Which appeal is the best example of pathos, which is more important (2023)

11. April 2018 - Gini Beqiri

Speaking persuasively is a skill you can practice regularly throughout your life, whether you're selling a product or being interviewed. 2,300 years ago, Aristotle determined the components needed for persuasive speaking. They are referred to as the three pillars of belief - ethos, pathos and logos. In this article, we discuss how to use the three pillars of public speaking.


  • What are ethos, pathos and logos?
  • Ethos - The ethical appeal
  • Why is ethos important?
  • Characteristics of Ethos
  • The merging of the four characteristics of ethos
  • improve ethos
  • Improve ethos before a speech:
  • Boost ethos during a speech:
  • Improve ethos after presentation
  • Pathos - The emotional appeal
  • Why is pathos important?
  • enhance pathos
  • Logos - The logical appeal
  • Why are logos important?
  • Be comprehensive
  • Be specific
  • Which example is the best example of pathos?
  • What is the appeal of pathos?
  • Why is pathos the most effective appeal?
  • Why is pathos important in an argument?

What are ethos, pathos and logos?

Ethos, pathos and logos are means of persuasion to persuade and appeal to an audience. You need these qualities for your audience to accept your messages.

  • Ethos: Your credibility and character
  • Pathos: emotional attachment to your listeners
  • Logos: logical and rational argument

Ethos - The ethical appeal

Ethos is Greek for "character" and "ethics" derives from ethos.

Ethos is about convincing your audience that you are of good character and believable so that your words can be trusted. Ethos must be established from the start of your presentation or the audience will not accept what you are saying.

In fact, ethos is often set before you present, for example you may be the CEO of the company you are presenting at so you are already perceived as a specialist.

Why is ethos important?

High ethosLow Ethos
The audience will focus and listenThe audience will not focus or listen
The audience assumes that you are sharing something useful and respects youLow expectations and if you start badly the audience won't listen
The audience is more persuasiveThe audience is less convincing
You can give a bad speech, but you're still able to persuade the audienceYour speech has to be very good to convince the audience

Characteristics of Ethos

There are four main characteristics of ethos:

  1. trustworthiness and respect
  2. resemblance to the audience
  3. authority
  4. Expertise and Reputation/History

1. Trustworthiness and Respect

Audiences are more likely to respect you and believe what you say to be true if they perceive you as trustworthy. This judgment is formed on the basis of factors such as:

(Video) Pathos: The Most Emotional Rhetorical Appeal

  • ethics and values
  • honesty
  • principles
  • compassion
  • generosity and sharing
  • If you are part of a group that stands for the above values, e.g. B. an NSPCC worker

2. Similarity to the audience

Listeners are more likely to be persuaded by someone they can identify with. For example, you can share:

  • age and gender
  • Values
  • race and culture
  • hobbies
  • Career
  • personality etc

If you don't share traits with your audience, you can customize the following:

  • Clothing
  • Language
  • mannerisms and gestures
  • Visual Aids

But don't overdo it, as your audience will see you as fake.

Which appeal is the best example of pathos, which is more important (1)

Tony Robbins, a well-known authority on life coaching, gives a TED Talk on Why We Do What We Do.

3. Authority

When the audience perceives you as an expert, they are more likely to be convinced of what you say. Remember that every moderator has authority because they are the speaker.

For example:

  • Political authority e.g. a prime minister
  • Education authority e.g. teachers

4. Expertise and Reputation

Expertise is your knowledge of the subject.

Reputation is what your audience knows about your knowledge of the topic.

Reputation depends on:

(Video) Ethos, Pathos & Logos

  • Achievements or recognition from others in the region, such as B. Awards and certificates.
  • Your experience and the number of years you have worked in the field.
  • How much have you dealt with this topic – are you a key figure?
  • Your expertise should be checked, for example you can talk about different therapy treatments and your expertise is demonstrated by being a successful clinical psychologist.
  • Your contribution to the field, perhaps through blogs, books, articles and products.
  • your authority

Which appeal is the best example of pathos, which is more important (2)

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The merging of the four characteristics of ethos

Not all qualities need to be present to develop a high ethos, for example a university lecturer who speaks to her students will most likely be perceived as trustworthy as the lecturer is known for giving correct information, she has authority over the 18- 21-year-olds their job title and their age.

But that doesn't make her like her students. She has been working in this field for 30 years and at the University for 5 years (Expertise) and has made a great contribution to this field through a series of studies and subsequent works (Reputation). That's ethos enough to keep audiences won over by what she's saying.

Another person, such as an executive reaching out to their employees, might have a different combination of these traits, but still have enough ethos. It's hard to achieve a complete ethos, especially when you consider that authority often diminishes likeness.

improve ethos

Authority and reputation are usually established before your presentation, so it's difficult to change the audience's mind about it. But it's easier to change people's perceptions of how trustworthy and how similar you are during the presentation.

