What Is Ethos, Pathos, and Logos: The Keys to a Persuasive Speech

Last updated on March 25th, 2023

Persuasive speeches are one of the key components of the everyday lives of many professionals, business owners, students, teachers, and more. They are considered effective tools for convincing certain audiences and delivering the desired concepts and ideas efficiently in an actionable manner. You don’t have to be a Tony Robbins or a Churchill to win the hearts of your audience and become a memorable orator. Anyone can learn the art of persuasion, and persuasive speeches can be mastered by following a set of centuries-old principles. These principles are known as Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. What are Ethos, Pathos, and Logos? How to use Ethos, Pathos, and Logos? What are some examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in persuasive writing and speaking? This informative article will answer these questions, along with some actionable strategies to use Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in a persuasive speech.

Historical Background

To understand Ethos, Pathos, and Logos, we must understand Aristotle’s philosophy of persuasive speech, which is almost 2000 years old. Centuries ago, Greeks invented and shaped the ways of communication, and persuasion to help in developing a connection between a speaker and a listener during a conversation. Aristotle came up with the idea regarding components of casual persuasive speaking, and he called them Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. The context of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos is relatively simpler. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are ways of persuasion that a speaker uses to convince or influence the audience. However, knowing about certain mistakes to avoid while writing a persuasive speech is also important.

What is Ethos?

When a speaker, presenter, or writer wants to show his credibility to a listener or group of listeners, he uses the persuasive technique called Ethos. This technique highlights the speaker as an ethical, reliable, and potentially superior person in character. It helps the listener respond to the speaker’s ideas, offers, and messages more attentively when an impression of credibility and respect has already been left on his mind. This helps marketers, public speakers, and salesmen more efficiently while they share their offers and ideas.

What is Pathos?

Humans are emotional beings, and emotions and feelings drive their most routine life. What about a persuasive speaking technique that helps you in convincing others through the effective usage of emotions? In this case, the speaker, presenter, or writer leverages factors like memories, stories, senses, experiences, nostalgia, etc. The purpose here is to influence your listener emotionally and arouse his/her feelings about a specific topic, deal, or message being offered.

What is Logos?

If your audience prefers logic and reason over emotions, you are lucky. The next persuasive technique, Logos, helps a speaker in using logical reasoning and analysis to convince any audience effectively. It is also known as “the logical appeal”. The presenter, speaker, or writer may use facts, figures, statistics, and graphs to convey his message for desirable results. If you are a business professional, check out these Business and Finance PowerPoint Templates for your next big presentation. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos’ meaning and usage have been clarified with practical and actionable example scenarios in these templates.

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in a Persuasive Speech

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are considered pillars of persuasive speech. Great speeches are so convincing that they have the power to shape the opinions of the masses and stimulate desired actions in them. Ethos can be considered as an appeal from an authoritative position. The listeners try to believe in what speakers have to say because of the authority of the speakers in the relevant subject. In order to develop credentials, the presenter or speaker may use personal experiences, passions, academic qualifications, etc.

In persuasive speeches, sometimes, the presenter tries to influence his audience by establishing sympathy for the purpose of the speech. This persuasion technique is known as Pathos, and it can also help the speaker prepare a two-minute speech when the desired message is to be delivered in a shorter time period. Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in writing, speaking, and presentation activities of our routine life can be seen everywhere.

When the speaker tries to approach a particular conclusion through logical reasons and arguments, then he uses the Logos technique in his persuasive speech. In this type of technique, the role of the audience is also important as the response of the listeners will also leave an impact on the overall final message of the speaker. Hence, the speaker is highly dependent on his listeners’ reasoning and intellectual abilities at this stage.

How Do Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Work Together?

An effective persuasive speech using Ethos, Pathos, and Logos is more likely to achieve its purpose in an actionable manner. The three modes of persuasion are linked with each other, and their role in enhancing each other’s impact on the listener’s mind is hard to neglect. 

When a speaker, presenter, or writer tries to convey his message in front of a diversified and complex group of listeners, his purpose may not be achieved using a single persuasion technique. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in persuasive writing can be used together using a mix of stories, personal experiences, and statistical facts. In business meetings, a presenter may convince his superiors and subordinates by using graphics that tell work experiences and tables that summarize the historical facts regarding the topic in discussion. In this context, our Free Business Communication PowerPoint Template is helpful. Hence, the need for persuasion appeals to Ethos, Pathos, and Logos’ usage in most written works, speeches, and presentations.

How to Use Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in a Persuasive Speech?

The combined usage of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in the conversations and public speeches we hear every day can be seen clearly. However, a speaker may incorporate one, two, or even three techniques in his persuasive speech, piece of writing, or presentation to achieve his desired purpose. If you are looking for an effective premade Business PowerPoint template, look at this Business Development PowerPoint Template.

