The Dandelion Group

Technique of the week

Countering comparisons

Debating is not martial but an art. Impress the audience by using your opponent’s energy in your favour.

Analogies and metaphors are powerful. They create connections and mental pictures. You can find examples in daily live, speeches and songs. “Life is a roller coaster” is a common phrase; Henry Kissinger famously said, “Withdrawing US troops will become like peanuts.“; and every now and then we still here Taylor Swift singing, “The way you move is like a full on rainstorm, and I'm a house of cards”. Don’t let good comparisons go unanswered.

How to counter comparisons

  1. Write down any analogy or metaphor the other side uses in a debate. It does not matter if the comparison did not fully pan out.

  2. Pick the most memorable one and flag flaws.

  3. Use the other side’s metaphor/analogy to support your central idea.

Exercise

Handle these hecklers and rebut.

  • You’re a flag in the wind.

  • This was useful as tits on a bull.

  • Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

  • He looks like Dumbo.

  • The pen is mightier than the sword.

Ben WilhelmComment