3 tips on how to use evidence to persuade

Speaker credibility

When a presenter wants to persuade listeners to do something – or change their point of view on an issue or topic – it’s not enough to rely solely on emotion to persuade. Speakers should also use evidence to support their contentions. Here are a few tips.

1. Cite your sources. If you’re using a statistic to support one of your main points, where did that information come from? Is the source reliable and trustworthy? If you’re the expert, fine. Make sure the audience knows about your experience/expertise related to the topic. (You’re not bragging; you’re qualifying yourself as a credible source.)

2. Connect the dots. Explain how the information you cite supports the points you’re making. Don’t just throw the information out there.

3. Use several credible sources to maximize persuasion, not just one. You may have a single expert you quote whose opinion or testimony supports your contentions in a powerful way. However, citing additional sources will bolster your arguments leading to persuasion. Using more than one source should also help mitigate audience members’ possible suspicions that if only one person, report or whatever supports your point of view, there’s something wrong. Why should they believe you based on only one source you cite? I’m guessing they want to hear more.

“Work” redefined: making a living has changed

WORK ISN'T WORK ANYMORE-As a baby boomer and the daughter of an Air Force veteran, early on I imagined I would find a job and stay in that job until I retired. It’s what everyone did, right?

Times have changed. Jobs have changed. Employers have changed. Where, when and how we “work” is very different than my father’s experience. He doesn’t understand why I don’t have a full-time job. (I’m a marketing communications contractor.)

Ross Perlin’s article in Fast Company offers a succinct summary of this shift – and explains how work is increasingly everywhere and nowhere.

Medical device startup wins UCLA Knapp Venture Competition

Knapp Venture award

Team lead Derek Herrera holds the first prize check. Behind him (left to right) are Zach McKinney, Bud Knapp, Beth Johnson and Betsy Knapp.

UCLA’s student-run Knapp Venture Competition is designed to give UCLA Anderson School of Management students an intensive learning experience in the venture initiation process. Spinal Singularity won this year’s competition, and I’m very proud to know a member of this amazing team.

Derek Herrera (EMBA ’15) is my nephew, and along with team members Zach McKinney (Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering ’15), Beth Johnson (EMBA ’15), and Chandrashekar Hariharan (EMBA ’15), Spinal Singularity captured first place. The competition is named for Cleon T. (Bud) and Betsy Wood Knapp, who generously gave an endowment in 1997 to support this annual event along with other entrepreneurial initiatives. Spinal Singularity’s mission:

We design connected medical devices to improve the quality of life for people dealing with spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D). Spinal Singularity leverages unique combinations of existing technologies to create an exponential impact on the lives of the people we serve.”

The UCLA Anderson Blog has more details on the award and the team.

Congratulations!