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Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Pitching With Pathos

Have you been seeing more and more people dozing off during a speech? Without proper communication, audiences can’t be engaged no matter how interesting your topic is. If you’re looking for a tried and tested Classical approach, here’s another of those presentation ideas from Ancient Greece.

In a previous post, we discussed the building blocks set by the Greeks for interpersonal communication: logos, pathos, and ethos. We’ve spoken about Ethos and the importance of building your credibility as a speaker.

Now, it’s time to talk about how to ease the transformation through one of the other pillars: Pathos.

What is Pathos?

Pathos is a mode of persuasion that appeals to an audience’s emotions. It enhances an argument by making listeners identify with the speaker’s perspective. If Ethos eases the transfer of the message, Pathos increases its effectivity.

Think of Pathos as how easily your audience sympathizes with you. A sympathetic audience will more likely react to your pitch and respond positively to your Call-to-Action. Remember that you can’t win minds without also winning hearts.

Why Emotional Appeal Works

When it comes to winning arguments, the Ancient Greeks knew that passion could be stronger than reason. In the young democracy of the Athenian Greeks, appealing to citizens’ emotions allowed them to galvanize and unite their populace in the face of repeated adversities.

This worked whenever they had arguments with the other city-states. It even allowed them to bring other city-states into the Delian League – a sort of ancient United Nations. You can’t persuade everyone with just emotions, however. Look to Pathos as the way to prime your listener’s mental states to be more receptive to your ideas.

How to Maximize Pathos

You can appeal to emotions by relating your clients’ social and psychological needs with the purchase of a product or service. According to business gurus George and Michael Belch, consumers are more motivated by their feelings toward a brand than knowledge of its features or attributes. This shows us the significance of appealing to an audience’s emotions.

In speaking, we can use stories and narratives to frame our arguments and supporting information. Vivid and imaginative language also add color and excitement to your presentation. As the speaker, portray yourself as similarly affected by the problem you’re trying to solve, increasing the impact once you’ve presented your proposed solution.

When partnered with an effective and sympathetic Call-to-Action, you’ll be winning new clients over in no time.

To Sum It Up

The Ancient Greeks were ahead of their time, mastering oratory methods that helped unify and guide their civilization and culture. Appropriate narratives, vibrant language, and extracting empathy allows speakers to get the best emotional appeal.

Through the use of Pathos and other rhetorical techniques, Greek speakers struck emotional strings to sway their listeners and win hearts and minds. Use their timeless persuasion techniques to give your pitch an extra advantage.

Running out of ideas for your presentation pitch? Contact our SlideGeniuses now for some much needed assistance–and a free quote!



Belch, G., & Belch, M. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective (5th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Delian League.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Accessed September 4, 2015.
Presentation Ideas from Ancient Greece: Explaining Ethos.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed September 4, 2015.

4 Crucial Skills for a Better Investment Presentation Q&A

Convincing clients to accept your proposal is a feat in itself because while you can establish its relevance and support it with facts, they’ll always have questions after you deliver your investment presentation:

How much will implementing your proposal cost? How long will it take? Who will be involved?

Don’t worry about the Q&A of your investment pitch. Idea presentation is also a form of marketing and advertising.

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Audience persuasion is this practice’s lifeblood. Knowing how to address these concerns is the final hurdle that every presenter must pass.

As this article addresses the final parts of your presentation process, allocate the information you need in your PowerPoint’s the index section.

Getting Started

Addressing the clients’ concerns show them that your proposal is superior to the competition.

Ensure that the idea was well-formulated to account for perceived inconsistencies.

Northwestern University’s marketing expert Philip Kotler (1972) shares four planning skills to reinforce ideas during the final stages of your investment presentation:

Planning the Product

Your product is your proposal. It’s the thing you want to pitch to your audience.

Do you want to introduce a new gadget in an expo? Are you pitching a stock investment plan? Are you presenting a recommendation from your earnings’ reports?

Define your product in such a way that clients know exactly what you’re offering them. This should be reflected in the way you package and present it.

Determining the Price

Cost is a big factor in whether your client will approve your proposal or not.

Audiences need to see how their budget (if they give you one) will be allocated, and how much they’ll profit. While they do have the spending power, they prefer cost-effective solutions that give the best value.

Getting past this particular point requires you to accurately identify what it would take for your clients to invest time and money in your idea.

Listing down your costs or presenting graphs to outline how you’ll spend their money presents a clear picture of how the expenses will play out.

Planning the Distribution

Once you’ve established the product and costs, how do you plan on making your product available?

After impressing your audience with your offering’s features and benefits, tell them where and how they can get it.

Will it be available in major tech shops? Can people only get it at the Apple Retail Store? Will it be exclusively available online?

Planning for this often ties in with the concerns of costs.

Promoting Interest

Keep your idea’s benefits in mind. Keep your audience interested by specifying exactly what they can get out of your proposal. Focus on powerful suggestions such as:

“This insurance plan will provide coverage against a wide variety of accidents, all for a fraction of the competition’s costs”
“This new processor will allow your phones to use more apps at the same time, increasing your productivity”.

Clients and their businesses are not only responsible for maximizing their profits, but also for maintaining a strong and lasting customer interest. The more well-defined your idea is, the more convinced clients will be.

Accurately defending a pitch is a crucial investment presentation skill.

When the client’s approval is on the line, your audience will appreciate a speaker who not only focuses on the style of presenting but also stands by his or her topic well enough to convince others to invest in it.

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Kotler, P. (1972). A Generic Concept of Marketing. Journal of Marketing. Vol. 36, No. 2.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed May 5, 2015.
The Question to Answer for Effective Business Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 25, 2015.