Module 1: THINK

Discover the opportunities persuasion opens up for you in your life

Handout PDF

Module 1: Think

In this video, you will discover the opportunities persuasion opens up for you in your life by transforming a fundamental process of thinking. Specifically, you will learn:

  • The PROMISE I give you for this course.
  • The BACKGROUND behind the PERSUADE course.
  • The two common OBJECTIONS that people have about persuasion.
  • How persuaders build DEFENSES to manipulation and lies of peer pressure and media.
  • The PRINCIPLE I teach all my debaters that make them 10 times more persuasive.

COMMENT BELOW! Anything goes, even just announcing you’re here. Here’s a writing prompt: “What area of life do you want to be more persuasive?”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Justus Carnley

    I am one of if not the first to view!!!

  • Justus Carnley

    1. Today, we learned credibility helps with persuasion.

    2. I would honestly like to be more persuasive in pretty much every aspect. I only won 2 out of 6 rounds at my last tournament.

  • apolmom

    Thanks Chris! As a <3mom of a former Speech & Debater who was highly amused when your basic principle corroborated what I'd been saying all our years of homeschool thus taking it, in his eyes, from opinion to fact, this principle is foundational. A caveat,, which you will probably address, is tho :figures can lie and liars can figure. Research without Truth still sits upon a bias. Looking forward to #2.
    I find the most difficulty is during bible study….I do not vouchsafe that which i have not researched and i find that truth is not comfortable to those who wish to remain in their opinion, more specifically in self-indulged sin, and even with facts confronting them, the response is, as you mentioned, 'that's my story and I'm sticking with it' Without teachable spirits, we are all immune to the persuasion of the Holy Spirit!!!

    • “Figures can lie and liars can figure”… that’s a good one!

  • Chelsea

    Thanks for the course! I always use sources and evidence even if I’m only debating with someone I barely know, but it’s frustrating when they only want to use emotion or their opinion. Even in debate competition I’ve come across it, even judges saying they don’t like evidence, but prefer more rhetoric, and have lost rounds because of it. Even my debate partner doesn’t like research. So thanks for re-enforcing that there MUST be credibility!!!

    • Your comment is perfect, because Lesson 2 speaks to that very thing: When someone doesn’t accept your evidence. Lesson 3 will blow your mind. There are ways to persuade them! 🙂

  • Robert Mitchell

    I agree with Chelsea. Looking forward to lesson 3. Have been working on asking open ended questions as a form of persuasion… less direct and takes time and a relationship. I’m not very good at it. Yes/No questions come more naturally.

    • In the academic debate world, an open-ended question is perhaps the least persuasive option in a crossfire. An opponent will use the opportunity to “answer” the question and waste time his/her opponent should be using to persuade their judge.

      Likewise in the real world, open-ended questions are seldom persuasive. You can still ask them, but only if you are genuinely curious or having a relational discussion. If you’re trying to persuade, the only purpose it serves is to have your opponent talk themselves into believing they’re right.

      Yes/No questions are better, but I wouldn’t say the best. Socrates was a pretty sharp guy (asking questions to persuade is often called the “Socratic Method” of rhetoric). But I’ll be teaching something a bit deeper on Friday.

      Let me tease it a bit: It is a tactic used by FBI agents to talk crazies out of killing their hostages. I kid you not. You’re going to love Friday’s lesson, and it will totally revolutionize the relationship you’re talking of.

  • Thomas Sargent

    Excellent content! I’m always amazed at how your instruction enables people to soar to new heights. Keep up the good work!

  • John McWaters

    Hola… (insert smart comment)

  • Jennifer Bedley Hoos

    Hi Chris:

    I’m teaching a class of sixth graders how to discuss persuasively. They all want to WIN in our classroom discussions. I want to learn from you what I need to know to teach them effectively.

    • That’s so cool! Sixth grade is my favorite age (I’m certified secondary and have taught all grades 6-12). Feel free to use my videos in your class…they’re free to all through November 15.

  • What up Chris,

    I feel like I lack in persuading—not my online audience—but my local audience. There are some areas where I truly feel like I could help my church do a better job at persuading people to attend their programs (they’re going at thing backwards, IMHO)… I don’t know if it’s just a personal desire or a calling, but my opinions and suggestions fall on deaf ears. And we still struggle to increase participants for particular ministry events. Aahhh I should probably just forget it and move along, stay on track. I just get a little frustrated when things bite the dust but, not only would they need to be willing to tweak a few things, but of course I’d have to follow through and commit—and I’m on the fence about taking more time to do it. Alright, I’m out. That was therapeutic. Good stuff. later.

    • Great comment…thanks for opening up a bit, Drew. This sounds much like my frustration with the academic debate community. “Why doesn’t every kid in the nation go out for debate???” It remains a very niche and often-resisted activity, when I think it is the best opportunity in the world for kids.

      You may find helpful suggestions in the “Persuade” module. Truth be known, this entire course is my way of overcoming my frustration. The academic debate community will always be small, but I want to bring the skills I teach to the world for greater purpose and impact. I’m leaning into what the market demands, rather than try to create demand in a niche market. The latter is what I’ve done for years, and it has kept my impact limited.

      Hope that helps. Glad to have you in class, my friend!

