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Chantal’s Influence Tips # 25: How to keep people listening – Part Three: The rule of Three

3 is a magic number that shows up in stand up comedy, speeches, plays and movies.

 Remember “education, education, education“?  The three wise men, three stooges, holy trinity…there are countless examples.

And the greatest movies and stories have a 3 Act structure.

 So, firing off 7 or 8 points in a meeting, written proposal or presentation and expecting them to be remembered is misguided. But, if you re-organise those 6 or 7 points inside 3 larger categories, they’re more likely to stick. This will also depend on the quality of content and how it’s delivered.

 So here’s an effective way to use the Rule of 3 when structuring information;

-intro (why listen)
Give context, big picture, hook

 Middle (the what & how)
-key point/message 1

      [sub points here]
-key point/message 2

      [sub points here]
-key point/message 3

      [sub points here]

 End (incl. ‘what if’ scenarios)
-Close & Call to action

 You can use this to structure any form of communication. You might also want to review the last tip if you haven’t seen it.

Chantal Burns ScreenshotChantal Burns

Executive Coach, Speaker and Bestselling Author of

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