Storytelling is one of those things that seems really easy when you don’t know how to do it properly, but REALLY difficult when you do. In 334BC ago Aristotle (The Greek god of Storytelling) wrote a paper about how to speak persuasively, how to present and how to tell stories that matter, called ‘The Art of Rhetoric’.

Unfortunately rhetoric (especially rhetoric for good) seems to have become a lost art in recent years. Not only are stories regularly told today in sound-bites and hashtags, but they often lack eloquence and the correct grammar.

Great stories are usually great because they follow the rules and rhetorical appeals that Aristotle established 1,687 years ago.

Ethos. Pathos. Logos.

And if you need people to act with a sense of urgency, then you also need a fourth – Kairos.

I believe that all business stories MUST have each of these four elements in some form to be effective.

I’ve been studying Aristotle’s rhetorical appeals in depth for the last month and here’s the highlights of my notes in a simple one-pager. Maybe they’ll serve as helpful reminders of what to include in your talk the next time you need to “persuade” an audience.