Evidence and Logic
Reasoning is a powerful tool for the mind, but strong, concrete
evidence should be the cornerstone of a logical speech.
Evidence not only
makes an argument ring true in persuasive situations, but it
also substantially enhances your credibility. There are four
major types of evidence: testimony, statistics, analogies,
and examples. You will strengthen your position when you
of all four forms, rather than depending on only one. When
you provide proof in this manner, you remove doubts that
in your audience’s mind.
Your audience wants to know what the experts say about you or your
topic. Testimony is the judgment or opinions of others considered
experts in the particular field or area of interest. A testimony
can be a quote, an interview, or an endorsement from a credible
person. It can be implied with someone’s presence (attending
your event), picture (on your product), or signature (on your
Statistics are numerical proofs of your claims. For example, “this
demographic uses . . .” or “4 out of 5 dentists recommend
. . .” Using graphs and charts make statistics more memorable
and leave a greater impression on the listener.
Some people are suspicious of statistical proof, however, so make
sure your statistics are credible and sound. Know where you got
them and who did the research. People know you can arrange statistics
to say just about anything. Use statistics sparingly and only in
conjunction with other forms of evidence. Besides, a roll of statistics
can be very boring. For a free report on the best Internet sites
to find statistics, visit my website at www.magneticpersuasion.com.
Analogies have a great impact in the mind of the receiver.
Analogies allow you to present a new and foreign idea and
compare it with
something similar that your prospects can relate to in their
own lives. Analogies can also give us a new perspective
on an old concept.
We have all heard the analogy, “Fish and visitors start to
smell in three days.” What an easy way to get your point
across! In eight simple words, you are able to paint a picture
you could never have explained in 100 words.
Examples can really make your evidence come alive. We love
to relate to examples that bridge the gap between logic and
lives. Your prospects understand examples at a deeper level
because they are based on common experiences and interpretations
Examples can be real or hypothetical and can include quotations,
personal accounts, physical evidence, empirical studies, or
As you prepare your message, understand that humans aren’t
capable of absorbing all of the information you can gather. We
are hit with data all day long and most of the time we don’t
absorb it. In fact, we are very selective in what we allow ourselves
to retain. When we hit information overload, we turn our minds
off and retain nothing.
U.S. study on comprehension of television messages produced very
results. After watching commercials and
other forms of messages, 97% of viewers misunderstood some part
of every message they saw. On average, viewers misunderstood about
30% of the content they viewed overall.3 Information is just poured
out too fast. The evidence that you choose must be selective, precise,
and powerful. You can’t afford to bombard your audience with
too much information.
the logical side of your message, you have to understand the
concept of the
number seven. This is also known as channel
capacity, which is the amount of room in our brains capable of
storing various kinds of information. George Miller wrote, “There
seems to be some limitation built into us either by learning or
by the design of our nervous systems, a limit that keeps our channel
capacities in this general range.”4 There is only so much
room in your prospect’s brain to absorb logical numbers and
information. This is why phone numbers only have seven digits.
Spend the time necessary to fully research the types of evidence
you want to use to strengthen your arguments. You already know
that using the right evidence from the right sources greatly increases
the credibility of your message. However, the opposite is also
true; poor or irrelevant evidence undermines the credibility of
your message. When compiling evidence, consider the following:
evidence supported by an independent expert rather than facts
evidence will be more persuasive when paired with individual
the sources of all testimonials.
- New information
is often more convincing than old facts.
consistent with your audience’s beliefs will
be more persuasive because they’ll evaluate everything from
their own perspectives and attitudes.
credibility by also acknowledging and even including the other
side of the argument. A two-way
will bear far
more weight than a one-sided lecture.
works best when it is suited to the audience and their experience.
Consider the following presentation points:
to evidence as fact increases its weight.
that is verifiable will always be more persuasive.
that is specific will always be more persuasive.
- An unbiased
testimony is more persuasive than a biased one.
experience is more persuasive than not having any personal
who have not yet established their credibility will benefit
more from the use of evidence than those
is especially important when the audience is unfamiliar with
evidence is particularly persuasive when the audience consists
of highly intelligent
is more persuasive when you provide not only the source, but
also his/her qualifications.
is more persuasive when you confirm an audience’s
taken from Magnetic Persuasion by Kurt Mortensen
Mortensen, author of Exponential
Success Skills and Weapons of Influence, is one
of American’s leading
authorities on Persuasion, Motivation and Influence. After receiving
of Business Administration and a Bachelors of Arts, he began many
successful entrepreneurial ventures, through which he has acquired
many years of both experience and success. In addition to his extensive
entrepreneurial and sales experiences, Kurt is a sales and persuasion
coach helping thousands of people reach higher levels of success,
income and persuasion mastery. Currently, he is a speaker, consultant,
and a Trainer for Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen protégés.