Using Ethos in a Persuasive Speech

The speaker tries to build a rapport with his listeners through credentials and personal experiences. Trust is established with prospective audiences first, and then the desired messages are conveyed. For example, in advertisements related to pharmaceutical products, normally, a doctor is shown with the product being advertised. This helps the brand or business show the credibility and legitimacy of their product as people trust doctors and physicians and pay heed to whatever they say or instruct.

Normally, the presenter or a speaker can also try using similar words, terms, and phrases that his specific audience uses. This also helps him build an environment of trust with his listeners, and it is easier for the speaker to resonate with the audience’s minds in this way.

Using Pathos in a Persuasive Speech

Pathos is all about emotions and feelings. The ideas and topics for a persuasive speech can help the speaker or presenter identify the type of feelings and emotions he wants to arouse in his audience. Not just emotions in Pathos, the speaker may use humor as well. Jokes are great ways to deliver the desired messages efficiently. For example, a standup comedian can make jokes and use hilarious analogies to present a picture of society’s harsh truths and realities.

Using Logos in a Persuasive Speech

What is logos in persuasive speech? For intellectuals, students, teachers, and academics, the Logos persuasion technique is a preferred tool used in presentations and speeches. In this case, the speaker plays with the common sense of the masses and presents facts and figures to prove his point or idea. Using personal experiences and case studies, the presenter can impact his listeners significantly and hit his desired target.

Your arguments must be clear to your audience and should be easy to digest and comprehend. In presentations, this is done by using appealing visuals, graphics, images, infographics, tables, and charts to show statistical data backing a specific argument. If you are a business professional, you can use these Business PowerPoint Slide Designs to find new ideas and ways of developing and designing your slides.

Examples of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Writing, and Speaking

The importance of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in persuasive writing and speaking practices can not be neglected. These are not only distinctive approaches that are used only. Contrarily, most of the great speakers, writers, and presenters use the combination of all these three approaches for better-desired results. Some Ethos, Pathos, and Logos’s examples are given below.

Examples of Ethos

The usage of Ethos can be clearly seen in the following sentence examples.

  • “Being a doctor, I can assure you of the positive results after this surgery”. In this sentence, the word doctor is used to develop a relationship of trust and credibility between the listener and speaker.
  • “If you are not sure about my expertise, have a look at my degrees and qualifications”. In the same manner, words like degrees and qualifications have been used here to show the speaker’s level of expertise and credibility to the listener.
  • “My years of experience in this field can not let me go astray”. In this case, a relationship of trust is being made between the listener and speaker by ensuring the years-long experience of the speaker in the relevant field of discussion.

Examples of Pathos

Some exemplary sentences that may stimulate the emotions and feelings of the listeners are given as follows.

  • “If we don’t act soon, we will all die here”. In this sentence, a feeling of fear or action is being aroused by using the words like “die”. In this case, the speaker may have the purpose of stimulating a fast action among a group of listeners.
  • “We should protect this place. We have made memories here. We will not forget this place forever”. Again, the speaker demands action by using an emotional combination of words in this case.
  • “You will get out of this situation easily, just like in the past. You are the bravest person I have ever met”. The speaker, in this case, is trying to motivate the listener to perform a certain action in the situation that he is facing at that moment.

Examples of Logos

For audiences likely to be persuaded through logic and reasoning, the following examples of Logos technique are quite helpful in this regard.

  • “According to research by NASA and five other space organizations of different countries, water can be found on another planet as well”. In this sentence, an argument has been backed by some reasonable and legitimate facts that will most probably persuade any potential audience.
  • “American doctors and physicians have confirmed that this vaccine is suitable for the treatment of monkeypox.” The reference to “American doctors and physicians” in this sentence is a reasonable fact that can be used to present the desired argument.
  • “The previous year’s sales were 25% higher than the present year. We need to look for loopholes in our current business strategy”. Statistical figures in this sentence are a clear example of the Logos technique used to convince a prospective audience


The usage of tested techniques like Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in persuasive speeches and presentations is very beneficial for professionals, business people, and all other public speakers and presenters. Ethos is a way of using words and phrases in the speech that depict how trustworthy and credible you are, and the listener can outrightly act upon the instructions being made and actions being suggested by the speaker. In Pathos, the speaker leverages a combination of emotions and feelings while delivering his presentation or speech. In the third and last pillar of the persuasive speech, Logos, logic, and reasoning are ensured to persuade an audience and stimulate the desired responses. By using such techniques in a combined form, any speaker or presenter can become a communication wizard that can leave a long-lasting impact on the minds of his/her listeners. 

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