Video for persuasion (counterarguments)

Photo courtesy Simpsons Wiki

The Simpsons: Season 4, episode 17

Link to episode description

This episode features a sequence at a union meeting where Homer and his fellow employees are offered a new deal on their  contract that involves giving up their dental plan. Homer brings a stop to the deal because he recently found out that Lisa will need braces. This leads to some follow-up questions:

  • Why did Homer want to kill the new deal?
  • If Mr. Burns had anticipated that problem and said that the dental plan would remain for two more years, would Homer have reacted the same way?
  • If anyone has seen this episode, what happens?

This leads into a discussion of why it is important to also research the other side of the argument and be prepared to address their objections.

This is often cited as one of the best Simpson episodes — and deserves it. It is rich in terms of persuasive techniques attempted at various points in the impasse.


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I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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