Argument Advantage: Gain Credibility by Defending Your Ideas
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Argument Advantage: Gain Credibility by Defending Your Ideas

A guide for leaders to boost their value and prospects by effectively creating, communicating and defending their ideas!
3.9 (13 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
694 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $175 Discount: 94% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 hour on-demand audio
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Over 170 quiz questions and 20 pages of supporting documents designed to reinforce the material!
  • Gain tools and know-how to effectively articulate and defend your ideas - and look like a "rock star" doing it.
  • Significantly improve certainty in your own mind and confidence in your ability to stand up for yourself.
  • Increase the probability of obtaining more professional opportunities as well as increase the chances of promotion.
  • Improve the quality of your decision-making.
  • Demonstrate a level of leadership competency that many senior executives do not have.
  • Broaden and deepen your critical thinking skills.
View Curriculum
  • There are no technical prerequistes; just have an eagerness to not only better yourself but also increase the probability of obtaining better opportunities in life.

Updated: September 1, 2017. Link added to Step 4 of Argument Overview. Here is a great of why argument is important. Watch Mike Rowe counter a critic on Tucker Carlson's show!

Updated: August 9, 2017. A link added to Argument, Expectations. Comedian Adam Carolla discusses argument with TV Host, Tucker Carlson.

The Argument Advantage is an advanced communication course for leaders. It is designed to not only help you communicate the "right" ideas but also effectively defend them. Overall, this education will give you a competitive edge that can make all the difference in earning a promotion, increasing your salary, developing the right relationships, or just getting what you want in life.

This course was originally a multi-day facilitation for senior business leaders in the boardroom; now, it is designed for you, whether you are a student of leadership, an entrepreneur, a leader or want to become one.

  • "This was probably the most beneficial course I ever purchased for my organization. It is an outstanding approach to developing very key communication skills to enhance your influence both at work and at home." - Tammy Valdez, Senior Vice President of Member Services
  • "The Argument Advantage helped me double my return on investment. I learned how to make better decisions and effectively communicate them to my team. My increase in productivity and performance led to my promotion from Director to Vice President." - Doug Kaplan

The three critical areas are covered:

1) Thinking: Gain the tools and the know-how to clearly and quickly develop the "right" ideas and to improve your decision-making.

2) Communication: Understand how to clearly and succinctly articulate those "right" ideas to others. Greatly improve the odds of not being misunderstood; avoid the communication pitfalls that others fall into it.

3) Argument: Avoid compromising your reputation by ineffectively defending yourself. Learn when and how to decisively defend your ideas in a constructive manner - and look like a rock-star doing it! Gain a reputation as someone who knows what they are talking about.

The curriculum is unique and borrows from a variety of sources. For instance, the disciplines of philosophy, logic, communication studies, behavioral science, and military history are incorporated. The works of specific people and institutions are utilized, ranging from Aristotle to the Central Intelligence Agency. The quizzes reinforce the lessons through a range of questions, from the simple true or false to the complex situational multiple choice.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is first and foremost designed for leaders who want to rise to the next level of success. It doesn't matter whether you are an entrepreneur, a student of leadership, a potential leader or a current one. If you enjoy the challenge - and rewards - of influencing others to achieve goals then this course will be one of the most important ones you will take. If you want to significantly boost your self-confidence and be able to effectively stand up for yourself and your ideas, then this is the course for you.
Compare to Other Communication Skills Courses
Curriculum For This Course
49 Lectures
Introduction and Proof Points of Success!
4 Lectures 13:01

This is a testimonial from Tammy Valdez, a seasoned senior executive in Arizona, USA. She put her team through the Argument Advantage when it was a multi-day facilitation.

Preview 04:06

This is a testimonial from Doug Kaplan, a business executive in Arizona, USA. He says the Argument Advantage supported him in getting promoted from a director to a vice president.

Preview 04:29

Make sure to read this prior to engaging in the course. It sets expectations as well as addresses the overall experience of the Argument Advantage.

Preview 1 page

This quiz is an initial survey. It acts a tool to gauge your current understanding of argument. Don't worry about not getting the right answer! Just answer honestly.

The purpose of this survey is to act as a baseline to help measure the progression you will make once you've completed the videos and quiz questions. You'll take a final survey at the end of the course (something very similar to this). It will help you see how much you've developed in terms of understanding thinking, communication and argument.

Initial survey
6 questions
The Fundamentals
3 Lectures 13:59

A brief examination of "Fundamentals." Here we cover three basic "rules of engagement" that should determine whether or not you should engage in an argument in the first place.

The Fundamentals: Overview

We examine the three most fundamental modes of thinking. They significantly influence how ideas are formulated, communicated and ultimately defended. Understanding them will greatly assist you in ensuring your ideas correspond to reality; they will also help you defend yourself when others use false alternative modes of thinking against you.

External resource added 1/9/15. Given the statements of Selma's director, which mode of perception comes to mind?

