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Produce Powerful Presentations (Collection) by Jerry Weissman

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67. When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife?: How to Handle False Assumption Questions

Sooner or later, every human being is confronted with tough questions. One of the toughest and most common is the infamous loaded question “When did you stop beating your wife?” which implies that you have indeed been beating your wife. How do you answer without agreeing with the implication? How do you not answer without appearing evasive?

Courtroom dramas often include a scene in which an antagonistic prosecutor points his finger at a defendant and asks accusingly, “Why did you kill your partner?” implying that the person—who has pleaded not guilty—did kill the partner. Or “What did you do with the gun?” implying that the person did possess the murder weapon. ...

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