Selling Liberty: 12 Keys to Winning and Losing Debates
12 important keys to winning your debates, and how to keep yourself from losing them at the start.
This is the seventh installment of the “Selling Liberty” series, check out the introduction for free:
Winning and Losing Debates
At this point, we’ve established some rules and skills for getting the most out of our conversations and sales process to convert those we speak with and sell them our message. While these skills will allow you to have more productive and enjoyable conversations with those you encounter in life, not everyone will engage you in willing conversation. There’s always the chance you run into someone whose mind simply will not be changed.
This circumstance isn’t the time to try and have a conversation, but it is an opportunity to have a debate. And an opportunity isn’t always something you should take just because it’s offered. The biggest part of winning a debate is knowing when it’s worth having. Most debates won’t be formal events with time to prepare and agreed-upon rules and structure. In fact, most debates are nothing more than informal arguments in the public sphere. If the scenario is private, with no audience, then it is much better set for a conversation if one can be had, but if you are engaged by someone intent on arguing publicly, then knowing how to win the debate is just as important as the ability to have a conversation.
Before you can win a debate, you must first know who the audience is, because that is who you are actually speaking to. In most circumstances, someone who engages you philosophically will not be of the mind to change their opinions based solely on your argument. Winning the debate doesn’t mean you changed your opponent’s mind, but rather that you have influenced those watching whose minds aren’t already made up. So dust off your facts and get ready for twelve steps to win your next debate.
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Selling Liberty: Communicating Freedom in an Unfree World
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