Friday, November 30, 2012
Aristotle's Secret to Great Content
Courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle has an ageless recipe for great content that rocks.
Want to know what it is?
Three words: Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
Also known as his appeals, these three tenets of rhetoric can be understood as follows:
Ethos meaning credibility or ethical appeal looks at the character of the content producer or author. Is the person worthy of respect in this field and does he or she have authority in the domain? Generally, we tend to believe people whom we look up to in a domain area.
Pathos looks at the emotional dimension of persuasion. Any form of content - text, videos, audio podcasts, or photos - need to ignite the hearts of its readers, viewers and listeners. Here, the different elements of language, expressions, choreography, pace, tone of voice and acting can either help or hinder an audience's response.
Logos or logic looks at cognitive aspect of reasoning as a means of persuasion. Here, there are various forms of analysis such as deductive or inductive reasoning, as well as the use of empirical methods to bring an argument across.
To strike a chord with your audiences in any form of content production - documents, web pages, advertisements, speeches, videos, letters and so on - do bear in mind the three timeless "proofs".
Without ethos, one is unable to convince one's readers that one has the necessary experience or education to wax lyrical about a proposed topic.
Without pathos, one may be the most qualified person in the world to speak about a particular topic, yet end up putting one's audiences to sleep.
Without logos, the most emotionally stirring presentation put forth by a senior spokesperson would appear hollow and ill-conceived.
The next time you want to embark on writing or producing any form of content, think about how you can increase your ethos, pathos and logos. Together, these elements help to ensure that whatever you create is respected, resonate with its audiences, and reasonable.