Public speaking would not be the same without the father of public speaking, Aristotle, and his contributions. His methods are based on experience, practicality, and good sense. The Rhetoric, which he wrote, contains his first-ever considerations of the dynamics of public speech and persuasion.
Aristotle studied under Plato for 20 years, yet their ideologies were very dissimilar because Aristotle’s philosophies focused more on the objective world. He wrote pieces of classical antiquity that perfectly captured the methods through which public speaking was cultivated and taught.
Aristotle’s Contributions and Influence in Public Speaking
We often take for granted the importance of rhetoric in our society, but without Aristotle’s contributions, public speaking might not be what it is today. Let’s dig a little deeper into his impact.
Founder of Formal Logic
Aristotle was the first thinker to analyze logical syntax systematically. He looked at nouns (or terms) and verbs, and how they worked together. Considering that he employed variables to illustrate the fundamental logical structure of an argument, he became the first formal logician to establish the principles of reasoning.
The renowned philosopher Aristotle believed that rhetoric should be a key component in the education and work lives of public officials. He saw it as being essential for statesmen. Aristotle’s Rhetoric both documented modern usage and aimed to improve it by classifying it properly among the arts.
The Persuasion Triad
According to Aristotle, the art of persuasion is made up of three parts:
1. Ethos: He said that ethos was the “moral character” of the speaker, or their credibility.
2. Pathos: The second part, pathos, is an emotional appeal to the audience.
3. Logos: The third and final part of persuasion is logos, which is logical argument.
In order to effectively persuade your audience, you should utilize logos (facts), pathos (emotional appeal), and ethos (moral standing). This type of argument model is still used by public speakers today.
Aristotle’s Communication Model
This model improves your public speaking skills rather than aiding you in bettering interpersonal communication. The Aristotle Model of Communication is composed of five essential elements: Speaker – Speech – Occasion – Audience – Effect. This model is still used as a guideline for public speakers.
These are just some of Aristotle’s contributions to public speaking. He has also had a profound influence on the study and practice of rhetoric, as well as the field of communication more broadly. As we can see, his work is still relevant today and continues to shape the way we think about and engage in public speaking.
Aristotle was born in 384 BC in the Macedonian city of Stagira. His father, Nicomachus, was the court physician to King Amyntas III of Macedon.Aristotle moved to Athens after his father died in 367, where he then became Plato’s student and collaborator at the Academy of Plato. Not much is known about his personal life but there is a story that he married Pythias, one of Plato’s relatives. She died young, and Aristotle later married Hermias’s adopted daughter (and niece) Pythias. He had a son with her who he named after his father, Nicomachus.
Aristotle was very prolific during his lifetime. In addition to the Rhetoric, he wrote on a wide variety of topics including biology, botany, ethics, government, logic, metaphysics, music, physics, poetry, theatre, and zoology. He also produced significant works on the history of philosophy and the nature of science.
Aristotle is considered by many to be the father of public speaking. He was a great thinker who had a deep understanding of the art of persuasion. His contributions to rhetoric and communication are still felt today. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, take a page from Aristotle’s book and remember the importance of ethos, pathos, and logos.