Get your rebuttal in early

You will rarely have the opportunity to make a case for something that is so self-evidently right, that nobody could doubt it.  We don’t need to make the case for these things.  Usually, in  the real world, there are counter-arguments.

And when there are, your best bet is to tackle them up front.  If what you do is ignore them, the belief that you are wrong will only be strengthened as I hear your case and recognise a flaw.  I will now be discounting the value of what you are saying.

So, instead, acknowledge the weakness immediately:

“… At this point some people will be thinking…
let me tackle that straight away.”

When you have done that, you can move on to the next positive argument in support of your case, having neutralised the opposition.  The people who were thinking you’d got it wrong can now pay full attention to you, rather than mentally prepare their counter-argument.

Handling objections up front as part of your case will strengthen your argument.


About Mike Clayton

Mike is an author and speaker, specialising in personal effectiveness, project management and the management of change. When we try to make change work for us, things don't always go as planned: Shift happens! Over the years, Mike has developed personal and professional strategies to anticipate and deal with shift. You can contact Mike at
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