What makes someone persuasive?• Audience perceives the speaker to have high credibility• Audience is won over by a speaker’s evidence• Audience is convinced of the speaker’s reasoning• Audience’s emotions are touched by the speaker’s ideas or language
Credibility• In making a statement about football, who is more Peyton Manning or Hillary Clinton?• What about politics?• Ethos: source credibility; the perceived credibility of the person speaking
Credibility• Competence: how an audience regards a speaker’s intelligence, expertise and knowledge of the subject• Character: how an audience regards a speaker’s sincerity, trustworthiness and concern for the well-being of the audience• The more favorably an audience views a speaker’s competence and character, the more likely they are to accept what the speaker says
Credibility• Credibility is an attitude, it exists not in the speaker, but in the audience’s mind
Types of Credibility• Initial credibility: the perceived credibility of the speaker before he/she begins speaking. e.g., Jane Smith, President of World Wildlife Foundation speaking on the topic of endangered species• Derived Credibility: credibility earned during the actual speech. e.g., the speaker presents good research and arguments, the speaker appears distracted and unprepared• Terminal Credibility: the perceived credibility of the speaker at the conclusion of the speech
Enhancing Credibility• How can one BUILD credibility?• Explain your competence: did you research/study this topic thoroughly? Then say so!• E.g. “Before I studied antibacterial products in my health class, I used antibacterial soaps and cleansers all the time. Most recent surveys suggest 70% of consumers use these products as well. But after learning about this subject, I’m here to tell you these products actually create more problems than they solve.”
Enhancing Credibility• Establish Common Ground: make your speech more appealing by indentifying your ideas with those of your audience, by showing how your point of view is consistent with what they believe• Creating common ground is a technique in which a speaker connects him/herself with the values, attitudes, or experiences of the audience• Examples, page 356
Enhancing Credibility• Deliver the speech fluently, expressively and with conviction• Vocal crutches• Vocal variety, inflection• Vocal crescendo to accent statement• Speaking strongly• Practice, practice, practice (and then practice some more)
Using evidence• Evidence: supporting materials used to prove or disprove something• Instead of telling your audience what you think, use evidence to back up your statements• Imagine your audience’s response: what are they thinking, anticipate their questions and objections, and provide evidence that answers those questions and refutes objections• Example: pages 357-358
Tips for using evidence• Use specific evidence: avoid general statements like, “Lots of people have hearing loss.” Instead, use specific evidence such as “31 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.”• Specific numbers, statistics and other evidence has more perceived credibility than general statements
Tips for using evidence• Use novel evidence: evidence is more likely to be persuasive to an audience if it is new to them.• You’ll gain little credibility and interest using common, or well-known evidence• Present your audience with evidence that is current and new
Tips for using evidence• Use evidence from credible sources: audiences will be suspicious if presented with evidence from sources that appear to be biased or self-interested.• What is the perceived credibility of the following? The National Enquirer, Wikipedia, Perez Hilton, The New York Times, Fox News, CNN, Wall Street Journal?
Tips for using evidence• Make clear the point of your evidence: when speaking persuasively, the mission is to prove a point.• You cannot count on the audience to draw the conclusion YOU want to make• Logos: the logical appeal of a speaker• Logic must have a POINT and EVIDENCE to support it
Reasoning• Reasoning: the process of drawing a conclusion based on evidence• Reasoning from specific instances: reasoning that moves from particular facts to a general conclusion. E.g., “My brother’s phys ed class was easy. My girlfriend’s phys ed class was easy. My phys ed class was easy. Therefore, phys ed classes are easy.”
Reasoning from specific instances• It’s common, many people make generalized conclusions based on personal experience• Hasty generalization: an error in reasoning from specific instances, in which a speaker jumps to a general conclusion on the basis of insufficient evidence.
Reasoning from specific instances• Make sure your sample of specific incidences is large enough to justify your conclusion• Be careful of your wording – generalizations should be not be sweeping – that is, they should be supported by your facts, and generalizations that are too broad to be supported should be avoided• Reinforce arguments with statistics or testimony: one could never give enough statistics to make a generalization irrefutable, but you should supplement with evidence to show representative instances of generalizations
Reasoning from principle• Moves from the general to the specific, progress from a general principle to a specific conclusion. E.g., “The constitution guarantees the right of US citizens to vote. Women are US citizens. Therefore, women have the right to vote.”• Begin with a general principle, through a minor premise, to a conclusion
Reasoning from principle• Pay special attention to your general principle – will the audience accept it without evidence?• If not, give evidence to support it before moving to the minor premise• You may need to support the minor premise with evidence• When the general principle and minor premise are soundly based in evidence, the audience is more likely to accept your conclusion• Examples: page 364
Causal Reasoning• Causal reasoning: reasoning that seeks to establish the relationship between cause and effect• Very common, can be tricky; the relationships between causes and effects are not always clear or conclusive
Causal Reasoning• Fallacy of the false cause, aka, post hoc, ergo propter hoc: “after this, therefore because of this”• Just because one event happens after another, does not mean that event caused the next event to happen. E.g., “SAT scores rose 20% in the new superintendent’s first year of office.” Timing may be coincidental, and does not prove one event caused the other to happen.• Do not assume events only have one cause
Analogical reasoning• Analogical reasoning: reasoning in which a speaker compares two similar cases and infers that what is true for the first case is also true for the second. E.g., “If you’re good at racquetball, you’ll be great at ping-pong.”• Consider if the two cases are actually, essentially alike – if they are, the analogy will be valid. If not, the analogy is invalid.• Arguments that use precedent are a type of analogical reasoning
Fallacies• Fallacy: error in reasoning• Hasty generalizations, false cause, invalid analogy• Red Herring: a fallacy that introduces an irrelevant issue to divert attention from the subject under discussion• Ad Hominem: a fallacy that attacks the person rather than dealing with the real issue in dispute• Either-Or: a fallacy that forces listeners to choose between two alternatives, when more than two alternatives exist
Fallacies• Bandwagon: a fallacy that assumes that because something is popular, it is therefore good, correct or desirable• Slippery Slope: a fallacy that assumes that taking a first step will lead to subsequent steps that cannot be prevented
Emotional Appeals• Pathos: emotional appeals; intended to make the audience feel sad, angry, guilty, afraid, happy, proud, etc.• Use emotional words to induce appeal (page 371)• Develop vivid examples (page 371-372)• Speak with sincerity and conviction: emotional appeals must be made with appropriate body language and delivered in the right voice.
Emotional Appeals• Ethics: emotional language can trigger strong audience response, but should always be used ethically, and never in place of substantiated facts and evidence.