Yesterday I was watching the SDP rally, and once again it was interesting. I am a PAP supporter but I love watching Dr. Chee speak as he can be persuasive. Since I have time today, let me jot down 5 lessons in rhetoric we can all learn from Dr. Chee.
BTW, i’m still thinking about what caused his public image transformation. Dr. Chee probably learnt some EQ the hard way–that shouting at respected Singaporean politicians is NOT as effective as being classy in rebuttals, for example.
- The art of ignoring “hobos”–“I don’t even want to dignify that with a response.”
I thought this was a classy response to the mud-slinging that he has been subjected to. The script here is–
“The statements are so ridiculous that I don’t even want to dignify them with a response.”
2. From the same video, usage of words like “I’m confused with…” In other videos, the usage of words such as “I’m puzzled”, “It’s puzzling that”, “It is strange that”, “It’s disappointing that”…
I thought phrases like that are classy. Instead of scolding your opponent, you can just imply that it is highly disappointing that their behaviour is not as you have expected 😛
3. Language–Have you noticed that political rallies in Singapore are usually conducted in more than 3 languages? Also, when political leaders talk to reporters, sometimes they tend to lapse into the occasional Singlish as well.
This is probably because localised language speaks directly to a person’s heart.
4. Argumentation— Dr. Paul said last night that if Mr. Murali wins, then it shows that Singaporeans don’t vote on racial lines, and the government can consider getting rid of the GRC system. So regardless of whether Dr. Chee wins, there are grounds established for future SDP battles.
5. Last but not least, emotional appeal. A lot of times, Dr. Chee portrays his own family alongside with him to soften his own image, and also to add onto his image as an honourable “family man”. To me this is a good defence in part against a possible lopsided mainstream media.
Food for thought, eh!