Selling an Idea


There is a big concern among employees who present proposals to their higher ups. Many if not all get disapproved. As a result, many employees feel they were not heard and the boss is labeled as narrow minded. In this narrative the boss unfairly becomes the antagonist.

How can you increase the chances of your proposal getting approved? You need to persuade better and yes, it can be done with the help of Aristotle.

I have been using this for a long time now, probably 20 years and so far it has been effective. Pre-pandemic I would visit companies to present and many times I am able to sell. It may not be instant but I close. One of the most memorable presentations is the one I did with a conglomerate 5 years ago. Known for being conservative, stable and strong, I decided not to use a deck to present my business. I decided to use index cards to convey my idea. I am not saying that the index cards were the key, but it helped me communicate that the presentation is not about high tech I am, but how I know and studied them by staying conservative with the use of paper. I also included stories at the start to hook them and facts to support my presentation.

How was that influenced by Aristotle? I used Aristotle’s 3 rhetorical appeals. In the photo, you will see their definition.

(See photo)

Ethos is your credibility and trustworthiness. You have to look and speak professionally, and of course, good reputation helps.

Pathos is the appeal to emotions. You can do this by sharing a story listeners can related to or anecdote that helps them see their goals.

Logos is appeal to logic. This is done with facts and scientific studies.

Combine the 3 and you become persuasive. So, the next time you present, appeal to the 3.


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