Over 2,000 years ago Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle cracked the code to persuasion. Aristotle is most known for his knowledge and ideologies surrounding abstract, political and rational topics.

Aristotle often dealt with the science of reasoning. Thousands of years later his philosophies still guide much of western culture.

His theories are influential, and one that continues to be exceedingly relevant is Aristotle's philosophy on persuasion. He believed that successful persuasion comes when someone used three rhetorical elements in their, for lack of a better word, pitch. 

If you're an entrepreneur or small business owner, pitching should be a part of you. You have to have en elevator pitch, a solid long pitch, and create pitch decks for new projects moving forward.  Next time you find yourself needing to pitch to someone, use Aristotle's three elements of persuasion. 

1.  Include "ethos" by ensuring the authenticity and credibility of your pitch.

Ethos is a Greek word for "character" and the word "ethics" is derived from the word ethos. It's a word built on personality, and vibes. Its built on trust, and on feeling.

It's a way to establish credibility through your personality, and personal accolades. 

When you use ethos in a pitch, you should be using it in a way makes your audience think that you are trustworthy. For example, use words that make you seem unbiased and reliable.

No one wants to invest in something sketchy. Sound ethical by being credible.

You also want to make yourself seem credible. Don't assume you audience knows why you deserve to be in the room. Give them a few example of past times you've accomplished something. Or use your experience to make your case.

For example don't say, "There is a need in the market, because so many startups are launching right now". Instead say, "I've been working with startups for X years, because of this I've been able to see a need in the market that my product can address." 

You should know your audience. And when trying to persuade them to agree with you, make sure to should use the vernacular and jargon that appeals to them. If you're pitching to people who work with data science, find out their lingo. If you're  talking to a VC fund, find out what other projects they've invested in. Speak your audience's language, this will help you get your points across, and more importantly, be heard.

2.  Incorporate "logos" into your pitch: make sure the story, timeline, and needs are logical. 

If ethos is ethics and credibility, logos is your pitches' need for logic. This is a huge component  to convince someone--or a group of people--of your point of view.

If you're not making logical arguments, you're probably not making a lot of sense.

Which is what makes pitch decks so beautiful. Create the story. How does A turn into B and how does that result in C,D, and E? It needs to flow like an essay. You need to have an organization pattern. You want to make sense and not be all over the place. 

Especially when pitching an intricate concept, keep it simple. Most people want to plunge in and explain all the complicated details. Ease into it. You need to provide and connect the dots for your audience. 

You need to be able to reason to whomever you're selling to. A great way to do this is by including data or providing a proof of concept. What is your pitches beginning middle and end? What's your thesis? What's your mission? And why does it matter?

These are all questions that logos should answer. Walk your audience through the logic of you argument. Reasoning with your audience is 1/3 of your solution to persuading them.

3.  Stay emotionally aware and appeal to your audiences on a deeper level by using "pathos".

A huge part of a compelling pitch is appealing to your audience's emotions. This is where pathos comes in. Pathos is a communication tool that evokes emotions. It's the angle of your pitch that's not about numbers and stats, but instead some sort of personal connection.

Don't talk at them, and fill your pitch with only high level examples. Level with them. Explain your pitch through experiences your audience can identify with. 

Humans feel a spectrum of emotions. Tap into their joy, or their pain, the things that make them annoyed, and the ones that make the feel relived and comfort. 

Don't only say "this product is a great investment because it will solve X and X."

Instead, say something like "We've all been there, those times where you're already running late, and everything else seems to be slowing you down. That why we want to introduce X, because we really think it will ease those hectic mornings." 

Be personable. 

When aiming to persuade someone of something you should appeal to your their views. Connect with them by speaking to their beliefs and values.

This can be done both in the tone you use and the way in which you talk about the subject matter. Market your point of view by practicing the art of storytelling.

Each of these components alone can create a strong argument, but together their build your pitch into something memorable and convincing. Using ethos, logos and pathos in a pitch helps it be all that more convincing. It appeals to multiple sides of human interest and can help you close the deal when needed. 

Published on: Feb 15, 2018