The "Trinity"

A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in the "Trinity" videos.

The "Trinity"
8 questions

We explore the nature of logic, what it is and what it is not. Grasping it will make all the difference in developing the "right" ideas. Make sure to do the quiz right after this video. It provides numerous examples of to reinforce the lessons.


A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in Logic videos.

10 questions
12 Lectures 56:26

A brief overview of the Thinking section. Understand! this is the most important part of this course in that it sets the foundation for communication and argument.

Thinking - An Overview

A very brief introduction to concepts and why they are important. Four audio files follow this introduction. Make sure to focus on actual concepts and their relationship to percepts.

Concepts - An Introduction

To understand concepts we must understand what makes humans distinct from other animals. Here we will be introduced to two levels of awareness that are prominent in human thinking and communication, perception and conception. Understanding how they are distinct from another will greatly support you in developing ideas that are clear, free from ambiguity.

Concepts - Awareness

This audio file covers the relationship between percepts and concepts to group activities, to include business. Understanding their distinctiveness will assist you in developing and communicating ideas that are appropriate to particular positions in an organization.

Concepts - Awareness - Relationship to Group Activities & Business

Concepts are the building blocks of ideas, and yet they are rarely understood. Grasping what they are in addition to the role they play in ideas can significantly help one ensure their ideas are clear and accurate. The "Concept Model" tool is provided to assist you. This model will be used throughout the entire course in more detail.

Concepts - Formation and the Role of Essentials

Two examples are covered. One is an extension of a previous example and the other is a new one.

Concepts - Essentials Examples

This quiz is designed to assist you in better understanding concepts and their role in thinking. Use the Concept Model to assist you.

10 questions

Content refers to the substance of an idea or topic. We examine the notion of linkage, value, and definitions vs. descriptions. Note: The example of "business strategy" introduced early in the video is examined in detail with the following audio file. The quiz will help you reinforce the lessons provided.


This is an extension of a previous example used in the Content video. An attachment is provided to assist you in connecting high level concepts down to the perceptual level, and then back up again if necessary.

Content - Extended Linkage Example

A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in the "Content" videos.

10 questions

Everyone has a bias. This segment examines why this is the case and how to spot, and ultimately avoid, unnecessary influences when interpreting ideas or topics.

Preview 03:24

Here we must identify the fundamental premises that likely influenced a conclusion.

Mental Models
5 questions

Where you reside in the levels of awareness affects how you formulate ideas and ultimately articulate them. Here we examine the impact of images, or percepts, used in thinking.

Perceptual Detractors

A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in the "Perceptual Detractors" video.

Perceptual Detractors
5 questions

This is the first of two videos dealing with conclusions. This file focuses on how to ensure your ideas are free from error and are ultimately defensible. It is divided into four sections: conclusions, process of elimination, rationalization, and ensuring quality. A link to an open source that employs Richards Heuer's Analysis of Competing Hypotheses is provided for those interested in a more detailed resource.

Conclusions - Content

A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in the "Conclusion" video.

5 questions

This is the second part of conclusions. This video focuses on organizing your conclusion and premises in a manner that makes them clear to you and to your audience. Make sure to use the two attachments when taking the quiz.

Conclusions - Structure

A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in the "Structure" video.

10 questions
5 Lectures 27:19

A brief overview of the communication course, prefaced by two general rules to keep in mind whenever you communicate.

Communication: Overview

Three measureable standards in communication that make all the difference in ensuring people understand what you want them to understand.

Essentials of Communication

Quiz Description

Essentials of Communication
7 questions

A specialized format of communication for leaders when speaking. The model is Task, Purpose and Outcome. It addresses how to ensure your assignments are connected to larger goals.

Actionable Communication

This quiz is about identifying the two most common units of actionable communication, Task and Purpose. Identify whether or not the statement includes both task and purpose.

Actionable Communication
10 questions

A message must be tailored according to the audience. In organizations, the audience is positioned according to their position within the levels of operations, the tactical, the operational, and the strategic.

Roles in Communication

Identify which of the following scenarios reflects the proper way to communicate relative to their roles in communication.

Roles in Communication
5 questions

The natural behavioral tendencies that often influence how a message is received, despite the truth to its content.


A mixture of questions to reinforce lessons in the "Delivery" video.

11 questions
25 Lectures 01:26:16

This video provides a brief explanation to entire argument section. It addresses what argument is and why it is important to you and to your organization.

Argument: An Overview

What does success or failure look like when you argue? Here are the basics of what you should expect if and when you are challenged.


Two fundamental levels of an argument exist, one that is legitimate and the other that is not. Engaging in the latter will reveal you to be inexperienced and ultimately injure your credibility as a leader.

Levels of Argument

Questions to reinforce lessons in the "Levels of Argument" video.

