If you’re like many people, you might associate debate with either a high school or college club or a TV political “debate” that features two or more candidates talking over each other.
But if a club or political showmanship is your only association with debating, you’re missing out on an exhilarating intellectual pursuit that can help you in all aspects of your daily life, from making business decisions to engaging friends at cocktail parties.
The ability to debate—to present persuasive arguments, pierce the logic of others, and turn the tables against withering cross-examinations—is one of the truest tests of one’s intellectual capacity, yet we often relegate it to politicians and lawyers. This is unfortunate, because debate has the ability to bring us together as a society, help us hash out differences of opinion, and make stronger arguments based on reason and compromise. The Art of Debate offers you the ultimate how-to guide for this powerful skill, one with benefits for anyone who wants to make better decisions and think more clearly. Taught by acclaimed Associate Professor of Communication Jarrod Atchison of Wake Forest University, these 24 stimulating lectures will help you develop your command of logic, construct clear and concise arguments, recognize the fallacies in others’ reasoning, and sharpen your strategic thinking skills.
Eloquent language has the power to persuade, but it is the ideas behind language, as well as the method of presentation, that truly separate the thinker from the salesperson. What’s more, the skill of debate has far-ranging applications beyond the formal stage, pervading much of our professional and personal lives. The methods taught in this course are drawn from the field of competitive debate, but you can apply them nearly anywhere: panel discussions, town halls, boardrooms, classrooms, and kitchen tables. To debate anyone—and win—is one of life’s most influential skills, and The Art of Debate gives you all the tools you need to construct winning arguments, make more reasoned decisions, and communicate those decisions more effectively.
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