How To Enter An Ongoing Conversation Politely

How To Break Into A Discussion By Gene Griessman

I heard a guest on CNN use the following power phrase to get into the discussion:

“I’m going to differ slightly from the other people on the panel.”

Here’s why I recommend this particular power phrase. One, it is courteous. By using the word ”slightly,” you send a message that you value parts of what had just been said.

Two, it creates enough space for you to present an entire thought, not just a question or a brief comment.

After you are in the conversation, you may “differ” much more than “slightly.”  But you have the floor.  So use it. You may in fact be able to point the discussion in an entirely new direction.

If you decide to use this power phrase, you can modify it to “I’m going to differ slightly from what’s just been proposed.” Or you can abbreviate it: “I’m going to differ slightly”…and then present your idea.

The goal is to get your idea heard, and this power phrase helps you do it with virtually no friction.

The Words Lincoln Lived By

“Not a single Lincoln quotation that’s spurious in the entire book.”

“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives

A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president.

You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.


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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