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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!

 

References

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.

3 Ways USP’s Make for Successful Business Presentations

Big ideas are important in business-to-business presentations. The stakes are higher, with both capital and profits on the line. Also called major selling ideas, they act as your pitch’s cornerstone, condensing your offer’s features, advantages, and benefits into an easily understandable and repeatable concept.

A Unique Selling Proposition (or USP) is a marketing concept that allows advertisers to demonstrate a product’s key effectiveness and guides their advertising campaigns’ tone, message, and overall execution. It’s the core that makes any big idea successful. Before stepping into the spotlight, take a step back and analyze if your product is memorable and unique enough to present itself. They may even guide you into becoming a better public speaker.

Here are three ways to use USP’s to improve your business presentation technique.

1. It Demonstrates Appreciable Value

People tend to invest in or buy something that either has proven value or improves their daily lives. Examine your potential customers and, if possible, find out their priorities and motivations. Use this information to determine how to best package what you’re selling.

Similarly, focus on figuring out the ideal way of convincing them to buy in or invest. Knowing how your product improves lives is an important part of fine-tuning your message. During your pitch, assert how your product can make your customers’ lives better to grab their attention.

2. It Reveals an Inimitable Quality

Your audience has probably listened to countless unmemorable pitches. If you don’t play your cards right, you could be one of the many failed proposals, especially if you’re presenting to an established business. Pitch yourself as someone who can offer something that no one else can.

Advertisers research on possible competitors to determine their USP’s validity and sustainability. Similarly, check out your rivals and figure out how you can get a leg up on them through presentation design. Having a unique and professional-looking deck is a surefire way to impress and engage.

3. It Displays a Strong Hook to Reel Them In

As we’ve discussed before, having the facts is only one part of getting your pitch done. It’s the same with your USP. Flex your creative muscles to craft what you bring to the table into a communicable, understandable, and sellable business proposal.

Package what you must share with your potential investors into a novel idea, and you’ll have the main ingredients to success.

Conclusion

Before you start selling your product, make sure that your product can sell itself.

Pinpointing your USP and fleshing it out requires some intensive research and inspiring creativity. Fortunately, it makes an untold amount of difference in making a simple collection of facts and sentences into an effective marketing strategy.

First, find out how your offer improves your target market’s lives. Second, show them what only you can do, which competitors can’t replicate. Lastly, present your product or service in a creative way. Start applying the concept as an approach to business presentations now and reap the rewards.

 

References

Belch, G., & Belch, M. (2001). Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective (5th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Fine-tuning Your Presentation’s Core Message.” SlideGenius, Inc.. November 11, 2014. Accessed August 24, 2015.
Reeves, R. (1961). Reality in advertising. New York: Knopf.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP).Entrepreneur. Accessed August 24, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Apples-Stand-Out” by Flazingo Photos on flickr.com