Persuasive Speeches:
18 Highly Effective Pathos Elements

Persuasive speeches and essays can be made more convincing and spiced up with appeals to emotions or persuasion poignant pathos, conceptuated logos and moral and philopsophical ethos elements from aposiopesis to perclusio in your speech topics. On this page I discuss Pathos - to persuade by appealing to emotions to enhance support for your arguments.

Greek for suffering or experience. Appeal to the feelings, imagination and sympathies of your audience or readers: 

Aristotle, the Ancient Greek philosopher, divided the art of persuasion into three classical categories: pathos, logos and ethos.

1. Evoke an emotional response on recognizable family, community or neighbourhood matters. Tell a story or use a narrative in your persuasive speeches. Keep in mind the language you use.

2. Provoke anger in the listener, stir them up to be as angry as you are. Of course provide the proper reasoning.

3. Make a promise, and ensure they can count on your efforts - adhortatio.

4. Suggest something that looks impossible, and explain that it isn't impossible to accomplish at all - this called adynaton.

5. Make an exaggerated comparison between two ideas, and state which one is the best option to choose.

6. Act as if you are being overwhelmed with emotions when you talk about a special theme - also known as aposiopesis.

7. Address the people who are not there in the public, give the listeners a we-feeling - in rhetorical terms: apostrophe.

8. Make clear something is threatening the audience and describe what will happen if they don't agree.

9. Predict an evil prophecy or vision and the dangerous effects and impact in the future - the ominatio technique.

10. Describe how the consequences of the suggested acts and changes will influence their life - scientists named this descriptio.

11. Make an imaginatively emotional exclamation - here comes the tongue twister: ecphonesis.

12. Show and proof how they are emotionally affected by the subject and the surrounding effects - energia is the word.

13. Make a verbal mistake on purpose and correct yourself - a Freudian slip, called epanorthosis.

14. Ask provokative or indictive rhetorical questions and give simple and convincing answers - epiplexis.

15. Transform a boring aspect of your persuasive writing topic into exciting main point - excitatio.

16. Stir the audience by showing fiery feelings, let them follow you in your enthusiasm and spirit - exuscitatio.

17. Ask your public for help and valuable ideas, called mempsis, after you have stated there is a threat, which is the pathos technique of perclusio.

18. Repetition is one of the most powerful forms of pathos in presentations. You can use this art of persuasion to enlarge the spectrum and context of the beliefs, values, and understandings in persuasive speeches.

There are many ways to do so, but these are the four ones that have been practiced successfully for ages by millions around the world:
  • Repeat a single word three or four times.

  • Repeat a term of phrase throughout the whole presentation or persuasive speech essay.

  • Repeat the last word of a previous point.

  • Repeat a phrase at the end or beginning of every major point in persuasive writing and speaking.

Lord Chesterfield British aristocrat defining rhetorical analysis in persuasive speeches