Assignment 10.1: Convincing a conversation partner

Purpose of the assignment

You will practice basic techniques that you can use to convince a conversation partner of your position.

Subject matter

  • All of chapter 10, but specifically section 10.4

Tasks

  • This assignment is to be carried out in groups of four students: A, B, C, and D. 
  • In a conversation between students A and B, student A tries to convince student B of his/her position about a certain topic. Student C observes how student A tries to convince student B, and student D observes how student B reacts.
  • Four conversations take place, in which the roles of the students in the group alternate. The person who was student A in the first conversation becomes student B in the second conversation, student C in the third conversation, and student D in the fourth conversation. The person who was student B in the first conversation becomes student C in the second conversation, student D in the third conversation, and student A in the fourth conversation - and so on.
  • Together you decide on four topics that you can have a conversation of at least 5 minutes about. The following short list may serve as a source of inspiration:
    • When science makes it possible, women of sixty and older should be able to have a child.
    • Anyone who holds a driving license should be obliged to retake the examination every three years.
    • In public buildings, it should no longer be allowed to distinguish between men's and women's toilets.
    • In any public institution, the salary of the person earning the most should not be more than four times the salary of the person earning the least.
    • For both men and women, it should be forbidden to cover their face completely in public.
    • Anyone who graduates with a diploma must pay extra taxes in the first ten years after completing their studies, in order to reimburse part of the costs incurred by the state for his or her studies.
  • You have 3 minutes of preparation time for each conversation. 
    • Student A and student C mainly think about ways in which student A can convince student B. 
    • Student B and student D mainly think about ways in which student B can respond to the persuasion attempts of student A.
  • For each conversation there is a maximum of 5 minutes. Remember that this should not be a case of one-sided communication. Both students are expected to play an active role in the conversation.
  • After the conversation has taken place, it is evaluated, taking into account the advice in chapter 10. 
    • First, student A says what he or she thinks went well, and what went wrong. 
    • Then student B says what he or she thinks of his or her own part in the conversation. 
    • Finally, students C and D have their say about the parts in the conversation played by students A and B, respectively.