Persuasion andThe ethics of publicspeaking
Because Aristotle KnewWhatHeWasTalkingAbout
Process of changing or reinforcing attitudes, beliefs, values, andbehaviorsEthos, Pathos, and LogosEthos—credibilityPathos—emotionalappealLogos—logical appeal (reasoning & evidence)People will be persuaded by one or more of these reasons
Qualities of Positive Ethos
Credibility—whether you are qualified to speak on a given topicCompetenceCharacterEstablish CredibilityCompetence—informed, skilled, knowledgeableTrustworthiness—believable and honestDynamism—energy (charisma)Enhance CredibilityInitialDerivedTerminal
Strengthen Your Ethos
Eachtime you speak, people form impressions of youShareaudience concernsCite reputable expertsUse personal experienceBe clear and interestingConsider different points of viewDeliver with dynamism
Appealing to Emotions (pathos)
Fundamental to motivating an audienceNever a substitute for logical arguments and availableevidenceDimensionsof emotion = pleasure, arousal, powerBe ethical when using emotion. Use:Concrete examplesEmotion-arousing wordsVisual images to evoke emotionAppropriate metaphors and similesAppropriate fear appealsAppeal to several emotions; hope, pride, courage, etc.
Avoid deception and manipulationRecognize and respect power of emotionsAvoid distraction and disorientationDon’toverwhelm audienceUse emotional appeals to supplement and complement well-reasoned arguments
More Ethical Considerations
Have ethical goals and use ethical meansEthical dilemmasProfessional obligations can createA conflict of responsibilitiesA choice between“the lesser of two evils”Circumstances can createSituationsdictate a changeDoes the end justify the means?
Are your purposes consistent w/ prevailing norms?Would you violate your own ethics by speaking out?Are you willing to stick to your ethical principles?What are the ethical standards?Your basic ethicalobligationsTell the truthTakeresponsibilityAvoid plagiarism(!!!)
The Ethical Speaker
Is not expected to be perfectly objectiveProvides good arguments, sound reasoning and solid evidenceRemains open to new informationIs well informed and fully preparedContributes useful presentations
Building an Argument (logos)
Use logic and evidence to persuadeLogic—Systemof rules for makinginferencesReasoning—Processof drawing conclusions fromevidenceEvidence—Facts, examples, statistics, expert opinionsClaimsDebatable assertion by speakerTakes a side on an issue and invites debateA statement with which you want your audience to agreeTypes of ClaimsFactValuePolicy
Types of Claims
Claims about the truth or falsity of an assertionInvolveexistence, scope or causalityQuestionsabout past / presentPredictionsof the futureRequireempirical proof: real examples, statistics, and expert testimonyExample:To persuade my audience that William Shakespeare did not write the plays attributed to him.
Claims about the worth, rightness, and morality of an idea or actionInvolvewhat we consider good or bad, right or wrongFocus on what we believe to be appropriate, legal, ethical or moralDetermine how we should evaluate facts, ideas or actionsExample:To persuade my audience that bicycle riding is the ideal form of land transportation.
Claim about whether a specific course of action should or should not be takenDetermine our future actionsDeal with how to solve problemsEvaluate options by costs, feasibility, advantages anddisadvantages“Should” is either stated or impliedTwo kinds of policy claims:Speeches to gain passive agreementSpeeches to gain immediate action
Speeches to Gain Passive Agreement
Goal is to convince audience that a given policy is desirable without encouraging the audience to take action in support of it.Example:To persuade my audience that there should be stricter safety standards on amusement park rides.To persuade my audience that the age for full driving privileges should be raised to 18.
Speeches to Gain Immediate Action
Goal is to convince the audience to take action in support of a given policyExamples:To persuade my audience to vote in the next presidential election.(i.e. everyone old enough to voteshouldvote)To persuade my audience to become literacy tutors. (i.e. youshouldbe a literacy tutor)
Write your topic on a piece of paperWrite a policy claim about your topicAre you seeking passive agreement or immediate action?Be clear about what the audience should understand and/or do at the end of your speechThis is your plan of actionBe prepared to share this with the rest of the class
Analyzing Policy Claims
Need—you must establish that there is a need forchangeBurden of Proof—your obligation to prove that change is necessaryPlan—you must havea plan to solve the problemPracticality—Does your solution solve the problem? Does it create new problems? Has this plan worked elsewhere? How has this plan been implemented elsewhere?
Qualified at a level appropriate to the strength of the reasoning and evidence behinditWords that indicate our level of confidenceExamples:“possibly”,“probably”, or“beyond any doubt”Recognize reservationsExceptions to our claim, or conditions under which we no longer hold the claim“Unless”EvidenceConsider the criteria or standards that support your evaluationReflect on the rules, principles orstandardswe employ in makingjudgmentsTests: quality, relevancy, amount
Forms of Reasoning
Movesfrom a set of specific examples to a general conclusionA number of representative examples makes the caseClaims mustbe carefullyqualifiedReservations may be neededCan be strengthened with evidenceExampleFact 1: My physical education course last term was easyFact 2: My roommate’s physical education course was easyFact 3: My brother’s physical education course was easyConclusion: Physical education courses are easy
Draws a conclusion about a specific case based on generally accepted premiseUsuallywe reason from qualified premises to probable conclusionsPremises areoften already accepted by audienceSpeaker may assume the audience will fill in the missingpremiseSyllogism is a classicexampleExampleThe U.S. Constitution guarantees all U.S. citizens the right to voteWomen are U.S. citizensTherefore, the U.S. Constitution guaranteeswomen theright to vote
From effect to cause, or cause to effectAt the heart of scientific investigationRarely simpleReputable sources are importantQualified due tocomplexityCan be difficult to claim causationExampleDrinking soda will make you fatCaution:post hoc, ergopropterhoc
What is true in one case will be true in anotherLiteral analogy compares similar examplesFigurative analogy is similar to metaphor; rarely proves anythingShould bequalifiedExampleIf you’re good at racquetball, you’ll be good at Ping-Pong
Logical Fallacies: Faulty Reasoning
Causal (post hoc, ergo propter hoc)Just because one event follows another does not mean the two are relatedBandwagonFallacyIf “everyone” thinks it’s a good idea, then it must beEither/OrFallacyArgues that there are only two approaches to solving a problem, thus ignoring the complexity of the issues and other possible solutions (e.g. “it’s either vote for higher property taxes or close the library”)Hasty GeneralizationReaches a conclusion from too little/nonexistent evidence (i.e. just because something happens in one case does not mean it will happen inallcases)
Logical Fallacies, cont.
AdHominemAttacks irrelevant personal characteristics of a person, rather than attacking his or her ideasRedHerringAttacks an issue using irrelevant facts or arguments as distractionsAppeal to Misplaced AuthorityRelies on celebrated or popular people to endorse an idea, rather than relying on expertsNon Sequitur(it does not follow)Your conclusion does not follow from your statement (e.g. “a new parking garage should not be built on campus because the grass on the football field is not well-maintained”)