Improving ethos day by day:

  • Become an expert in the topics you present because people are more likely to listen to someone who has researched a topic for 10 years rather than 2 years.
  • Make sure people know about your expertise, for example by promoting yourself, make sure people can easily access testimonials, reviews, articles, etc.
  • Treat the trustworthy qualities as your values, so practice being honest, ethical, compassionate, etc.

Improve ethos before a speech:

  • Research your audience, paying special attention to the traits you share so you know how to appeal to them.
  • Arrive at the presentation venue early to show the audience that you want to be there.
  • For example, if you are speaking at a larger event like a conference, try to attend as often as possible. This means that you and the audience are sharing an experience, making them more likely to perceive you as similar.
  • If the venue needs information to promote your presentation, emphasize your ethos in this material so people know why they should see your presentation.

Which appeal is the best example of pathos, which is more important (3)

Telling personal stories during a presentation is a great way to boost ethos.

(Video) Appeal to Pathos

Boost ethos during a speech:

  • Draw attention to your ethos in your introduction because it's the best way to demonstrate your credentials to that specific audience on that specific day. Highlight key facts that demonstrate the four main characteristics of the ethos but are relevant to the topic and audience. Don't make the introduction long and irrelevant.
  • Tell personal stories that show the audience that you're following your own recommendations because they're more likely to believe you on other issues that aren't easy to verify.
  • Facts, statistics, and quotes should be current and from reputable sources, e.g. B. If you choose from social media or Mind's website to cite a statistic about anxiety, you would choose Mind's website as it has a high ethos which in turn increases your ethos.
  • Reference people in the audience or previous speakers or events earlier that day. This creates connections with the audience.
  • Be impartial by admitting that you and your opposition side agree on at least one thing. This underscores your credibility because you treat the topic with care and fairness.

Improve ethos after presentation

  • Always stay as long as possible after your speech in case the audience wants to talk to you. This will also come in handy in future presentations as it will likely become part of your reputation.
  • Stick to your promises, for example during the question and answer session you may have agreed to find out an answer to a question and tell everyone - make sure you do this to be seen as honest to become.

Pathos - The emotional appeal

Pathos is Greek for suffering and experience. Empathy, sympathy and pathos are derived from pathos.

Pathos should convince by appealing to the emotions of the audience. As a speaker, you want the audience to feel the same emotions you do about something, you want to connect with them emotionally and influence them. If you have little pathos, the audience will likely try to find flaws in your arguments.

Why is pathos important?

Emotions are motivators, so the audience is more likely to be persuaded and respond to your desires using pathos. Rather, pathos increases your audience's chances of:

  • understand your point of view.
  • Accept your arguments.
  • Act according to your wishes.

Example of pathos during a speech

Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani explains how one of her students developed an algorithm to detect false positive breast cancer test results after her father was diagnosed with cancer.

Watch the full video here: Why We Need Women in Tech

enhance pathos

  • Chooseemotional points and issues, for example "Beat your social anxiety" would trigger stronger emotions than "Learn to speak in a group".
  • Useanalogies and metaphors- Linking your ideas to something your listeners already know and feel strong about can trigger emotional responses. For example, "You're terrible" versus "You're toxic." This will capitalize on the audience's knowledge that poison is bad and therefore this issue needs to be addressed.
  • Useemotionally charged wordsFor example, say "This kitchen roll is a life saver" instead of "This kitchen roll is awesome". Another way to make a statement more emotional is to use vivid and sensual words that allow the audience to experience the emotion. "The smell from your grandparents' house", for example, increases the memory of hopefully warm memories and thus triggers certain emotions.
  • Ensure thatThe emotion you want to evoke is appropriate for the context:
    • Positive emotions, like joy, should be linked to your aspirations.
    • Negative emotions like anger should be linked to your rival's claims.
  • UseHumorincreases the likelihood that the audience will enjoy themselves and be more likely to like and listen to you.
  • Visual Aidscan sometimes be more powerful than words, for example showing a picture of a frightened young child will have more impact than saying that children are often victims of domestic violence.
  • Research your audienceand find out what their common values ​​are. Target these values ​​and beliefs as they are strongly linked to emotions.
  • Tell storiesis a quick way to build an emotional connection. It's often used to tie part of a key message to an emotional response - you'll see this in ads asking for donations to charity.
  • Match what you say to your body language, face and eyes. Humans often reflect emotions, so by matching your body language to your words, you increase the chances of triggering the emotions you want.
  • AlsoMatch your voice to your wordsFor example, if you want to show sadness, speak in a low voice, if you want to show excitement, increase your pace, etc.
  • Stand as close to the audience as possibleto make the speech feel more personal - don't hide behind the computer screen.
  • Use words with appropriate connotations, for example, when asking a group of men if they would like to be called "tall," "lanky," or "tall." Although the words have essentially the same meaning, men are more likely to choose the word with the most positive connotation, in this case the word "big".
  • If you accidentally havecaused a negative emotion, find out why and apologize. For example, maybe there was severe interpersonal conflict that you were unaware of and a joke you made upset viewers.

