How to use the modes of persuasion to persuade people

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How persuasion happens?

Is persuasion all about logic?
No this doesn't make any sense. If that was the case you would have easily been able to convince a smoker to quit smoking right away by just telling him about the health risks.

In my previous article why most people don't take rational decisions i explained how many people take emotional decisions under the pressure of the subconscious goals they have.

In other words, logic might not be the only thing needed to persuade someone but in addition you might also need to provoke some emotions in people. Haven't you noticed that most of the viral videos , even the ones that carry a logical message, usually stir people's emotions?

So Is there anything remaining in the persuasion puzzle?
Yes the authority of the speaker. Do you remember how you received the words of your teacher when you were young? Almost everything she said was a fact because she was in a position of authority.

Meet the modes of persuasion

The modes of persuasion are the three elements called Ethos, pathos and Logos that can be used to effectively persuade a person. Ethos stands for the authority of the speaker , just like in the Teacher's example, Pathos stands for the emotional element while logos stands for the logical argument used.

In order to persuade a person to do something you need to know how to use the right mix of those strategies depending on the situation. When researchers tried to find out why Steve Jobs was so persuasive they came up with the conclusion that he knew how to use the right mix of the modes of persuasion in each and every situation.

Let's suppose you are trying to persuade a person to do something but your logic isn't somehow working.In such a case you might need to add an emotional element to your words to target that person's unconscious mind instead of his conscious mind. In addition you can provide some credentials to show that you are in a position of authority if that was possible.

How to use the modes of persuasion to persuade people

Let's suppose i want to convince someone who wants to make money to buy my book about making money online. If i stated the facts that this book is based on years of research it might or might not appeal to the person am talking to but what if i told that person that i already became a millionaire , which is fact, and that i wrote down my full experience in that book?

In such a case i would be doing two things in the same time. First i would be targeting the person's emotions (Pathos) because his desire to become rich would be triggered and in addition i would be showing that person that i am authoritative enough to talk about that topic (Ethos).

So many people get persuasion wrong because they believe that it's all about logic and that's not correct. If the person you are talking to is very logical then logic might work but oftentimes you will have to find the right mix of the modes of persuasion to be able to persuade a certain person to do something.

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