Identify the purpose of your presentation

Techniques to help build and identify presentations

Here are seven techniques to help identify and build an informative, persuasive, or motivational presentation..

Persuading through Ethos

Ethos is the ability to persuade listeners and/or learners, using the power of the speaker’s reputation or credentials.

Listeners and/or learners are persuaded to accept the speaker’s point of view because they respect or admire the speaker.

The speaker may gain credibility through a moderator or an introducer. Or, a speaker gains credibility by listing his or her credentials on a program. Both these methods highlight the speaker’s status as a competent and reliable source.

Sometimes the speaker must establish credibility independently.

If you are unable to have someone else deliver ethos-building remarks, here are a few guidelines to follow:

1. Be brief.
2. Be direct.
3. Choose examples most related to your subject.

Sample phrases that might be helpful include:

” During the six years I was director of the project. …

” As the chief researcher during this study. …

“Mountain climbing taught me two things. …

Ethos can also be communicated through such nonverbal elements as dress, facial expression, or body language.

Persuading through Pathos

Pathos refers to appealing to the listeners and/or learners’ emotions and is the most common method of persuasion. Aristotle identified this technique as a primary mode of persuasion in his classic book, Rhetoric.

Some of the best examples of pathos as a technique for persuasion are in television commercials.

Listeners are persuaded to wear, to eat, to drink, to use, or to drive a product to get emotional satisfaction.

Persuading through pathos involves choosing the right words, wearing the right colors, displaying emotions, and even changing the sound of your voice.

A few pathos-building factors are:

    • Smiling.
    • Humor.
    • Religion.
    • Reward.
    • Fear of needless expense.
    • Loud voice and broad gestures.
    • References to emotional incidents.
    • Visuals with appealing graphics.
    • Colorful language.
    • Fear of job loss.
    • Joy of accomplishment.
    • Charged symbols such as flags.
    • Emotional music.

Speakers may express pathos in their dress by wearing particular colors or patterns or styles of clothing.

Pathos, can be totally ineffective if used in the wrong circumstances.

Scientists and engineers should not rely on pathos since their credibility lies in facts and figures not emotion-laden messages.

Be certain that emotion matches

Persuading through Logos

Logos is the use of research data, statistics, and numbers to persuade your listeners and/or learners.

Logos is what we see in a courtroom.

“Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”

Doctors use certain therapies because of the logos or facts of the patient’s condition.

Consumers sometimes purchase products because they are persuaded by the facts presented in advertisements.

Logos can be communicated in many ways. Speakers may speak simply without emotion. At the opposite extreme, speakers may speak at such a complex technical level that listeners and/or learners cannot follow easily.

Logos can also be expressed through speaker’s appearance. Wearing plain and solid-colored clothing can suggest a logical approach.

Hair style, eye wear, jewelry, facial expressions, and gestures can also be used to express logos. These nonverbal signals can express authority and therefore reliability.

Informing through Telling

When creating a speech, one purpose is the simple transmission of information. Put simple, the speaker tells information to the listener. The emphasis is on accuracy. In this type of speech you do not attempt to persuade, influence, change, or interpret your message. Telling is simply reporting.

Informing through Teaching

Informing through teaching has two uses: to teach without persuading the listener, or interpreting the message, and to test the listener’s comprehension.

Speakers who want to teach their listeners and/or learners often use demonstration, role playing, and other interactive techniques to involve the audience. They also may offer listeners and/or learners a chance to test and assess their knowledge of the presentation through worksheets and assessments handed out during a presentation.

Informing through Training

In terms of delivering speeches, training combines telling, teaching, and demonstration. Listeners and/or learners are encouraged to show that they have learned the skills described by the speaker. The speaker will first have demonstrated these skills in his or her presentation. Three guidelines for all types of informative and persuasive speeches are:

1. Be clear. Be aware of exactly what you want your listeners and/or learners to know. Be able to express your message clearly.
2. Be concise. Use only as many examples and as much evidence as necessary to make your point.
3. Be consistent in your choice of language and vocabulary.

The Motivation Matrix

What are the best ways to motivate listeners and/or learners? Try using the “motivation matrix”

The Motivation Matrix has six elements.

Three of them, listed in a column on the left, indicate what listeners and/or learners are motivated by: ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), logos (logic).

In a row across the top of the Motivation Matrix are three elements that listeners and/or learners are motivated for.

• Accomplishment.

Some listeners and/or learners want the successful completion of a task.

They like a project to have a beginning, middle, and an end.

They are motivated to accomplish a task regardless of the obstacles.

They are disquieted when required to leave a job before it is finished.

These listeners and/or learners want to finish the job.

• Recognition.

Other listeners and/or learners are motivated by knowing that someone recognizes and appreciates their work. They do not require major rewards and accolades.

• Power.

Another type of listeners is motivated by power gained by completing a task.

The important motivator is the potential for greater power.

How do you use the motivation matrix?

To use the Motivation Matrix:

    1. Decide what listeners and/or learners are most likely to be motivated for.
    2. What they are most likely to be motivated by.
    3. Make notations and suggestions for your speech in the appropriate box in the Motivation Matrix.

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