Great book with fascinating insights into communication and logic – very easy read. I thought I would just outline the book for you – read it for awesome examples from Homer Simpson, Animal House, and other great speeches. Try it on your significant other and see the awesome results!
First Priority! Set your goal – what is the desired outcome?
Three goals of persuasion
- Stimulate audience’s emotions
- Change its opinion
- Get it to act
Three core issues associated with persuasion:
- Blame (past tense)
- Values (present tense)
- Choice (future tense)
*Most productive arguments use choice as central issue but don’t let debate slide into values or guilt*
Aristotle’s three powerful tools of persuasion
Argument by character – ETHOS
- Sympathy – registering concern and then change to fit own argument.
- Decorum – a leader’s tone, appearance, and manners; fitting in.
- Virtue – the audience believes you share their values. (must adapt to audience)
- Practical Wisdom – you appear to know the right thing to do on each occasion.
- Selflessness / Disinterest – the audience’s interest seems to be your only concern.
Argument by logic – LOGOS
- Concession – allowing opponent to score a point, agree, but still get one’s own desired outcome.
- Deduction – applies a general principle to a particular matter. Uses a commonplace to reach a conclusion, interpreting the circumstance through a lens of belief or value
- Enthymeme – premise therefore conclusion. You believe this, so you should do that. “We should [choice], because [commonplace].”
- Induction – starts with a specific then moves to the general. Use circumstance to form a belief. Use – facts, comparisons, and story when using induction.
Argument by emotion – PATHOS
- 7 Logical Sins can be summed up as: Bad Proof, Bad Conclusion, Disconnect Between proof and conclusion:
- False Comparison
- I’ve never had an accident, so I can’t have one now
- False Comparison
- Bad Example
- Uses too few examples and interprets too broadly
- Ignorance as Proof
- Lack of examples proves that it doesn’t exist or my theory has not been disproved so it must be true.
- The proof and conclusion are the same – were here because were here
- False Choice
- The number of choices are not the correct number – when did you stop beating your wife
- Red Herring
- Distraction and straw man fallacy “Who drank my oj?” “Well, why aren’t the dishes done?”
- Wrong Ending
- Proof fails to lead to conclusion – “Allow rock music and kids will start having drug parties.”