HOW TO ARGUE AND PERSUADE

Try out the points you want to make before you engage with the person, or people, you want to influence. Plot them as bullet points on paper. Consider how you can back them with verified facts and think about what counter points might be raised in response. Work out the strengths of your points and how to make them seem reasonable to your audience. Think of different scenarios that might make your point of view more attractive to adopt.

Be prepared to consider a compromise if it becomes necessary to concede on some aspects of your wishes. Others may have a right to have a say in the outcome, or the ultimate decision-making power.

Clarity is important when you are arguing your case, to win over others and to avoid misunderstandings. Be patient and be prepared to give the opposition a thoughtful review. That way you are more likely to win goodwill towards your recommendation. Express your concerns about opposing points of view and cite specific examples, rather than generalisations, to show why you believe these might be flawed.

Don’t make it personal. Keep your reasoning about the issue in hand, not about personal behaviour. Telling someone that they are always negative won’t help your cause. Calmness and logic are your most valuable tools, rather than brute force or a strong display of emotion.

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HOW TO ARGUE AND PERSUADE

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