Q&A: What makes up persuasive communication?

Q:What makes up persuasive communication?


There is a difference between knowing and saying something and persuasively communicating that something. 

The best debaters are well researched, but the best researchers are not inherently the best debaters.  Debate requires persuasive communication. There is never one way of saying something. For example, if I were to read off statistics about a recent upswing in crime, I would simply tell you the information. If I recited the source and then summarized the evidence in my own words, perhaps even providing my own analysis, I could communicate the information persuasively. Another example would be reciting a statistic that the national GDP would increase by 3% if the resolution’s policy took place. On the other hand, I could explain that a 3% increase in GDP would create X number of jobs, or decrease unemployment by X%, or that would be the equivalent of the budget of X department. These two examples are meant to point out that persuasion occurs in HOW you present information. Presenting the information is not enough to be persuasive – it is what you do with the information that persuades. Delivery and content (diction, anecdotes, examples, analogies, sentence structure, organization, etc.) bring a debater from simply “knowing and saying” his or her arguments to communicating persuasively.

The tools of persuasive communication are discussed throughout Beyond Resolved along with strategy and practice tips to improve your debating. This a broad topic that can be looked at through the lens of delivery, argumentation, and individual speech strategy. Check out Beyond Resolved for more information.


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