What is Logos?

– So the question is what is logos? And specifically how can I use this term to improve my public speaking? Those are the questions
we’re going to answer, so let’s get into the details. (electronic tones) Hello there and welcome
back, I’m Alex Lyon, and this channel is called
Communication Coach, and we are all about
helping emerging leaders probably like you with your
professional development. Today we’re talking about logos. We’re doing a three part series
on ethos, pathos and logos, all of which are pervasive appeals, or ways that we can
persuade our audiences, and be more convincing, so these are not just academic concepts. They are ways for us to get
better at public speaking. I also want to suggest
that you stick around to the end of the video. I have a couple of resources
that I want to recommend that’ll help you with
your public speaking. So in terms of logos I have
a lot to say about this, but the first thing I want to say is logos does not mean logic, not really. The word logic originates from logos, but there’s a lot more to it, and if we only use that
idea about what logos means, we’re really selling ourselves short on the persuasive aspects of this term. So let’s talk about what it means in a little more detail than that. First of all, logos is
a rhetorical appeal. So ethos and pathos are
also rhetorical appeals, and to draw a comparison
pathos is where you appeal to your audience’s emotions. Logos is where you appeal to your audience’s sense
of rationale and logic. So yes, logic is involved, but it’s where you’re appealing
to your audience’s need and desire for a good argument, facts, figures and support and evidence that support that argument. So there’s a lot going on here that deserves to be unpacked, so I’m gonna talk about three ways that you can maximize the
logos in your presentations, and we’re gonna do that by starting with building a sound argument. So as a speaker, when you’re
preparing your presentations, you have to build a thesis
statement or essential claim that you’re going to push
through your entire presentation. That’s really the first step if you want to appeal to people’s minds. Pathos appeals to their heart. Logos appeals to their mind. Keep that in mind. And by building a sound argument, we mean a couple of things. The first thing that we mean is you have to build your argument on reasonable premises and
statements about reality and the topic that your
audience already agrees with, that your listeners believe are true. In other words, you have to
make reasonable statements that move your audience
from one step to the next. You can’t jump way out in front of them in some irrational way. They just won’t follow you along. So let’s pretend I am
speaking to a group of people who I want to persuade about
some investments to make. Here’s an example of a bad
way to make a statement that does not resonate with
people’s sense of reality. If I say quote everybody knows gold is the best investment
you can make, unquote, that would be a very bad
statement logically and rationally because not many people are gonna agree that gold is automatically the best. There’s a huge jump there. What I have to do is pull that statement back down to reality and ground it in a premise that people will agree with. So here’s how I would back that off. I would say quote some people believe gold is the best investment
you can make, but is that true? Let’s take a look, unquote. So once you have a
statement, a thesis statement that’s built on premises and truth that people will agree with, you have to then develop that argument throughout your presentation. This is where you break your argument into main points from A to B to C and walk your listeners through this as you do your presentation. So number one, build a sound argument and then break it down into its parts. The second way to maximize logos
is to support your argument with good evidence. And by evidence I mean
facts, figures, information and other kinds of data that support the claim that you’re making. And you have to use
high-quality information. If I want a statistic, I’m not just going to cite somebody’s blog or make something up. I have to dig down to
a good original source for that statistic and then share that and cite that appropriately. I often, for example,
talk about the workplace, and I frequently look at the
Bureau of Labor Statistics for information. So here’s a statistic
I found, for example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 15% employee turnover
is an average rate in the United States. That means that approximately
15% of employees voluntarily quit any given
workplace in the average year. That’s normal. So that’s a good statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a high-quality source. You wanna use good information,
good facts and figures. So the third way to build
logos, to maximize logos is to make reasonable connections between your evidence and your claim. So you have your claim,
you have good evidence, now you have to have a tight fit between your claim and your evidence. You don’t wanna stretch the point. You don’t wanna give one little statistic and then make some big
claim about that statistic. You’re gonna lose people there. There’s a break in
rationale and logic there. So here’s the bad example of doing this, that is not a good fit here, quote employee turnover in
customer service call centers averages about 40%. This shows that call centers
are the worst places to work. Now, that’s unquote, so
you may agree with this. Maybe you’ve worked in a
call center and you hated it. But there’s a problem with this statement. I’m saying 40% proves that call centers are the worst places to work. Well what’s missing? What’s missing is context, and comparison, and I didn’t even cite
my source that time. So we’re really detached
from any kind of reality that we can compare this
to and evaluate it again. So you have to make sure
you build in a good fit between your evidence and your claim. So here’s how I would fix that. I would back off my claim, and I would bring in a little
more evidence for our context. So here’s how I would say it, quote the Bureau of
Labor Statistics reports that the average annual
employee turnover rate in the U.S. is 15%. However, customer service call centers average 40% annual turnover. That is an extremely high number that signals that
something needs to change. So now I sound like a rational person using facts and figures. And it may not sound all that exciting in terms of the actual numbers, but I’ve brought in comparison,
I’ve cited my sources, and now there’s a nice tight fit between my claim and my evidence. So you don’t wanna stretch
or exaggerate the point. You wanna bring your evidence and your claim nice and closely together. So the three takeaways to maximize logos in your presentations are first
to build a sound argument, second use good evidence, and third make a reasonable connection between your claim and your evidence. And by doing these three,
you will be appealing to your listener’s logical, rational side and be much more persuasive. So earlier I mentioned
a couple of resources I would like to suggest. If you wanna work on your public speaking, the first is a PDF download. You put in your email address, and I download you tips on
how to become a more composed and confident public speaker. I believe there’s five or six
tips in that PDF download. And the other resource is a full course that I have built that is designed to help you become a top 10% speaker in your professional setting. So there are about three hours’
worth of videos and lessons, and it takes you about a month to go through one video per day, and it’s really comprehensive. It’s called Present Like a Pro. So I will put links to
both of those resources in the description below this video. And question of the day in terms of logos, what are your thoughts on this topic? What are the best ways
to build a presentation that appeals to your
listener’s rational side? I would love to hear your
feedback on that question in that section below the video. I look forward to reading those comments. So thanks, God bless,
and I will see you later.

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15 thoughts on “What is Logos?

  1. – FREE 7 Instant Tips for Confident & Composed Public Speaking
    – Public Speaking Course: Present Like a Pro http://bit.ly/2zmDM2W

  2. Thank you, this is also really helpful in listening to others speak to find them credible, I especially like the point of including relevant evidence to back up an argument.

  3. Great video. I love your use of examples, the multiple camera angles, and your use of text graphics to highlight main points. And of course I’m glad you’re keeping Aristotle alive.

  4. This is so helpful I have to do this for the last debate in the movie the great debaters this is helpful

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