Rule of Three

The Rule of THREE
By Fred E. Miller
Read This – Understand It – Use It!

No Sweat Public Speaking! –

3 Fingers

Three blind mice.

The Three Stooges.

Three strikes – you’re out!

Ready – Aim – Fire!

The third time is the charm.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

The number Three, throughout history and used in a variety of ways,
has been important, and continues to be.A Three-Act play is the standard structure in Hollywood.

In a speech, there is the Opening – Body – Conclusion.

When telling jokes, the formula is: Setup – Anticipation – Punch line.

If you want to emphasize a point and have people remember: Repeat – Repeat – Repeat.

For speakers, it’s essential to study this, implement it, and become an expert at using it!  (That was three, wasn’t it?)

In his book, Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, Roy Peter Clark provides insights to the magic of the number three: “The mojo of three offers a greater sense of completeness than four or more.”

Clark correctly points out, “We use one for power.  Use two for comparison, contrast.  Use three for completeness, wholeness, roundness.  Use four or more to list, inventory, compile, and expand.”

This is great advice. Understand it – Think about it when developing your talks  – Use it!

About the Author:

Fred E. Miller coaches, speaks and writes about Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.


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