We know that not anyone can be a lawyer. It takes special skills to be one. Nonetheless, you can learn to argue like one. To do that you need to think logically and methodically. You need to build your reasoning skills and approach a subject objectively.
Here are some tips to get you off to a good start:
- Determine what you want to accomplish – persuading someone to accept your idea, asking for discounts, settling an issue.
- Select the key points that you think will help you in winning the argument. Focus and build on these key points.
- Think logically. Gather the facts and evidence to support these key points. It is good practice to present the pros and cons of the case.
- Practice and keep calm. State your claim. Be sure to include early the whats and whys in your statement. Cite the evidence that you have gathered earlier. Present these facts clearly. Make a comparison if there were previous cases such as this.
- Put your best argument first.
- Speak in clear and simple sentences that are easy to understand.
- Learn to anticipate. Know your opponent and react to his statements and body language accordingly. Discuss each point raised by the other party.
- Accept that you have strong and weak points. Your opponent knows that too. Work on your strong points to win your case.
- Listen carefully to what the other party has to say. Do not interrupt him while he is talking unless it is necessary. Try to remember all of them. You can use them to your advantage later.
- Identify the strong and weak points in your opponent’s argument. Work on those weak points to strengthen your counter propositions. Use your opponent’s weakness to highlight your own argument.
- Be flexible. Be fast in your reaction and counter attack. Question everything. This shows that you are listening to what he is saying and that you are already formulating counter statements in your head as he is presenting his side of the argument. Be provocative in some of your questions. This can sow doubt in the other party.
- Inject some humor when talking to relieve tension.
- Whatever you think, do not be emotionally involved in the presentation of your case. Stay objective all the time. Argue both sides of the issue. Accept that there is always an exception to the rule. Clear your mind and focus only on the issue you are discussing.
- When you have presented your argument, discussed all the points why you should get a favorable decision, it is time to wrap up. Summarize all the points and evidence you have presented and wait for the final decision.
During an argument, the way that you present your position already makes you a winner. It is best practice to know beforehand what you are getting into before entering into an argument. Engaging in arguments is healthy as it clarifies some things that are unclear and you can win some favors. However, do not go arguing about everything. It is tiring and may prove costly.