Argumentation is commonly associated with debate and its using does not require being adversarial. When trying to persuade, your first thought might be to avoid it.
The kind of argument being discussed here is not bickering or being obnoxious or even debate, therefore do not think of it as attacking the opposing point of view. In its simplest form, it is putting forth reasons for or against a certain point of view.
Argumentation can involve deductive reasoning, presentation and elaboration. It starts with a proposition, followed by an expression of a point of view on a subject and then supporting an evidence. The last one is added as principles to support the proposition used. Reasoning on the matter, applying inductions and deductions to the proposed thought are part of the argumentation.
An informative speech is presented as fact, even though it is given as a person’s interpretation of that information. Argumentation requires calling into question that interpretation and coming to its defense or offering a new view point.
Why use argumentation?
Some subjects have proponents or feel there is a lack of empirical evidence. In order to be able to come to a certain conclusion, it would not be simple, as these issues refer to moral, scientific, religious, or are too deep to be answered by scientific method alone. In this direction to be able to address an audience in these instances, it will be required to use argumentation.
Claim or thesis statement
Your speech needs to have a purpose. What do you want the audience to walk away with? What is your most wanted response? The narrower and more tightly focused the theme – the better. Start with a focused claim or thesis statement.
For example, to say evolution is wrong and God creation is right, or visa versa is so broad, that it will amount to trying to lob a bag of garbage into the opposing camps. If you were to argue in a reasoning manner on a particular aspect of a belief, come back for further discussion and avoid attacking mentality.
Do not attack the closest and most cherished beliefs of those you want to persuade, as this would be like telling your daughter not to love a guy she is already involved with.
Do not attack generalities, as it would be like standing up wind and trying to bombard the opponents of your view with spray pepper in their eyes and then wondering why the sprayed can not see.
If you kindly and respectfully present why you find it hard to accept a particular proposition and provide good argumentation, you will erode the support of the other sides view, therefore always respect their differing opinion.
It is better not to attack the others’ opinion. The explanation on this is simple: it is something they possess and cherish. Demonstrate why you find it difficult accepting their opinion based on your evidence or logic, without being emotional.
Your argumentation are your means of education – instead of attacking a belief, you are offering an alternative opinion.
Acknowledge the reasons for differing opinions, since acknowledgement of these will help lay a foundation for the argument you will be presenting.
When building an argument be aware of the following five things:
1) Character of the audience: Is it friendly, hostile, or neutral? In order to proceed, you need to know the audience, whether they agree with you, so that you adapt whether you will be preaching to the choir or presenting. If they disagree, a completely different tactic is required.
2) Understanding why the audience has different opinions.
A) Different audience sides of the proposition have different life experiences.
B) They may have had the similar experiences, but have brought different conclusions.
C) They look at a different authority or source, as a basis for forming an opinion.
Any single difference of opinion can involve one or all three of these reasons. Therefore to be able to profitably and reasonably present an argument, understand the causes for differing opinions. This will enable you the speech to deal with, the root cause of the disagreement.
3) Identify the proposition for your audience you are addressing. It needs to be phrased as an issue, where clear affirmative and negative sides can be taken.
4) Give definition to all terms within the proposition. This will make it possible for everyone to understand the subject under consideration. Do not argue how sweet “Jonathan” apples are, when your audience is thinking “Granny Smith” . Take time to define the elements, before presenting your argument.
5) Identify any issues that directly relate to the proposition and appeal to your most wanted response. Focus on these to avoid rambling and you are ready for evidence.
Argumentation in these instances requires creating credible arguments and identifying faulty reasoning, at times using informal logic. Facts alone not always win an argument! Being understanding, reasonable, and setting your ground rules in argumentation can enhance a speech.
You will need argumentation in a presentation of your skills, your project or when speaking publicly. These comes as an essence in having overall skills in the educated and business world. With the abundance of free e-learning courses, you can boost your skills or upgrade them.
Learn more at:
Argumentation and communication
Effective public speaking
Presentation skills- free course
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