Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
Grace all the way
Wed May 15, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
How to be on mission in the city
Wed May 15, 2013
by Stephen Um
How to love people well
Tue May 14, 2013
by Dave Bruskas
Be a Credible Speaker
Effective Communication series: Click | View Series Aristotle believed that effective communication is a combination of ethos (the credibility of the speaker), logos (the truth and relevancy of the message), and pathos (the emotional and appropriate response of the receivers).
The Foundation to Good Communication
I want to focus particularly on the ethos of the leader, realizing, of course, that having well-prepared, truthful, and relevant content (logos) and understanding and listening to your audience so as to elicit a response (pathos) are equally important. We get our word “ethics” from ethos. Aristotle identified three principles in the communicator’s ethos: intelligence, character, and good will. Translated, I believe it means:
- Know your subject
- Be a person of inward genuineness, conviction, and sincerity
- Place a high value on the interests of others
It is safe to say that people want to know three things about the person who is communicating. Do we really believe what we say we believe? Do we live by it? Does it make much difference?
Passion Enhances Ethos
I think that an important aspect of ethos is being passionate about what I say. It has a grip on me. I recall hearing about two leaders discussing their beliefs and how they were different or similar. After a few minutes one said to the other, “Well, it appears to me that we believe the same things,” to which the other replied, “The difference is that you have it on ice, and I have it on fire.” Ethos should be truth on fire, conviction, and deep passion that is picked up by the listeners. Aristotle believed that people are much more likely to respond to a message if, in addition to understanding it, they experience the emotion that elicits an appropriate response. This emotion starts with the communicator.
Conviction Engages Listeners
In today’s technological and information-overload culture, facts and reasons alone are unlikely to trigger action. We need some fire and excitement. I am not suggesting phony trumped-up enthusiasm or empty emotionalism, but conviction from the heart. I believe that effective communication is first and foremost a “work of heart.” People know if you really believe it and if it grips you. If not, why should they care? D.L. Moody was once asked how he had become such a dynamic communicator. He replied that before he spoke, he went off to a field by himself and asked God to set him on fire! That is my constant prayer.