Using Your Credentials and Believability in Your Speech Is an Example of What Aristotle Called

Have you ever wondered how to make your speeches more persuasive and captivating? According to Aristotle, one of the most effective ways is by utilizing your credentials and believability. In his renowned work on rhetoric, Aristotle emphasized the importance of establishing credibility and trust with your audience. By showcasing your expertise, experience, and integrity, you can enhance your persuasive power and leave a lasting impact on your listeners. In this article, we will delve into Aristotle’s concept and explore practical strategies for incorporating your credentials and believability into your speeches. Whether you are a seasoned public speaker or just starting out, understanding and applying this ancient wisdom can significantly elevate your communication skills.

Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Ethos 

Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, is known for his work on rhetoric, the art of persuasion. In his book, Rhetoric, Aristotle identified three modes of persuasion: logos, pathos, and ethos. Logos refers to the use of logic and reason, pathos to the use of emotions, and ethos to the use of credibility and trustworthiness. Ethos is particularly important in persuasive communication because it helps establish the speaker’s authority and believability.

Ethos is based on the speaker’s character, reputation, and expertise. It is not something that can be easily faked or manufactured. Instead, it is built over time through consistent behavior, actions, and communication. Ethos is also context-dependent, meaning that what is considered credible and trustworthy in one situation may not be in another.

Using your credentials and believability in your speech is an example of what Aristotle called ethos. By establishing your expertise and credibility, you can increase your persuasive power and influence. However, it is important to use ethos ethically and responsibly, as it can also be used to manipulate and deceive.

Examples of Using Ethos in Communication

There are many ways to use ethos in communication, depending on the context and audience. Here are some examples:

1. Using personal experience: Sharing personal stories and experiences can help establish your credibility and build rapport with your audience. For example, a doctor sharing their own experience with a particular medical condition can help patients trust their expertise and advice.

2. Citing sources: Referring to credible sources and research can help establish your authority and expertise on a particular topic. For example, a scientist citing peer-reviewed studies can increase their credibility and believability.

3. Using endorsements: Referring to endorsements from trusted sources or authorities can help establish your credibility and expertise. For example, a celebrity endorsing a product can increase its perceived value and credibility.

4. Dressing appropriately: Dressing in a way that is appropriate for the context and audience can help establish your credibility and authority. For example, a lawyer dressing in a suit and tie can increase their perceived professionalism and expertise.

Ethical Considerations in Using Ethos

While using ethos can be an effective way to increase your persuasive power and influence, it is important to use it ethically and responsibly. Here are some ethical considerations to keep in mind:

1. Don’t misrepresent yourself: It is important to be honest and transparent about your credentials and expertise. Misrepresenting yourself can damage your credibility and trustworthiness.

2. Don’t manipulate or deceive: Using ethos to manipulate or deceive your audience is unethical and can have negative consequences. It is important to use ethos in a way that is honest and transparent.

3. Consider the context and audience: What is considered credible and trustworthy in one context may not be in another. It is important to consider the context and audience when using ethos to ensure that you are using it in a way that is appropriate and effective.

4. Use ethos in combination with logos and pathos: While ethos is an important mode of persuasion, it is most effective when used in combination with logos and pathos. Using logic and emotions in addition to credibility and trustworthiness can increase your persuasive power and influence.

In conclusion, using your credentials and believability in your speech is an example of what Aristotle called ethos. Ethos is an important mode of persuasion that can help establish your credibility and authority. However, it is important to use ethos ethically and responsibly, and in combination with logos and pathos, to maximize its persuasive power and influence.

  1. Question: What did Aristotle call using your credentials and believability in your speech?
  2. Answer: Aristotle called using your credentials and believability in your speech “ethos”. Ethos refers to the credibility and trustworthiness of the speaker, which can be established through their expertise, experience, and character.
  3. Question: Why is ethos important in persuasive speaking?
  4. Answer: Ethos is important in persuasive speaking because it helps to establish the speaker’s credibility and gain the trust of the audience. When the audience perceives the speaker as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and reliable, they are more likely to be persuaded by their arguments and ideas.
  5. Question: How can I enhance my ethos as a speaker?
  6. Answer: To enhance your ethos as a speaker, you can:
    • Highlight your expertise and qualifications related to the topic.
    • Share personal experiences or stories that demonstrate your credibility.
    • Show genuine passion and enthusiasm for the subject matter.
    • Use language that is clear, concise, and respectful.
    • Provide evidence and examples to support your claims.
    • Establish common ground with the audience by acknowledging their perspectives and concerns.
    • Practice good delivery skills, such as maintaining eye contact, using confident body language, and speaking with conviction.
  7. Question: Can ethos alone guarantee persuasive speaking?
  8. Answer: No, ethos alone cannot guarantee persuasive speaking. While ethos is an important aspect of persuasion, it should be complemented by other rhetorical appeals, such as pathos (appeal to emotions) and logos (appeal to logic and reason). A persuasive speech should effectively combine all three appeals to maximize its impact on the audience.
  9. Question: Are there any potential pitfalls of relying too heavily on ethos?
  10. Answer: Yes, relying too heavily on ethos can have potential pitfalls. If a speaker solely relies on their credentials and believability without providing sufficient evidence or logical reasoning, their arguments may come across as weak or unsubstantiated. Additionally, if the audience perceives the speaker as arrogant or overly self-promotional, it can undermine their ethos and credibility. It is important to strike a balance between ethos, pathos, and logos to deliver a persuasive and well-rounded speech.

Marco Douglas