“Using a picture increases your chances of convincing someone.”

Such is one of the conclusions of two university professors, who authored a rather esoteric article on persuasion*.

They studied a touchy topic where people are rather resistant to facts: politics.

Their test subjects were presented with information that completely contradicted their political beliefs.

The question was: what is the best way to present information to change someone’s firm opinion?

1. Facts in writing?

2. Build up their self-esteem so people felt less threatened after considering the opposite views?

3. Presenting the information in a chart?


Here are the conclusions:

1. The written word was the least effective.

2. Building up someone’s self-esteem didn’t fare much better.

3. Presenting data in a chart was the most effective.


You could try to describe the data verbally or in writing to prove your point and convince someone to change their mind. Or you could show a chart as convincing as the one below, used in the article. It shows the number of weekly insurgent attacks in Iraq.

Here is another graph from the article, which shows the total number of jobs in the US in 2011:

Translation: a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you need to convince someone, try to find a way to share a graphic to make your point stronger.

If you cannot find an illustration, then try to create one yourself.

Give it a shot, and watch your persuasion skills soar!

If you would like to learn how Chronos can help you and your team regain time and sanity, please reach out to us. Simply click on the Discovery Call button above or visit www.ChronosVet.com 

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free certified

Co-Founder of Chronos LLC

* B. Nyhan & J. Reifler. “Opening the Political Mind? The effects of self-affirmation and graphical information on factual misperceptions.” September 20, 2011