What a Speaker Must Know About Effective Argumentative Speaking
Argumentative speaking - the speaker appeals to his audience mainly through the use of reason. Action is not demanded, at least not immediate action. Through a presentation of a series of logical reasons, the audience is made to understand what the issues are and is given ample time to reflect and then to deliberate before action is taken.
What factors must a speaker consider in preparing an effective argumentative speech? How can he become a convincing argumentative speaker?
Argumentative speaking centers primarily on controversial issues. The principal objective is to arrive at the truth of the matter. Here are some factors to consider in preparing for argumentative speaking:
First, argumentative speeches involve problem analysis and making decisions about the problem at hand after solutions are arrived at. For this reason, argumentative speaking to be effective requires a clear statement of the problem and an analysis of the important issues or questions upon which the speaker and the audience are divided.
Second, since disagreement creates the need for argumentative speaking, the speaker must learn how to influence his audience by presenting views and information on the subject, by summoning evidences and by using reasoning, and, lastly, by employing added persuasiveness through the appeals to motives.
Third, since the end of argumentative speaking is to convince the audience or to win them to the side of the speaker, the speaker must demonstrate the ability to think logically and clearly. He must show the reasons and causes behind things and what the results of certain actions might be through evidences in order to back up and prove or disprove a particular point of view.
Fourth, to convince his listeners, a speak may employ these types of appeals: evidences of facts or of opinions, specific instances to substantiate the proposal for or against, analogies, causal reasoning, use of authority to lend veracity and force to the arguments and categorical syllogisms for valid reasoning. On the other hand, a speaker must also guard against the errors or fallacies of reasoning that may weaken his arguments and may lead him to the defeat of his objectives such as the following: hasty generalizations, the non-sequitur or faulty syllogistic reasoning, false analogies, arguing in circles, that is assuming a fact to be true and drawing out a conclusion, arriving at irrelevant conclusions by means of evading the main issues or showing ignorance of the subject under discussion, false assumptions, false appeal to common knowledge, ambiguity of terms, and substitution of emotional appeals for proper evidences and reasoning.
Fifth, in argumentative speaking, the speaker must establish goodwill by the use of encouraging words and sincere praises for their capacity to uphold their ideals and must create responsive attitudes through emotional sincerity in his mode of speech delivery.
Sixth, presenting a neat and well-groomed appearance, effective use of the voice, that is varying the tone and inflection of the voice during the argument of issues, using dramatic pauses at some significant parts of the speech for emotional affect, effective meaningful gestures used to accompany words, good choice of words, and vivid, forceful language delivered in a forceful manner - all these are valuable aids to help a speaker win his audience to his side.