Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Remember the Rule of Three

Today I taught a music class for a group of 2-year olds.

One of the songs they like best is called "Me, You, We."

Each verse contains three lines of one word each:








and finally...




That's it. Really.

And the kids love it! Why? Because it's so easy to remember.

Today I realized that even at the tender age of two, people respond to the Rule of Three.

People remember things much more in threes than they do in twos - or even one. Me, You, We is especially memorable, as the words in each of the verses connect to each other.

From the Green Room: Whether you are speaking for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, remember the Rule of Three.

Break down your speech into three distinct points.

Even better, find a thematic way to connect your three points to each other.

(e.g. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow; Stop, look, listen; We came, we saw, we conquered)

It's simple, it's clear, and it works!


Anonymous said...

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground."

"...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Lincoln's intuitive sense of the power of three is one of the reasons why his words will forever resonate in our nation's memory.

Sarah Gershman said...

great example!

Anonymous said...

you're a kids music teacher too?

Alex Campbell said...

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

I would suggest that the rule of threes not only works in the expression of each point you make (e.g. this is important for three reasons...), but also in the overarching content of your presentation. To explain, when I am preparing a presentation and I'm outlining my "blocks of content" I often try to fill the presentation with three major sections. So, I open with what we'll be covering (the following three points), then I cover each of the three points with three supporting examples or points. Then, of course, summarize and conclude. So, the rule of threes for each "section" of the presentation but also for the presentation as a whole. Not only does it make the information consumable for the audience, it's easier for ME to remember the outline!

Sarah Gershman said...

Excellent point about working the rule of three into your outline so that you can remember it better! Thank you for your comments!