Clarifying what others have said:

  • “Are you saying…?”
  • “To paraphrase what you’ve said…”
  • “So let me get this right. What you’ve said is…”
  • “When you said_____did you mean…?”
  • “I’m a bit confused by your argument. Can you clarify the part about…?”
  • “I’m not sure what you mean, Allie. Can you give us another example?

Building on what others have said:

  • “And, to further support what “x” said…”
  •  “When you said _____ it made me think about…”
  • “I can see your point and taking it a bit further…”
  •  “I like your idea and I’ll add…”
  • “Along with that let’s include…”
  • “Sunhill pointed out…”

Politely disagreeing with what others have said:

  • “That can’t be right because…”
  • “I disagree with what you’ve said because…”
  • “The facts that you are telling us are different from what I’ve read in…”
  • “Another point of view could be…”
  • “I’ve got a different take on that issue…”
  • “I respectfully disagree and this is why…”

Politely redirecting people that are off track:

  • “If we can get back to what we were discussing…”
  • “I’d like to go back to our discussion by saying…”

Marshall evidence to support a position:

“There are three things in the book that led me to this conclusion. They are…”)

“I believe that…and I can support my position with two ideas. Let me explain…”

Making connections that further the discussion:

  • “Another way of showing/explaining/thinking about this is…”
  • “The character ________is like_________because…”
  • “The part_________would have been quite different if…”
  • “If I was giving advice to __________I’d say…”

Ideas for getting discussions started:

Announcement. Make an announcement or statement.

Challenge. Challenge participants with a bold statement that might cause controversy such as one side of an argument or an opinion.

Choice. Present options or choices.

Current Event. Begin by the discussion with something exciting that has recently happened and is relevant to your audience.

Definition. Provide a word and/or definition.

Emotion or Feeling. Make reference to how someone is feeling in relation to a specific event.

Experience. Focus on personal or professional experiences and examples.

Figurative Language. Use simile, metaphor, personification or hyperbole to get the discussion going.

Opinion. Start with an opinion and take a stand.

Quotation. Start with a quotation. The quotation could be from a famous person, book, news article, or interview.

Question. Pose an open-ended question.

Riddle or Puzzle. Pose a riddle or puzzle.

Scenario. Propose a hypothetical situation.

Statistic. Present a shocking statistic or one that people might question.

Surprise. Begin with a shocking or amazing piece of information.