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IF YOU CANT CONVINCE HIM, CONFUSE HIM

1.
Introduction.
If you cannot convince him, confuse him is a
philosophy. This was originally taken from the great quote If you cannot
convince them, confuse them, popularized by the 33 rd president of US, Mr.
Harry S. Truman. Though it was popularized by the former 33 rd president of
US but there are proof that, use of this philosophy stared much before.
After being popularized, it was used by many organizations and companies
as their motto. While describing the philosophy, open source was used as
the base. It is learned from various literatures that both positive and
negative interpretations are available and people used both of those as to
fulfill their specific aims.

2.
Aim.
The aim of my speech is to apprise you about the philosophy
If you cannot convince him, confuse him.

3.

Scope.

My speech will be unfolded in the following sequence:

a.

Background history.

b.

Meaning.

c.

Application.

d.

Personal opinion.

Salient Aspects of the Quotation

3.
Background History.
In the year of 1919, it was a famous writer
from England, William De Morgan who in a novel featured a clever
character named Christopher Vance. Vance had to be the idol of this motto
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as sometimes, he resorted to distracting and baffling other characters to


achieve his aims. Later in the year of 1942 it was discovered to be a tactic
of Adolph Hitler during World War II. Few years later in the year of 1948,
former US president Harry S. Truman spoke on the occasion of the
National Plowing Match. There, he criticized his political opponents, and
mentioned the proverb while accusing them of cleverness. The very next
day it got huge coverage in many newspapers and was circulated
worldwide. Since then it used to be known as a great quotation by Harry S.
Truman.
3.
Meaning.
If we go for the anatomy of this very statement, we will
see both negative and positive implication of it. The literal meaning of the
proverb says that, if you cannot get people to agree to what you want, just
confuse them to the point that they do it anyway. As an example, we can
see that, the way republicans had been using this as a tactic against
democrats in the year of 1948 while spreading propaganda through mass
people, was indeed a negative application of it. On the contrary, it also
explains that, if you cannot outride someone with knowledge, you dazzle
him with your words, logics and information those he is not aware off and
finally he follows you. In this connotation I can refer a publication named
Never take No for an Answer, where the writer Samfrits Le Poole, did
mention this statement as one of the persuasive tools for convincing people
instead of debating with them.
4.
Applications.
This famous quote has many military applications
as well. While in war, if you think that you cannot outride your enemy by
your strength, then do something to confuse him so that you can achieve
your aim. Not only in the battlefield but also we can imply this as a tool for
our communication skill also. We being the junior leaders of our Army, often
need to speak to our under commands, peers and even to our superiors to
convince them in carrying out our missions. We are trained to become a
good communicator in various courses and activities. Even if we look at the
present scenario, in the staff college we are given with exhaustive practices
to develop our communication skill. Public speaking being the most
important means of communication needs your confidence, your depth of

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knowledge, articulation of speech with logic and information to convince


people whom you are addressing.
5.
Personal Opinion. While giving my personal opinion, we may take
the example of our research methodology classes conducted by Dr. A. I.
Mahbub, an intellectual and scholar, presenting before us, numerous
terminologies of Research Methodology. At times, maybe we remain
confused because our poor depth of knowledge, but he is taking us to his
point by his words, style of explaining things and lastly with so much of
information and examples arranged logically that we are not aware of.
7.
Conclusion.
To conclude, it can be said that, this is a philosophy
which you can use both positively and negatively. While utilizing it
positively, we should realize the core of this philosophy and feel the need of
confidence, depth of knowledge and logical development of speech to
convince people. If we can understand this inner meaning, aim of todays
talk is achieved.

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