  • Mary Lichlyter

    Hello! Just took lesson one. I don’t know if there’s an area in which I’d like to be more persuasive (no doubt I’ll come up with one, or two or three or four), but I am interested in learning more about understanding persuasion. I’m one of those people who get intimidated when something “sounds good.” I can’t make a decent response because I’m trying to figure out what the person is really saying. I need to learn to analyze what I hear before I can be persuasive myself. Learning *how* to think and not just *what* to think? Yes! Of my four kids, only one was taught *how* to think in college.

    • What college did your son go to? I’m curious…because I’m not too impressed with most colleges these days.

      • Mary Lichlyter

        It was one of my daughters, and she went to Covenant College in Georgia – graduated in 2000.

  • Katelyn Karcher


    Don’t really know what “area of life” I would like to be more persuasive with. Possibly just in relational conversation. But I’m entering into my junior year of debate in NCFCA and want to become a better debater/communicator/persuader.

    • Sounds perfect! Wait till you get through the other videos. I suspect your horizons will broaden.

  • Kevin Marr

    I’m really excited to learn more about persuasion because I am teaching NCFCA debate this year for the first time. I did 2 years of debate and I’m a career salesman but I am eager to learn more about how to teach persuasion.

    • NCFCA coach? Career salesman? Former debater? You are my most PERFECT avatar. 😉

      • Kevin Marr

        thanks, It’s a please to meet you and challenging me. In fact, you have already challenged me to start researching a bunch of things for work.

  • Tom

    Sometimes I think that asking closed-ended questions in real life sound snarky. What are your thoughts?

    • It depends on if you’re trying to persuade or converse. If you are trying to persuade (i.e. get someone to change their mind), closed questions are better. If you aren’t trying (or not necessarily trying), then open-ended questions accomplish the task of creating conversation.

  • Maria S

    Yep…getting a late start in watching the Modules this morning, but better late than never! 🙂 Key idea I’m holding onto from Module 1: “If you value OPINION over RESEARCH, you are being a lazy thinker and being stubborn.” This is my first year working with and learning alongside a small class of 9th graders as we tackle understanding Team Policy Debate. The hardest (and most time-consuming) aspect for them has been the research. I will definitely share with them your important and essential principle to persuasion! It is far too easy for folks to merely state their opinions without backing it up with solid facts. Or in some cases, just to parrot popular opinion without having any clue as to the basis of such thinking. I do not want my children (nor my students) to be passive followers but to be active leaders who know HOW to think and how to research and, in turn, who can be persuasive in their testimonies no matter the setting and audience. Thank you, Mr. Jeub, for taking the time to share your knowledge and insights with all of us! P.S. Thank you very much for the Outline Handout and the Transcription! Very helpful.

    • You’re very welcome, Maria! And good for you for teaching policy debate.

  • Mark B

    The content is awesome and is extremely helpful! I learned allot from it, thank you! After watching Module 1, what I took away was the importance of doing the research.
    I know this deals more with the Module 2 – 3 and you covered this a little, but is listening a important part of persuasion?

    • Is listening an important part of persuasion? Absolutely. I touch on this a lot in the first lesson in Training Minds University. We talk about how debaters are trained to record EXACTLY what the opponent says: No assumptions, no spin, no interpretation. This is the best way to properly respond and persuade.

  • I plan to listen to the next 3 this afternoon on my bike ride. What comes to mind is a need to be more persuasive (credible, significant) with some of my own kids sometimes. Sometimes I feel like if it was somebody else talking, they would more likely believe what they hear. The answer lies somewhere in the thought than I need to be that someone else, a different version of me, sometimes. Probably more humble, more thoughtful, more respectful, more empathetic, sometimes even more informed. In short, characteristics I more commonly display toward persons with whom I am not in a familiar or familial relationship.
    Thanks for this course and for all the material you make so affordably available.

    • I suppose that is EveryParent’s lament. Glad to have you in the class, Randy!

  • Michael Wilson

    My biggest problem in terms of persuasion is quality over quantity. In short, I often either lose a round or an argument because I assume that more evidence equals the upper hand, when in reality it is better stated, “The better evidence has the upper hand.”

  • Chris Marr

    We want to be more persuasive in LD debate, which does not focus on facts as much.

    • Are you sure about that? Any claim — value or policy — needs warranting and qualifications. At least if you want to be more persuasive.

  • Cody Heyer

    mr. chris,
    Hey, i am watching this class after watching the other 4 preseason releases dealing with (mainly) TP. I need to be more persuasive in my LD speeches, but, mainly, since i want to go into political science, i really will need persuasion skills in that field!
    Thank you

    • Perfect! This course will certainly help guide you.

  • Justin Brautigam

    Hey Mr. Jeub
    This is some excellent stuff you have shared with everyone! Personally, I would LOVE to become a lot more persuasive in my LD debate rounds. I love your tips you have shared and I think it will really help me a lot.

    • Thanks Justin. I think you’ll very much enjoy Module 2. The Toulmin Model is very helpful in LD debate.

  • Antonio Flores

    Research is definitely key to persuasion. This was a great tip.
    The area I need to be more persuasive is in my tp and Parli debate speaks. We win a good amount of rounds, but I am consistently receiving low speak points. I’ve addressed a lot of the habits I’ve come to realize I had, but I need to do a better job at persuading.

    • Well then, you’re in the right class! 🙂