The 10 Elements of the Great Power Argument by Gerry Spence

What is a “Power Argument”?

“The Power Argument is an argument so Powerful in its Structure; so Compelling in its Delivery, that when we assume the Power Stance, the argument cannot be defeated. The PA need not fill the air with noise; it need not destroy the opponent. It can be quiet, gentle; it can embrace love, not anger; understanding, not hate; it can employ ordinary language. There’s one compelling, overriding reason, always, to deliver the PA.”

Here are its 10 elements.

1. Prepare, until you have BECOME the argument. Proper preparation requires you to analyze the facts, and assign roles to the parties. Cast our side as the good guys, unjustly accused, wrongly despised, gravely misunderstood.. Cast our side as the underdog.

2. Open the other to receive our argument. Empower the other to do so.

3. Give the argument in the form of story. Fables, allegories, and parables. Remember: All others are conditioned to listen to stories.

4. Tell The TRUTH. Credibility possesses incredible power. Being who we are is powerful. Saying how we feel is powerful. To be open, and real, and afraid, if we are, is powerful. TRUTH IS POWER.

5. Tell the other WHAT WE WANT. Never leave them to guess what we want; for they may guess wrong. Also, it spoils our credibility. Others do not expect honest persons to play games.

6. Avoid sarcasm, scorn, and ridicule. Use humor cautiously. Be careful of the temptation to show contempt and disdain for the opponent. Hold back insult. No one admires the cynic, the scoffer, the mocker, the small and the petty. The employment of humor can be the most devastating weapon in an argument. But beware: attempting to be funny and failing is deadly.

7. Logic is Power. If it is on our side, let’s ride it all the way. If it isn’t, if it leads us to an unjust result…Logic does not always lead us to truth, or to justice. It defeats spontaneity. It is often dull and without spirit. Do not give up creativity for Logic.

8. ACTION and WINNING are BROTHERS. The worst of head-on attacks is often better than the most sophisticated defense. I never permit my opponent to take control. I do not defend when I can attack.

9. Admit at the outset the weak points in our argument. We can expose our weaknesses in a better light than our opponent, who will expose them in the darkest-possible way. An honest admission, having come from us, not only endows us with credibility; it also leaves our opponent with nothing to say but what has already been said and admitted. However, we must not outsmart ourselves by endowing our opponent with a genius he doesn’t possess. How often an opponent voluntarily reveals a flaw in his argument that I would not have seen, but for my opponent’s having shown it to me. We tend to invest our opponents with an intelligence and wisdom they may not possess.

10. UNDERSTAND OUR POWER. GIVE OURSELVES PERMISSION…ONLY…ONLY…TO WIN. But remember: Arrogance…and Insolence…and Stupidity…are very close relatives. Take the Winning Stance. Turn on the Magical Argument. Open Up, and LET THE MAGIC OUT. TRUST IT, TAKE THE RISK; JUMP!!! With all this knowledge-how to prepare, how to deliver, how to feel, how to be…We’re ready to make the Powerful Argument that will win…every time.

 

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