Ok, now that I have tricked you into clicking on the title and getting you to the whole article, this is not about convincing you not to put a puppy in the microwave. However, if it were, I would be using the art of “Rhetoric” to convince you not to do it.
I wanted to write about rhetoric and knew that if I used the title, “The importance of Rhetoric to a Leader,” the chances of anyone going any further were slim to none. So indulge me a minute and read about one science Masons are introduced to and encouraged to study.
Rhetoric can be described as the study of effective speaking and writing as well as the art of persuasion. In the Masonic degrees it is described as:
“The art of using language and methods of speech, which attract the ear and eye, and conspicuously carry the thoughts intended, to the heart and understanding of another”
A leader to be effective should be constantly communicating and will naturally be speaking, writing and many times find that they need to persuade. Persuasive appeals are a part of rhetoric and according to Aristotle could take the form of one of three types:
- Logos – the appeal to reason
- Pathos – the appeal to emotion
- Ethos – the persuasive appeal of one’s character
Leaders will use all three depending on the subject and the person they are trying to persuade. So prepare yourself by making sure you have all bases covered.
- Appeal to reason – this is a logical approach so a leader should be armed with facts and supporting information for his position. This means a leader should thoroughly study the subject matter and know as much as possible.
- Appeal to emotion – a connection to your audience must have been established. As John Maxwell says “You must touch a heart before you ask for a hand.”
- Appeal based on your character – if you have not established respect and trust you will have no basis for persuasion because of who you are.
If you want to learn more about the art of rhetoric here is a great site:http://rhetoric.byu.edu/ . Or go to this site for some of the best speeches of all time employing the use of rhetoric: www.americanrhetoric.com.
Oh by the way, if you are reading this, I know I don’t have to convince you not to put a puppy in the microwave.