Avoid the Biggest Pitfalls of Using Anecdotes

Using anecdotes can be a powerful way to boost the emotional appeal of your speech by making abstract issues concrete and giving them a name. Like so many debate tactics, however, a little bit can go a long way. Wendesday’s issue of The Guardian has some tips. Our favorite after the jump,


“Are such stories a good form of argument? They seem to be popular with political speech writers and advertising copywriters who often use them to lend colour and “human interest” to a speech. But as the leaders’ debate demonstrated, they can also sound such a false note that they distract from the claims you want to advance. To work well, stories must be in harmony with, and contributing to, your overall argument.” Via The Guardian.

Read the rest: How to use your anecdotes well – and sparingly.

About Lauren Sabino

Lauren Sabino is the Director of Youth Programs at the National Center for Policy Analysis. She currently administrates Debate Central, the largest free online debate resource.
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