Humans tend to remember pictures, not data. 72 hours after listening to information, most people retain only 10%. 72 hours after seeing information, most people retain 65%. In other words, if you want your audience to remember what you tell it, show it a picture.

This goes for client meetings as well as jury trials. If you do not already have a whiteboard, get one. If you have one, spend a few minutes turning the information you want to convey into a chart or graph. I have found that even just localizing information on the whiteboard (“which option do you prefer, the one on the right, or on the left?”) helps clients process information so that they are more comfortable with their decisions later on.

Chart Wars: The Political Power of Data Visualization | Sunlight Foundation (thanks, Mom!)

The Small Firm Scorecard example graphic.

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