Date/time: 3:30 p.m. Friday
Panelist: Daniel Pink, best-selling author of “Drive” and “To Sell is Human”
The gist: Natural-born Ted-Talker and host of the National Geographic Channel show “Crowd Control,” Daniel Pink offered up seven tips he’s learned from both his show and social scientific theories based around fear, shame, empathy and other emotions. “Crowd Control,” which premiered fall of last year, sets up a series of practical experiments in an attempt to change social behavior — creative, illuminating projects like creating a cellphone-use lane on sidewalks in Washington, D.C., or hanging pictures of wheelchair-bound people on handicapped parking signs here in Austin to discourage able-bodied drivers from taking those spots. Not all of his experiments worked, while others had surprising results.
Takeaways: Among those seven “principles of behavior change”: Use fear the right way. It can be a powerful motivator, Pink said, in getting people to do what you want. He had flight attendants change up the wording of the flight safety speech before takeoff, incorporating drastic language like “life or death” to get passengers to listen and follow directions, and they correctly followed procedure during later safety drills.
Another principle: “When the facts are clearly on your side, persuade with questions.” People have their own reasons for doing or believing in something, and these reasons will be the basis for their answer, Pink said, making them likely to do what you’re persuading them to do if the facts are on your side. (As they were when Ronald Reagan asked during a presidential debate in 1980, “Are you better off than you were five years ago?” This rhetorical question helped cement him as a great communicator, Pink said.)
From the hall: A nice-sized crowd filled up a hall in the convention center to hear Pink speak, people only starting to leave once he asked for questions (which people gave through the hashtag #askpink, so you can go on Twitter to see what they were). He was witty, drawing laughter and engagement from the audience.
Session hashtag: #danpink #askpink