Presentation Brainstorming: More Than Facts

Once you have begun to collect and create content, this first batch of brainstormed content might be primarily comprised of facts. Facts are one type of content to collect—but they’re not the only type needed to create a successful presentation. You must strike a balance between analytical and emotional content. Yes, emotional. This might not be a step with which you’re comfortable, but it’s an important one nonetheless.

Aristotle claimed that to persuade, one must employ three types of argument: ethical appeal (ethos), emotional appeal (pathos), and logical appeal (logos).

Facts alone are not sufficient to persuade. They need to be complemented with just the right balance of credibility and content that tugs at the heartstrings.

Stating fact after fact in an hour-long presentation doesn’t let your audience know why these facts are important. Use emotions as a tool to bring emphasis to the facts so they stand out. If you don’t, you’re making the audience work too hard to identify the decision they are to make. Staying flat and factual might work in a scientific report, but simply won’t work for the oral delivery of persuasive content.

Ethos - Logos - Pathos triangle

Ethical Appeal

Connect with the audience through shared values and experiences. Create the right balance of analytical and emotional appeal; this will bolster your credibility. The audience will feel connected to and have respect for your idea.

Logical Appeal

Develop a structure to keep the presentation intact and help it make sense. Make a claim and supply evidence that supports the claim. It is necessary to use logical appeal in all presentations.

Emotional Appeal

Stimulate your audience through appeals to their feelings of pain or pleasure. When people feel these emotions, they will throw reason out the window; people make important decisions based on emotion.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of.— Blaise Pascal