Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stating The Obvious 

Sometimes it is necessary to state an obvious point to get people to pay attention. Here is a case. The US health care system is unprepared for the people using it today. The future will be a continuation of the present unless major changes are made.

It has been my experience that it is a good tactic to state an obvious point, even if one gets "the look" from a listener. Having done so, one can make subsequent points more easily. If this is obvious, so is that and the following. It is one of the oldest tactics of rhetoric, and it still works. Plato's dialogs used the technique repeatedly.

The problem with most communication is that we assume too much, and we're worried about talking down to an audience. That can happen but it is less often than one might think. It is a matter of how one states the obvious that counts. In Socrates case, he elicited the obvious starting point through questioning, which then moved toward argument that Socrates wanted to make. That technique still works well too.


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