Aristotle said that “[There is persuasion] through the hearers when they are led to feel emotion [pathos] by the speech.” Pathos is the art of isolating relevant emotions, determining what causes those emotions, and eliminating competing or detrimental emotions. The human spectrum of emotion is complex, and one’s emotional timbre regarding a topic can be difficult to convey to others.
So, while speakers respond to credible, knowledgeable speakers, it is inspiration and heart that motivates one to act. It is effective emotion that helps cross the divide between agreement and action. So, how can you utilize your slides to help you establish, develop, and maintain your pathos?
1. Use the picture superiority effect to maximize an image’s impact.
2. Use visuals to surprise your audience.
3. Use familiar images to appeal to a shared value.
4. Use video to bring emotion to life.
I positively love sharing this video with my class when we discuss the impact a short story can have on our perceptions of an idea. Embedding creative commons videos into your slides is easy. Try downloading a TED.com video, then drag it into your slides as you would an image.
5. Use moving images to increase interest.
Statistic: Children’s Defense Fund