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Ron Sathoff's Speaker Tips
Don't Make TOO Many Arguments

By: Ron Sathoff

Ron Sathoff is a noted speaker and manager of DrNunley's  He provides copy-writing, marketing, Internet promotion, and help for business speakers. Reach him at or 801-328-9006.

In competitive debate, there's a technique that some people use that drives me nuts. They try to make as many arguments as they can in the time allotted, piling up one reason after another. Their hope is that all this information will overwhelm their opponent, so that the rebuttal won't be able to answer all the claims that were made.

They're right -- Taking this approach in a speech will overwhelm an opponent. Unfortunately, it will also overwhelm your audience. Because of this, I believe that having too many arguments or points will actually weaken your speech.

Instead of using this "shotgun" approach (where you shoot in a wide spread, hoping to hit something), you should try a more targeted approach, where you carefully choose your best arguments, based on your audience. Then, because you have fewer points to make, you can spend more time elaborating on those points, making them perfectly clear to your listeners.

As an example, let's say that you are doing a speech explaining the benefits of a nutritional product. You could talk about all the ways that your product is superior, from the fact that it costs less, to the fact that the tablets are a prettier color than the competition. Yawn. A better way to approach the speech would be to choose the top 3 or 4 advantages, and then take the time to prove that your product is truly superior.

The point here is simple: Don't try to do too much in your speech -- if you try to talk about everything, then all you end up with is a garbled speech and a confused audience. By focusing your efforts, on the other hand, you will be able to make a clear, persuasive presentation.

© Copyright 2002, Ron Sathoff

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