The Canons of Rhetoric
This technical note is employed in MBA, executive education, and undergraduate courses that cover the art of persuasion. It is used in the core Management Communication course at Darden. Employing the canons of rhetoric devised by Aristotle and his classical contemporaries, the objective of the note is to provide students with a clear and usable map to guide them as they seek to understand the dynamics involved in persuading others. Persuasion is a critical management skill that must be mastered at all levels of the organization, but it is especially important for those at the leadership level. Most managerial communication goes beyond the sharing of information and involves elements of persuasion. Along with the five canons-invention, arrangement, memory, style, and delivery-this note also outlines the three primary modes of persuasion: ethos (an appeal to values), pathos (an emotional appeal), and logos (a logic-based appeal). This note often is used in conjunction with the technical note, Leadership Voice and Style.