Ethos, logos and pathos

Ethos, logos and pathos

Founder and chairman of national charity Care for the Family, Rob Parsons is also a trained lawyer, an accomplished speaker and a prolific author, whose books have been translated into many languages. His latest book, The heart of communication, tells you everything you need to know 'to really connect with an audience.'


The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle suggested that the art of public speaking is essentially the art of persuasion, and that there are three distinct elements which should be at the heart of every speech: ethos, logos and pathos. Let’s consider them in turn.




Ethos is a Greek word meaning ‘character’. In the context of public speaking it answers the question, ‘Is this person worth listening to?’ or ‘What right do they have to give this talk?’ In other words, it refers to your character, ethics and believability. If you speak to the same group of people every week, you probably don’t need to remind them each time why it is ...

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