#60 Persuading with character & credibility


We’ve been spending time together exploring a set of principles called The Five Constant Factors by Sun Tzu outlined in his writings 2300 years ago, called The Art of War. In it he stated that all success in war was based on them.

So, leveraging off of this principle that a certain group of factors could determine success or failure, we identified Eight Constant Factors for Platform Mastery. Today, we start an exploration of the second constant factor, Persuasion.


A persuasive speaker will use a variety of tactics to achieve persuasion called ‘Rhetorical Appeals’ – and when used effectively, these tactics can be an influencing force in achieving ‘Persuasion’. So, today, we start to explore the three most effective rhetorical appeals: ethos, logos, and pathos.

The journey to persuasion starts with the character and credibility of the speaker. This is called the Ethos, or ethical appeal of the speaker.

Pop quiz time.

How long do you think a speaker has before they start to lose the attention of their audience? You will know, from the last few episodes, that you only have about 60-90 seconds to engage your audience.

But it’s not simply enough to capture your audience’s attention you must also quickly establish their credibility. This can be done using the ethical appeal known as ‘ethos’.

Ethos is your persona or reputation and is constructed on your credentials and reliability, and is often established before you even start speaking and is confirmed when you open your mouth and start talking. Basically, ethos is what signifies to the audience you know what you are talking about.

Here’s the action point of the day.

When you are preparing your next business pitch, presentation, or speech, make sure you dedicate 25% of your allotted preparation time to researching and knowing as much as you can about the audience and the subject you are speaking on.

Have credible sources to cite. This helps to establish the ‘ethos’ of your presentation brand.  An audience can forgive the fact that you’re not a certified expert on the subject that you’re presenting, but they may not forgive you for not making an effort to provide an expert’s opinion.

There is more to come.

About the author: Eugene Moreau

Eugene Moreau is a Certified Master Coach, Author and Corporate Consultant with over 30 years experience. He is a Master Presenter and developer of the 13 Box Presentation System and The EPIC Presenters Masters of Influence programs.

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