Which appeal is the best example of pathos, which is more important (4)

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Logos - The logical appeal

The word "logic" is derived from logos.

(Video) How to Identify Ethos, Logos and Pathos by Shmoop

Logos is designed to appeal to logic, relying on the audience's intelligence and offering evidence to support your argument. Logos also develops ethos because the information makes you look knowledgeable. To decide if you've reached Logos, ask the following questions:

  • Are my messages consistent?
  • Does the evidence support my claims?
  • Will the audience's actions lead to my desired outcome?

Why are logos important?

Basically, meaningful logical arguments cannot simply be dismissed out of hand.

improve logos

  1. Be comprehensive: Make sure your points and arguments are understandable
  2. Be logical: Make sure your arguments make sense and that your claims and evidence are not implausible. Have a plan for dealing with opposing viewpoints that your audience may already believe.
  3. Be specific: Base your claims on facts and examples, as your arguments will be accepted quicker than anything vague and vague. The more easily the evidence is accepted, the more easily the conclusions are accepted.

Be comprehensive

  • Use language your audience understands. Avoid jargon and technical terminology.
  • Use simple illustrations and diagrams to make the presentations easier to understand.
  • Make the relationship between your evidence and conclusions clear.
  • Analogies and metaphors are particularly useful in explaining new ideas and theories.

Which appeal is the best example of pathos, which is more important (5)

Engage the audience by asking them questions during your speech to elevate logos.

Be logical

  • Keep the audience involved by asking interesting questions. This turns them into active listeners, so they might even come to your own conclusions.
  • Discuss opposing views as this allows you to explain why your logical arguments make more sense.
  • The audience will use two types of reasoning:
    1. deductive reasoninglooks at the evidence and comes to a conclusion. For example. “I don't like noisy places. This restaurant is really noisy. So I will not like this restaurant.”
    2. inductive reasoningis when you add rational parts, perhaps beliefs, to the evidence and come to a conclusion. The evidence is used to draw a conclusion, but the conclusion is not guaranteed. For example: "All the vegan restaurants I've eaten at have been good. This is a vegan restaurant. So it must be good.”

Listeners use both types of reasoning as you speak, so their beliefs may prevent them from accepting your conclusions. Overcome these by basing your argument on the audience's widely held beliefs—truths. For example, the most important value of a company and therefore perhaps commonplace "Compassion makes us the best company".

Use audience truism like fact and apply it to a new situation. So if you want to encourage your employees to join a board, use their truism instead of your belief, for example: "This board needs considerate and kind people."

Be specific

  • Facts and statistics cannot be debated and they mean the truth.
  • Visual evidence such as objects and videos is difficult to challenge.
  • Quoting specialists and authorities on a topic increases the quality of your evidence and therefore your claims.
  • Tell stories like case studies or personal experiences. Audiences want to hear your own stories if you're a specialist, for example "When I was digging at Nottingham..."

There is uncertainty as to which pillar is the most important - Aristotle thought logos were vital, but when used alone they lacked impact. So make sure you treat all three pillars with equal importance in order to successfully engage your audience.

Which example is the best example of pathos?

Examples of pathos in everyday life are:A teenager tries to convince his parents to buy him a new car, saying if they cared about their child's safety they would give him an upgrade. A man at the dealership begs the salesman to offer the best price for a new car because he has to support his young family.

What is the appeal of pathos?

Pathos, or the appeal to emotion, meansto persuade an audience by intentionally evoking certain emotions to make them feel the way the author wants them to.

(Video) Ethos and Speaker Credibility: 5 examples of ethos appeals

Why is pathos the most effective appeal?

Unlike logos, pathos appeals rely heavily on emotional manipulation. Pathos can evoke any kind of emotion in the reader, from sadness to anger. These appeals are particularly effective regardingconnect with the audience and add a personal and relatable touch to the message.

Why is pathos important in an argument?

pathos isconvince by appealing to the emotions of the audience. As a speaker, you want the audience to feel the same emotions you do about something, you want to connect with them emotionally and influence them. If you have little pathos, the audience will likely try to find flaws in your arguments.


1. Why students should have mental health days | Hailey Hardcastle
2. Rhetorical Appeals: Ethos, Pathos and Logos (Includes Worksheet)
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3. How to use rhetoric to get what you want - Camille A. Langston
4. Ethos, Pathos, Logos: How You Can Win Over Any Audience
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5. Rhetorical Appeals
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6. Aristotle's Appeals: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
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