If you've ever struggled to prove yourself right, you've probably been up against a strong opponent who knew exactly what to say. How did he get so good at arguing? What does he know that you don't? To win an argument, you need to adopt a few strategies that set you above your opponent. With a bit of confidence and these arguing tips, you will find yourself winning argument after argument against any opponent who dares to challenge you.
- Seem knowledgeable. In order for your opponent to concede, you need to appear as the most intelligent one. That's not saying that you must be more knowledgeable than your opponent; it just needs to look that way. Bring up facts that prove the opposite of his argument. Cite statistics that strengthen your argument. Be confident in your argument, and find faults in your opponent's argument. (Are his comment fascist? Is he stereotyping or generalizing?) If his argument seems weak, yours will gain strength. You may need to bend his argument a bit show its weaknesses. Everything your opponent says can be argued against; you just need to find out how.
- Lead the argument. You never want to lose control of where the argument is headed. If your opponent brings up a fact that you can't argue against, change topics. Bring up something else that proves him wrong, and do whatever you can to divert the topic from his strong points. If you get more points in and he's always trying to argue against what you've said, he'll forget that he needs to argue his own points too. Essentially, you'll be able to stop him from bringing up his own strong points by forcing him to discuss your strong points. Who's in charge now??
- Use your opponent against himself. While it's a bit sneaky, you can get your opponent to admit he's wrong without even knowing it. You need to ask him question after question about his argument, slowly (and stealthily) leading him to the ultimate question that will disprove his argument. He won't know what hit him!
- Make your opponent angry. An angry opponent loses control of the situation, and does not have the best judgment. If you can make your opponent upset through your arguments, you will frustrate him. This may even lead him to concede so that he can get out of the argument and away from you. Whatever it takes, I always say.
- Use big words. If you're looking to intimidate your opponent, it might be as easy as dropping a few big words here and there. Get familiar with terms and phrases like "let me put it this way, vis-à-vis, per se, and so to speak", and your opponent will be stunned with your new vocabulary. Who's going to challenge an opponent who speaks Latin, anyway?
The key to winning every argument you have is finding the weaknesses in your opponents. If they're gullible, bluff them. If they're shy, bombard them with facts they won't want to begin to address. Or if they're sensitive, play on their emotional side by making harsh statements. Whatever your technique, if you look and sound like you know what you're talking about, no one will be able to refute your argument.