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  • Writer's pictureEric Doherty

The Power of Rhetoric: How a Technology Company Can Sell more with Pathos, Logos, and Ethos


Rhetoric, the art of persuasive communication, has been shaping human discourse for centuries. Originating in ancient Greece, its principles have stood the test of time. From the powerful speeches of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony to present-day marketing strategies, rhetoric continues to hold immense influence. In this article, we will explore the historical origins of rhetoric, examine its relevance in modern business contexts, and discover how pathos, logos, and ethos can be utilized to promote software and information technology services to the enterprise market.

I learnt this skill at Macquarie Graduate School of Management in 1996 and have used it to great effect, it helped secure $10M technology deals with some of the highest margins ever experienced in the company I worked for at the time. Your sales, marketing and influence will skyrocket when you master this ancient art.

Ancient Origins of Rhetoric

Rhetoric's roots can be traced back to ancient Greece, where it emerged as a fundamental discipline. The Greeks believed that effective persuasion required three key elements: pathos, logos, and ethos. These principles, popularized by renowned philosophers like Aristotle, shaped the rhetoric of influential figures throughout history.

Julius Caesar and Mark Antony: Masters of Rhetoric

Among the most celebrated examples of rhetoric in action are the speeches of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Caesar's oratory prowess resonated with the Roman masses, while Mark Antony's famous speech at Caesar's funeral rallied the crowd against his assassins. Both leaders utilized pathos, logos, and ethos to captivate their audiences and shape public opinion, demonstrating the profound impact rhetoric can have on people's minds and actions.

Relevance in Modern Business

Fast forward to the present day, rhetoric remains a vital tool for businesses seeking to promote software and information technology services to the enterprise market. Crafting persuasive presentations, sales pitches, articles, and marketing content requires a strategic blend of pathos, logos, and ethos. By leveraging these elements effectively, companies can influence potential clients, generate trust, and inspire action.

Pathos: Appeal to Emotions

Pathos is the art of appealing to the emotions of your audience. In the enterprise market, businesses must connect with decision-makers on a personal level. By utilizing compelling storytelling, evoking empathy, and emphasizing the potential positive impact of their products or services, companies can establish an emotional connection that compels action.

Logos: Appeal to Logic

Logos focuses on logical reasoning to persuade an audience. In the realm of software and information technology services, companies can leverage statistics, data, case studies, and logical arguments to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of their offerings. Logical appeals provide decision-makers with concrete evidence and rational justifications, strengthening their confidence in the product or service being promoted.

Ethos: Establishing Credibility

Ethos revolves around establishing credibility and trustworthiness. In the enterprise market, potential clients must have faith in the capabilities of the software or IT services being offered. By showcasing industry expertise, highlighting successful partnerships, and leveraging endorsements or testimonials from satisfied clients, companies can enhance their credibility, ultimately influencing purchasing decisions.


Rhetoric's power to sway hearts and minds has endured for centuries. From the ancient Greeks to modern-day enterprises, the principles of pathos, logos, and ethos have remained essential tools in persuasive communication. Businesses seeking to promote software and information technology services in the enterprise market can harness the persuasive potential of rhetoric by effectively employing these elements. By doing so, they can captivate audiences, establish credibility, and drive success in the digital age.

See if you can work out how I used Pathos, Ethos and Logos in my opening paragraph to introduce this article.

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