I’ve argued for years. I’ve argued about prostitution, abortion, gay rights, bedroom politics and even pop culture. I’ve argued without proof, argued without preparation and argued the way winners do. Now, if you think I have made more enemies to last a lifetime, well, I haven’t. I was the head of a debate varsity, that’s why. Hihi.
And so with all those years of going against people of different cultures, going off to places to represent our school in the debate scene, and years of teaching the newbies on how to be adept in arguing, here’s a quick how-to on arguing effectively:
It All Starts with Effective Speaking
If you want to know how to argue effectively, you have to, first, speak effectively. You have to communicate well; be good enough to get listened to. If you want to improve the way you argue, you have to improve the way you speak. This includes the basics of effective speaking such as establishing eye contact with your listener, moderating your hand gestures and other mannerisms, having a good composure, good enunciation, mastery of the language that you’re speaking and most of all, confidence.
Do Your Homework
When you have mastered the art of speaking well, then you will be worthy enough to get listened to. However, this doesn’t mean that you are enough to get believed in. People listen to you, now what? The next step is to become convincing, get believed. The best way to do this is to know what you are talking about. The more that you know about the subject matter, the more authoritative you will appear in front of your listener. And so if you want to win ANY argument, read all forms of worthy literature that you can get your hands on. You don’t know when you’re going to come across some useful information. Pretty tough, isn’t it? But no pressure here.
Be the Best Actor/ Actress
In debate, we always say “Debate is half acting”. Meaning, half of your efforts might go to knowing the things that you’re talking about and half MUST go to working on becoming more and more convincing. Let’s say, you don’t know what the topic is about. Or you only have a generic idea about it. You CAN actually bluff your way into the argument. But to do so, you have to have convincing facts (fake statistics will do, but be careful) and you have to look pretty convinced yourself. If you have decided to lie anyway, lie your best and don’t hesitate to push the threshold further. So your goal here is to get your mindset right (I am correct, I am correct, I can do this) and through that, the convincing factors will come naturally. This way, you won’t look too much of a…liar.
Whether you’re attempting to carve a niche in public speaking, direct selling, effective communication or you just want to increase your credibility points, keep these three tips in mind and you’ll be in a good place.
As you can see, arguing effectively can be mastered in increments. NOW, WHO’S ARGUING WITH ME?!