Blending Ethos-Pathos-Logos Together

Man delivering speech.Think about what a speech would look like if a speaker focused solely on one of these three elements.

A speech employing pure ethos, but no pathos or logos, would likely sound charismatic and enjoyable, but upon reconsideration it would appear empty, vapid, and devoid of substance. In the end, audiences would find it hard to make an emotional connection to the topic and likely doubt the information due to the lack of logical arguments made to support the claims.

A speech using pure pathos, but little ethos or logos, would come across as emotionally manipulative.

A speech utilizing pure logos without ethos or pathos would likely sound dry and boring due to the barrage of factual information and lack of emotional or personal connection to relate those claims to the audience.

These points illustrate effectively why Aristotle was so adamant about the need to present balanced arguments. Think of ethos as setting the stage for engaging the audiences to earn their trust and respect while maintaining their attention. When it works in conjunction with ethos, it helps nurture the emotional connection necessary to generate action based on the persuasive messages. Logos effectively balances out pathos by providing substance to those emotional connections and makes good on the promises made by the use of ethos. Using all three elements in careful consideration with one another provides not only a more balanced persuasive message, but a more effective one as well.


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Messages that Matter: Public Speaking in the Information Age - Third Edition Copyright © 2023 by North Idaho College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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