Levels of Argument
4 questions

This video provides an overview of how to defend your ideas. It then goes into the 1st Line of Defense, "Deflection." This type of engagement teaches you to protect yourself from fallacious ideas as well as how to spot them when they are presented to you.

Defense: An Overview & The 1st Line

An attempt to get you to do the impossible: prove a "negative." The most important principle in argument (and in logic) is discussed, the "onus of proof" principle.

Appeal to Ignorance

This is an interesting tactic used by some to plant a plausible idea (based on supposed evidence) in your head while ultimately not providing evidence. It follows the appeal to ignorance for the reason that "positives" and "negatives" are covered.

Preview 02:32

The substitute for an argument by using pictures, or imagery.

Preview 04:12

Invoking emotions or passions as a substitute for reasoning.

Appeal to Emotion, Misery

The substitute for reasoning by relying on the reverence for authority.

Appeal to Authority - General

The use of specialized language as a tool of intimidation.

Appeal to Authority - Prestige Jargon

Using the threat of harm to gain agreement instead of reason.

Appeal to Authority - Walking Stick

The attempt to bypass the issue by personally "attacking the messenger." Check out the comment from Mr. Weiss on LinkedIn link. It is one of the first ones in the comment section.

Ad Hominem - Abusive

The attempt to bypass the issue by "attacking the messenger," specifically the circumstances surrounding him/her.

Ad Hominem - Circumstantial

Causing ambiguity in a position through different interpretations of a word used more than once.


Intellectual intimidation through the suggestion of naiveté.

Appeal to Laughter

Improperly developed ideas that demonstrate circular reasoning.

Begging the Question

Misrepresenting the existence of other alternatives to a proposition.

False Alternatives

Two common errors in establishing general truths.


Fill in the blank to identify the logical fallacy.

1st Line of Defense - Definitions
11 questions

Identify the logical fallacy.

1st Line of Defense - Examples
20 questions

What happens when an argument is made that you disagree with and it is not fallacious? Here we look at the AMP model. This model should support you in ensuring your own ideas are free from error, or at least have the greatest probability of being true. This model will also help you in arguing by casting doubt on your opponent's position. Make sure to check out external links used as evidence.

2nd Line of Defense

Questions to reinforce lessons in the "2nd Line of Defense" video.

2nd Line of Defense
5 questions

Knowing how and when to engage in an argument.

The Offense - Step 1

Identifying what is truly important in a position, the Center of Gravity. Make sure you do the quiz as many examples are provided.

The Offense - Step 2

These questions are designed to help you better understand the Center of Gravity.

The Offense - Step 2
6 questions

How to prevent distraction when arguing your point given continuous resistance. Make sure to do the quiz as several situational examples are provided.

The Offense - Step 3

Three situational questions based on "The Offense - Step 3" video.

The Offense - Step 3
3 questions

The final step in argument, select your approach. Here we employ the ideas of two major military theorists, Karl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Use the attached Power Point to illustrate both approaches.

New External Resource (1/12/15): This is a great example of a direct approach. Alan Dershowitz (a prominent US lawyer) denies sexual allegations on live TV. Observe how definitive his position is. He lays out his case in clear, emphatic terms. He also anticipates counter arguments which he decisively addresses.

The Offense - Step 4

Questions to reinforce lessons in the "The Offense - Step 4" video.

The Offense - Step 4
7 questions

You've successfully made your point. Is the argument over? No. Here are two seemingly harmless retorts by an opponent that may feel they've lost the upper hand to you. Accepting these seemingly innocent appeals can subvert your credibility in the long-run.

Popular Appeals

A congratulations and a farewell! I hope to see you again, soon!


Congrats! Now it is time for the final survey. It is a tool to gauge your understanding of thinking, communication, and argument now that you've completed the course. Make sure to compare your answers to the initial survey. Additional information will be provided on this site to help you compare your development to that of other students. Good luck!

Final survey
10 questions
About the Instructor
Kevin Black, MA, MBA
3.9 Average rating
13 Reviews
694 Students
1 Course
Principal & Founder, Executive Command®

Kevin is a veteran US Army officer and seasoned entrepreneur, nationally recognized for strategy and leadership development services. His personal mission is to help other leaders actualize their potential by providing them an elite leadership education - the product of nearly two decades in both the public and private sector.

He has helped clients across a variety of industries, profit and non-profit. One client increased their customer base from 30,000 to one million in 18 months. Using his intellectual property on leadership and strategy, one for-profit client executed an initial public offering and a non-profit client increased donations from $200,000 to $3 million in 24 months. Overall, Kevin’s work has helped create over $500 million of value.

Kevin has a Bachelors of Arts in History from the Virginia Military Institute, a Master’s of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Arizona State University and a Master’s of Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business. He is a certified trainer in the behavioral science tool, Professional Dynametrics Program. He teaches military history at the Scottsdale Community College. Kevin currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his two Australian Cattle Dogs, Aetius and Summer.