Chapter 11 Summary

Man giving a speech.Persuasion is truly an art form, one that often takes years of trial and error to develop into a natural habit. However, people can actively learn this art and practice it by first considering the speech’s specific purpose: persuading, motivating, or inspiring? Next, focus on getting to know the audience and what motivates them based on their attitudes, opinions, values, and beliefs. Without this critically important information about the audience, even the best and most carefully worded persuasive message has the potential to fail miserably. A poorly worded persuasive message that is mindfully tailored to the audience for which it is intended will achieve more success than a well-polished message that does not take the audience into consideration.

After researching the audience’s attributes, compose the persuasive message by considering how to balance ethos, pathos, and logos. Draw connections with the audience by tapping into mutual similarities, establishing rapport, and earning their respect and trust as a speaker. What emotions will the speaker evoke to resonate emotionally with the message’s listeners? What facts, statistics, figures, and evidence will the speaker mention to add substance and ensure sound and well-reasoned arguments? Answering these questions carefully and methodically can set a speaker up to become a powerful and dynamic, yet ethical and authentic, persuader.


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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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