Video: The 3 Pillars of Persuasion

I have prepared a series of short videos for my IESE courses this year. This is a 3 minute video describing Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triad, the 3 pillars of persuasion. You need to connect with an audience on each of these three levels if you wish to move them to action. (The video is here on my blog).


The basic principles of persuasion were developed over hundreds of years in Ancient Greece and Rome by philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. At the very heart of this development was Aristotle’s triad of logos, ethos and pathos. Aristotle’s innovation was to include “ethos”, or credibility, into the accepted approach to persuasion.

Over to you
Do you consider these three elements in your communication?  Do you use them in emails, letters, presentations, negotiations and prepared speeches?  What ways do you demonstrate credibility?

4 Lessons Learnt on Entrepreneurship (plus 1 for life)

  1. You have to sell.  Yes, you.  You have to sell. You have to get good at it. (7 steps of the sales process, how to pitch a brilliant idea)
  2. You need lots of help.  More than you can imagine. You need to learn to ask for it. (Ask better questions, 17 habits for a fulfilling life #13)
  3. Incremental Improvements always win. (Deliberate PracticeLean startup philosophy, Eat that frog)
  4. Learn to Motivate yourself.  Self-Discipline first. (The Magnet and The Hammer – tool 3, Who would Warren Buffett bet on?, Writing to Reflect)
  5. Listen. Not just to the words.  To the emotions of the other.  To the real reasons underlying her position.  To the hidden messages in their communication.  To yourself. To how you feel.  To your unconscious.  It is a very very clever beast.  It just doesn’t do directness very well.

Get your customers to do your best marketing for you Part 1 of 4: Nobody talks about boring businesses

I recently listened to John Jantsch speak about his new book “The referral engine: Teaching your Business to Market itself“. This post is part of a series of 4 that provide the valuable insights that I drew from his words.

The power of word of mouth
John spends a lot of time out talking to small business owners and found that in contrast to large corporates, most small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups say the bulk of their customers come from word of mouth.  They come because of another customer’s recommendation.

If you run a small business or are an entrepreneur, this then is key.  How do you make a business highly referable?  How can you create a system so that referrals happen consistently?

John outlines 6 “realities” of the world that we can use to build our referral system:

  1. People make referrals because they need to.  We are wired this way.  It builds my social capital if I can share valuable, useful services with friends that need them.
  2. Referral is a big risk– a referral means that I am loaning trust to your organisation.  This level of trust is more important with doctor or lawyer than with a decent local restaurant.  Companies can reduce perceived referral risk through consistency of service delivery.
  3. Nobody talks about boring businesses.  Will I talk about your service, people or company at a party or over lunch? What is unique? What is special?
  4. Consistency builds trust.  Steps: 1) Know a person 2) Like the person 3) Trust the person. I have to get to know you, then to like you before I begin to trust you.  Any surprises along the path and I will not reach “trust”.
  5. Marketing is a system.  Digital interactivity is at the center of marketing.  It is not alone, but cannot be avoided in today’s Web 2.0 world.  The marketing concept of the customer funnel is broken and needs replacement.
Key insight:  Nobody talks about boring businesses.

I will continue this series next week with part 2: “Get your customers to do your best marketing for you Part 2: The marketing funnel is broken“.