I try to keep in mind that whenever I’m tempted to begin a statement with, “The fact of the matter is…” there’s a good chance that:
- It’s really just my opinion.
- Even if what I’ve said IS true it’s more likely to elicit resistance in the listener as opposed to agreement.
On the other hand, as Ben Franklin came to realize in developing his communication skills, it’s actually much more persuasive to begin a statement with the words, “In my opinion”, “It appears to me”, “If I’m not mistaken”, etc.
He found humility to be significantly more persuasive than dogmatism.