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Rhetoric

Rhetoric teaches us how to use our words, voice, and body language to get our message across to an audience. Learn how understanding rhetoric can help you in public relations.

Using the Tools of Rhetoric in Public Relations
Rhetoric is about persuading people to act. It's a different skill set, and the techniques used by reporters and editors to communicate to inform don't work when it comes to writing speeches or op-eds on the opinion page. For the basics of rhetoric, it's smart to study what the ancient Greek masters of rhetoric studied and refined 2,000 years...

Rhetoric 101: Three Parts Of Rhetoric And Three Types Of Debates
Rhetoric gives public figures the tools to avoid mistakes and court success. The ideas identified by the ancient masters are the foundations of a communication toolbox that every modern public figure and public relations professional should bring to any job, whether it's publicizing a book tour or running the press operations for a White House campaign.

Rhetoric 102: The Right Kind Of Persuasion
It's important to define -- and study -- the difference between rhetoric and propaganda, especially for anyone involved in public relations. Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. It's about getting people to do something that's in their self interest. Propaganda is about getting people to do something that's not in their best interests.

Rhetoric 103: Avoiding Fallacies
You've heard fallacies before. They're the kind of thing that tend to end a debate, not because they're great, but because they're not supported by facts and arguments. They tend to bring a debate into an endless and unproductive loop. Students of rhetoric have examined these false arguments for centuries, and there's a long list of rhetorical fallacies and how to combat them.

Rhetoric 104: Know Your Audience
The first question to ask before writing any speech or oped isn't to ask about the topic. Ask about the audience. How much do they know about this issue? How long do they expect the speech to last? Is the audience friendly, neutral or hostile?

Rhetoric 201: Ethos
Ethos is how the character, sincerity and credibility of the speaker affects the audience. The first of Aristotle's three parts of rhetoric, ethos is an essential idea for public figures and public relations professionals. If your credibility is damaged -- by errors, omissions, miscommunications or acts of God -- nothing else matters. The press and public won't listen.

Rhetoric 202: Ethos Boosters
Credibility is incredibly important in the field of public relations. Anyone in the public eye lives and dies by their reputation. If you're a public figure, your reputation and credibility are the biggest assets you have.

Rhetoric 301: Pathos
Modern science gives us proof that the ancients were right when they said pathos was the most powerful part of rhetoric. Our emotions rule our brains. This isn't a bad thing, or a weakness. We need emotions to assign value to choices and weigh them. They're essential to making a decision. Pathos is important because persuasion, in the end, comes down to inspiring people to do something. You can't…

Rhetoric 401: Logos
Structure anything persuasive so that it builds to a climax, inspiring the audience into action with rock-solid logic, stories about real people that make them mad as hell and compelling reasons why this problem is not only fixable, but something worth their time and effort to go out and fix.

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