Speech to the Virginia
Convention (1775)
Patrick Henry
• The convince congress that America has no
choice but to act now and arm itself against the
Persuasive Techniques
(Rhetorical Devices)
• A form of discourse that uses logical and
emotional appeals to convince another person to
think or act a certain way
• The art of using words effectively in speaking
and writing to persuade or influence someone
Aristotle’s 3 persuasive appeals
1. Ethos: the source establishes his/her
2. Logos: use of logic to support a claim like
facts or statistics
A. Inductive reasoning – a large number of
observations lead to a conclusion [The sun has come
up for hundreds of years, this it will rise tomorrow]
B. Deductive reasoning – generally accepted truths
lead to a conclusion [Anything I see is real. If I see a
two-headed cat, it is real]
3. Pathos: use of emotional appeals (vivid
language [a.k.a. imagery], emotional language,
sensory details)
Think of the appeals as
Athos, Porthos, and Aramis as
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
Logical Appeal (further explanation)
• when an argument is made by presenting facts
or reason that lead the audience to a specific
• “OnStar service inside your car is better than
carrying a cell phone because a cell phone can’t
call for you when you’re injured.”
Emotional Appeal
(further explanation)
• appeals are rooted in feeling so they play on
people's fears, joys, sadness, etc. and make the
audience feel a certain way to persuade them to
your side
The telephone ads that state "reach out and touch
someone" show people sharing tender, nostalgic or
special moments over the phone. Life insurance or car
insurance ads often play on people’s fear of death.
Techniques (tools) used to employ
the three persuasive appeals
Find the definition and an example
Rhetorical questions
Parallel Form
5. Repetition
6. Anecdotes
7. Restatement
8. Exclamation
9. Hyperbole
11. Simile
12.Loaded words
Rhetorical Questions
• A question that is asked for effect and that does
not actually require an answer. The question
assumes the audience agrees with the speaker on
the answers.
• something that actually exists or something that
can be proven to be true
Halloween is celebrated on the thirty-first of
• a personal view or attitude that cannot be proven
• The Beatles were the best rock band that ever
Parallel Form/Parallelism
• Use the same grammatical forms to connect
related ideas within a sentence or use the same
sentence structure in separate sentences to link
two ideas
• “Nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the
flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have
done, nothing that you can do” -Jonathan Edwards
“The devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames
gather and flash about them” –Jonathan Edwards
• Repeating words or phrases
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself” -FDR
“The war is inevitable – and let it come! I repeat
it sir, let it come!” –Patrick Henry
• Tell a story relating to your argument in order to
Example: If you are giving a speech to persuade
people to stop smoking, you might tell a
personal story about a family member that was a
chronic smoker who died from lung cancer and
may not have if he/she had quit smoking
• To state the same idea again or in a new form for
• Patrick Henry: “The war is actually begun!” then
“Our brethren are already in the field!” (83)
▫ “the illusions of hope” (81), “the phantom of hope”
(82) then “there is no peace” (83)
• An abrupt, forceful utterance; an outcry of
• “All for one and one for all!” -Alexander Dumas
• Extravagant overstatement; obvious
exaggeration for effect; an extravagant statement
not intended to be understood literally
Jane has the brain of ten people put together” is a
hyperbolic way of saying that Jane is very
intelligent. Saying “I am dying of hunger” when
it has only been six hours since you have eaten is
• A figure of speech that makes a comparison
between two unlike things without specific
words of comparison such as like, as, than,
resembles, etc
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the
Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across
the continent” -W. Churchill
• an explicit comparison between two things using
'like' or 'as'.
• "Guiltless forever, like a tree“ -Robert Browning
Loaded words
• words with strong connotations which evoke either
negative or positive emotions that usually go beyond a
definition found in a dictionary
• Words that evoke emotional responses: peace, war,
patriotism, freedom, rebellion, slavery, justice, unity,
abolish, failed, duty, hope etc.
• Example: “You have asked for my views on that creature named
Smithers. If you can find a crevice for him in the woodwork of
your sweatshop, I will be relieved.”

Persuasive Techniques - Suffolk Public Schools