Leadership Skill: The Rule of ‘3’ for Powerful Communication

By on February 2, 2012

Leadership Skill: The Rule of “3” for Powerful Communication

Public speaking and/or giving presentations can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences in any professionals’ life. Some people are naturals at it. Others loose sleep over the very thought that they may need to stand in front of a room and speak. Being able to convey your message, your vision or great idea is a critical leadership skill. Without this skill you could be dead in the water.

Often times all it takes is a little structure and organization, along with a little insight to make preparing for a presentation so much easier. One of the most common mistakes is cramming too much information into your presentation. The result is you’re out of breath trying to get it all in, the audience is glazed over and no one walks away any better off for the time they spent listening.

Here’s a quick and simple rule to remember; the Rule of THREE. Neurologically human beings are wired to only be able to digest 3-4 bites of information at a time. Therefore if you’re planning on covering a dozen or so in a 60-minute period chances are that your audience won’t be able to hear you. The solution is to keep it to 3 or 4 key points. This laser like focus makes it far easier for people to concentrate on what’s important and leave out all the fluff that could confuse them or clutter the message.

More is NOT better. Here are some of the possible reasons people load up a presentation;

  • The presenter has a fear of looking they don’t know what they’re doing or offer enough value. So they over compensate.
  • Possibly their ego needs to prove they’re exceptional and so they talk over the audiences head.
  • They simply don’t realize that using the Rule of Three will give them a better result.

Usually it’s the last one.

Here’s a simple example of The Rule of Three from a current icon in the business world – Apple. When Steve Job’s launched the iPad this was the formula he used.  To break it down even further, notice the brilliance of the sequence he uses to convey his message;

  • Product and/or service
  • Identify the competition
  • Biggest problems outlined
  • Avenues of, or access to, the resolution
  • Solution to the problem

Keep it as simple as possible. Don’t overload your presentation with a million slides, moving images, props or visuals. It becomes confusing. Stay focused. Show your audience that what your proposing is logical and easy to accept by emanating a quiet confidence that you’ll achieve by using the Rule of Three. Being able to convey your message, your vision or great idea is one of your best leadership skills that can easily set you apart from others.

People want to be lead by those who have vision. Convey that vision effectively and you’ll have an avalanche of supporters and advocates.

Written By: Maria Gamb The Change Agent

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