Creating Persuasive Arguments


A few reactions you might get.

  • “I don’t have anything to hide.” 
  • “Privacy is dead.”
  • “I care about my privacy but it’s too late to do anything about it.” 
  • “Why do libraries care about my privacy?”
  • “We don’t have the budget for privacy initiatives.” 

Looking for sample talking points to these reactions? 


These are just a few of the reactions you might get when you start to engage library users, library staff, administration, stakeholders, or even your neighbors on topics related to privacy. Awareness of the value of privacy has become more mainstream as we hear about data breaches and tech companies’ use of our data. But awareness does not necessarily mean understanding or comprehension of the true scope of the threat to one’s privacy; indeed users may not yet understand that there are a myriad of small things we can do to protect our own or our community’s privacy. 

If your elevator speech led to further conversation or you are jumping right in to talking about privacy with a group or individual, being able to make a persuasive argument is key. Consider strategies that could be used based on who you are addressing and what you learned about them in your empathy map. 


How to Organize a Persuasive Speech or Presentation

  • Be well-informed. Do the research to argue your point(s) so you can provide facts to back up your claims and concerns. 
  • Be specific. What are you looking for your audience to do?
  • Be authentic. Explain why you care about this issue. 
  • Use metaphors.
  • Find commonalities. 
  • Tell a story. Storytelling can help people visualize the impacts of their decision.
  • Use repetition to remind people of your point/argument.