Spend some time playing The Propaganda Game and you will not only become a better communicator but recognize when and why arguments made by politicians, colleagues, friends, advertisers, and opposing counsel are faulty. I have played it frequently in the past and recommend it for effective learning—and fun.
From the game's Web page:
The PROPAGANDA GAME: the hilarious but effective antidote for the daily barrage from advertising, public relations, politics and the mass media - all seeking to manipulate our attitudes and behavior. Inoculate yourself, your family and students by learning to identify the many blatant and subtle persuasion techniques used by professionals. Soon you'll be seeing them everywhere and, in the process, learn to stand firmly outside their insidious grip.
PROPAGANDA is a delightful, highly social game in which players first learn to identify techniques such as: prejudice, casual oversimplification, faulty analogy, tabloid and wishful thinking, hasty generalization, attacking a straw man, appeals to ignorance, emotion, flattery, pity, prestige, folksiness, joining the bandwagon and many,
many more. Once players become adept at identifying the techniques exemplified in the humorous examples provided with the game, they graduate to the "expert" level where they gather and create their own examples from the real world or their imagination.
At this Web page, you will read an overview of the techniques covered in the game. Excerpt:
Propaganda, as we know it today, can be nefarious as well as a noble art. For at one moment its techniques can be used to whip up racial hatred among groups of people; at another moment, its methods can be employed to move persons to acts of warmth and kindness. It is important, therefore, that we consider a person’s motive for using a propaganda technique, as well as understanding that a technique has been used.
Often, the ideas of facts that we wish to convey are linked with words about which everyone has some emotional feeling --- words such as "mother", "home", "beauty", "love", or "cruelty", "murder" or "death" --- since both hostile and loving emotions are a part of us all. But just as there is a place for emotional feeling in men, so also there is a place for more dispassionate thinking. In a democratic society, it is the role for every citizen to make decisions after evaluating many ideas. It is especially important then that a citizen be able to think clearly about the ideas that are daily presented to him. It is imperative that he be able to analyze and distinguish between the emotional aura surrounding the ideas, and the actual content of the idea. To this goal of clear thinking the game of PROPAGANDA addresses itself.
Click to see the techniques you can learn (or review) in the game. Click to read a post I wrote in 2010 about a form of ad hominem. Click for another good resource on improving your ability to reason: The Art of Argument.
The Propaganda Game is one of the most enjoyable ways I know to improve your clarity of reasoning, and to recognize when others are sloppy in their thinking or even trying to trick you.