Have you ever rolled your eyes when someone
was trying to sell you something because you just can’t believe the descriptions, “the best
phone”, “the hottest app”. Or when a teacher says “this is very important” or “this is
the most useful tip”, do you actually pay more attention?
The reason for our reactions in these situations could be because we believe this is just the
opinion of other people; it’s something we clearly do not agree with; it’s not a fact.
Now, have you ever thought about this when you were presenting and justifying your opinion
in a presentation or an essay? Did you bear in mind that what may seem to be an obvious
fact to you could be just an opinion that other people may not agree with, regardless
of how obvious or common you believe it to be.
Let’s take this statement as an example: Michelle Reis (李嘉欣) is beautiful.
Even though she’s considered to be a beautiful woman among the Hong Kong public, whenever
I use this statement as an example in class, almost half of the class shakes their head.
That tells you that no matter how much I believe this statement to be true, it’s just my opinion.
Remember, when presenting opinions, our goal is always to persuade our audience; whether
or not they are convinced depends on our justification. In the case of arguing that Michelle Reis
is a beautiful woman, what are the concrete facts or persuading evidence that I could
use to justify my opinion? Well maybe
I could explain how her facial proportions abound with the golden ratio – the maths
behind beauty I could justify the credibility of the Miss
Hong Kong Pageant and point out that she won And I could cite the vast number of publications
that have reported her to be the most beautiful Miss Hong Kong ever, the most beautiful woman
in Hong Kong and so on. By doing so, even though some of my audience
may still not agree with me because they have their own standards and taste
when it comes to beauty, I recognise that my statement is merely just an opinion and
as the presenter, I have the responsibility to dig deep and justify with facts and persuade
with evidence that my opinion should be considered valid. That’s all from me today. Bye.