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  • Writer's pictureErin Bailey Lake

Get to the point! (In just 3 words)

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Why were there three little pigs, three blind mice, and three musketeers? Why do we frequently use three examples to support an idea? Why do ads and slogans often use series of three to persuade or motivate?  

Why did I just use three questions to set up this article?

I’m employing the Rule of Three – which states that THREE is the smallest amount of information you can use to create a pattern. Linguists trace this principle back to the Greeks and Romans: “Friends, Romans, countrymen…”  

Today, the Rule of Three is ubiquitous: three-act plays, three-part symphonies, and in the courtroom: the truth, the whole, truth and nothing but the truth. (See how I just used it again to support my point?) 

In crafting your pitches and presentations, the Rule of Three is an ideal mnemonic device. 

Adult learning theory teaches that our short-term memory can retain only three or four chunks of information. That’s why, in persuasive presentations, audiences are more likely to remember content packaged in a brief, rhythmic pattern. “To achieve victory will take blood, sweat, and tears.  

The Rule of Three is also an ideal way to organize your presentation. 

Complex data dumps are often confusing and convoluted. Signal your audience that you will cover three points to support your topic: “Today, we will unveil our new marketing plan – which is comprised of three proven components….”  

Close with 3

As you close your presentation, employ the Rule of Three to insure retention, as in: “Thank you for attending today’s Presentation Skills Workshop. I’m not asking to remember everything you’ve heard today – just these three powerful words… prepare, present, persuade.” 

Oh! And also remember my contact information:

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