This is what happens when solid facts are thrown at opinions not supported by empirical evidence.
The secret is the top down sequence.
First state the question and in a few words explain the context.
Second, state your conclusion.
Third, state how many reasons you have for your conclusion.
Fourth, say what each reason is about and then give details.
Fifth, repeat your conclusion.
“The question is whether the house on 6th Street should be demolished.
My view is that it should be.
I have two reasons for this.
First, it is a health hazard: The walls are broken. The roof is beyond repair. The building is infested with rats.
Second, It is a fire hazard: The rooms are full of rubbish, broken wood and other flammable material. Vagrants light fires in the ruin.
Consequently, my view is that the house should be demolished.”
- The hearer is immediately knows what the communication is about.
- The hearer is immediately told the conclusion.
- The hearer is told there will be two supporting reasons.
- The hearer is given a warning that a reason is coming, is told what the reason is and then is given details.
- The hearer is again told the conclusion.
Watch Lord Jonathan Sumption using this way of arguing. Lord Sumption is regarded as one of the cleverest people in England. Click here.
The top down approach is similar to the Pyramid Principle taught by Barbara Minto. Her book is on Amazon. Click here. Please note this is an affiliate link. This blog post was prompted by my listening to Lord Sumption
You are in an important discussion. You are about to demolish your opponent’s argument, Your opponent knows it and starts to abuse you verbally instead of dealing with the issue. Lots of verbal flack is coming your way.
You can be sure of one thing: You have found the weak and vulnerable spot in your opponent’s argument. You are at the jugular.
This was very well summed up by Senator Martha McSally, a former USAF combat fighter pilot and squadron commander, who said:
“We fighter pilots have a saying: You know when you are over the target when you are getting flack”.
There we have it!
Take care next time you are in verbal combat.
Source: CNN 27 May 2020 and here.