Giving an Opinon
A group of friends are discussing the most significant development in the last two hundred years.
One person says, “I think the computer is the most significant. We can’t live without them.”
Another friend says, “I don’t agree. Antibiotics is the answer.”
Yet another person says, “No, the most significant development in the last two hundred years is the light globe because computers, cars and planes couldn’t operate without a light globe. We cannot live without the light globe.”
Knowing how to give your opinion is crucial to getting your point of view known and accepted.
Giving an opinion is an excellent way to interact with people in formal and informal settings. However, there are some aspects to think about whether you will give an opinion or not.
First, make sure that the situation warrants an opinion. If it does, then you have several options and these are:
- Say nothing, remain silent
- Agree and say why (reasons 1, 2, 3)
- Never disagree
- Disagree and say why (reasons 1, 2, 3)
Develop a belief in yourself and your opinions by speaking up. Be confident in what you say.
How do you do this? Start by listening politely to the others in the discussion and then think before you speak. Consider your tone and choice of words. Maintain a calm demeanor at all times, and be mindful of your body language.
Make sure you know the reasons to support your opinion. You may have to research the topic, determine the facts and know the opposing side of your opinion. Deliver your opinion in a detailed, uncomplicated and unambiguous manner so people clearly understand your viewpoint. Provide the reasons for your opinion.
Use “I’ statements as these are powerful and promote connection rather than exclusion or alienation.
Useful phrases to agree
I couldn’t agree more.
So do I.
That is correct.
Giving your opinion
In my experience . . .
I think that . . .
I believe that . . .
My impression is that . . .
I’m of the opinion that . . .
From what I understand . . .
As I understand it . . .
Add strength to your statements by adding adjectives and adverbs. Examples are:
I really think . . .
I strongly believe . . .
My specific impression is that . . .
In my honest opinion . . .
In a more formal occasion phrases which can be used are:
From my point of view . . .
In my view . . .
It seems to me that . . .
From my perspective . . .
The reason why
This is due to . . .
Because . . .
What I mean by this is . . .
Relevant and up-to-date examples, statistics, explanations and / or expert opinions need to be provided. If you have actual data, examples or expert opinions on hand, refer to the source. Words which can be used are:
- This can be seen by . . .
- For instance . . .
- For example . . .
- An example can be seen . . .
- (Author’s name) states that . . .
- (Author’s name) suggests . . .
- Statistics from (give a source) indicate . . .
Disagreeing can be problematic as people often speak before they think things through. It is also important to disagree politely. You may be trying to disprove another speaker’s point, however,
Acknowledge their point
- I can see your point, however . . .
- That’s a good point, but . . .
- I see what you’re getting at, but . . .
- I can see what you are saying but . . .
- I can understand where you are coming from, however . . .
- Say you disagree
- I disagree.
- I don’t agree.
- Then explain why you disagree
- That’s not always the case because . . .
- That’s not necessarily true because . . .
- This idea isn’t supported by statistics/ evidence . . .
- I thought the author meant that . . .
- Offer your opinion complete with reason and support
- From what I’ve read . . .
- The statistics seem to show that . . .
- I think what the author may actually be suggesting is . . .
- Other studies by author/report show that . . .
Be prepared for counter-arguments and further discussion.
Choose one of the above suggestions or say something similar using words in which you are comfortable.
You can give an opinion on almost everything. To give an effective opinion you must remain calm, express your views clearly in a pleasant tone, with supporting details. Confidently deliver your opinions.