data isn’t the only way to use logic in your talk.
In fact, logos is any statement, sentence, or argument that attempts to persuade your audience using facts.
By “facts,” we don’t only pertain to those that are results of long research. These can also be drawn from your own experiences or things you observe from the world at large.
Presenting these examples to support your message is another form of using logos in your speech or presentation.
So… what are some of the things you can do to develop the logos in your talk?
Be extensive in your messages.
Before the actual day of your speech or presentation, make sure your points, ideas, and thoughts are carefully laid out.
In other words, ensure your message is COMPREHENSIVE.
One way is to rehearse in front of someone to ensure there is no room for confusion in some parts of your talk.
If the person you’re rehearsing with thinks your message is clear, sound, and makes sense, congratulations! That means you’re doing a good job in using logos in your presentation.
However, if that person asks questions to clarify some points, that means you still need to add more information or fix the structure of your talk to make your message more comprehensive.
Here are other tips to be extensive in your presentation:
Use a language that your audience will easily understand. Avoid jargon and technical terminologies.
Make the relationship between your evidence and conclusions clear.
Use simple charts or other visual aids.
Use analogies and metaphors to explain new or tough ideas and concepts.
Remember: The more you strive to be as extensive as you can in your speeches or presentations, the more you’ll convince your audience by appealing to their logic.
Another way to properly use logos is to make sure your statements make sense and are realistic.
In cases where some members of the audience oppose your views, don’t fret!
Entertain their opinions and address them in a respectful manner so they’ll also listen to your explanations in a positive way.
Note: Oftentimes, a speaker and audience do not share the same views about a particular subject at the beginning of a speech or presentation.
… but if you know how to properly appeal to your listeners’ reasoning, chances are you’ll be able to convince and compel them to act or react according to your desired outcome!
Whether in writing or in speaking, specificity is a powerful asset.
It gives you an edge over others who are not keen on details and only settle for “good,” not “better” or “best” in their presentations.
There are other reasons why being specific is important:
Specific facts and statistics are undebatable and signify the truth.
Visual evidence such as objects and videos are hard to challenge.
Citing experts and authoritative sources in your topic increases the quality of your evidence and claims.
Stories or examples specific to your specializations appeal to your audience.
Saying, “A Harvard University study shows that…” is more convincing than simply stating, “A study shows that…” because the first one is more specific.
Aside from that, the audience knows that Harvard University is a big name in the education sector and that its journals, researches, and publications are credible.
Listeners will have no room to question whether or not the study you cited is reliable because just by the mention of the name of the university, they know that’s “it.”
Likewise, if you’re a lawyer and you’re trying to convince a judge that the other party is guilty of committing a crime, you should have evidence such as a tangible object or video to back up your claims compared to simply just saying that the person you’re accusing is so on and so forth.
Being specific about details you’re discussing makes your speech or presentation even more reasonable and therefore convincing for your audience.
Logos is a really important pillar if your public speaking goal is to persuade your listeners to welcome your views about a certain matter or take your call-to-action.
However, as a speaker, you have to be careful not to misuse logos―meaning, you only present data and other facts to simply show that you’ve “done your homework” to attain the degree of credibility often attributed to scientific studies and evidence-based arguments.
Don’t fall victim to “blind logos,” or stating misrepresentative facts to make a claim that feels credible but is actually untrue.
Reminder: Just because appealing to logic makes you sound smart and credible, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fact-check your data anymore.
Use logos wisely in presenting a persuasive speech or presentation!
Combine that with ethos and pathos, and you’ll have a great recipe for success―convincing your audience or leading them to do a desirable action.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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