How To Argue

What To Win Political Arguments, or Any Other Kind of Argument: Don’t get snagged on a specific detail.

Have you ever been in an argument, and you were  interrupted or contradicted
because you didn’t get some detail exactly right?  Most of us have.  It might have been an insignificant point, but the challenge broke the flow of  our logic.  It was  frustrating and perhaps  fatally damaging to our presentation.  Not fun.

What to do if you can’t remember a specific detail. ( The following tip is valuable not just in an argument, but in a media interview or any presentation that leaves you open to a challenge.)

One.  Ask yourself whether the detail is absolutely essential to your argument.  If not, and if you are not certain about the specifics, edit it out. Just don’t mention it.

Two.  If it is important to your argument, and you are not certain about the specifics, be deliberately imprecise.  For example, if you’re not absolutely sure whether it was 3 or 5 million dollars, you can say something like “The cost was several million dollars.”   If you’re not sure whether the person was born in Georgia or Florida, say something like “He was born in the South.”  That way you are less likely to get sidetracked into a discussion of exactly how much or where.

Three.  You also can say something like, “I don’t recall every detail, but here is the main outline of what happened.”

Four.  The main point to remember is that interruptions and challenges weaken your presentation and diminish your credibility.

Five.  The absolute best way to deal with challenges and interruptions is to check out the essential details before you begin to talk.

Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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