The rule of 3

We don’t know about you but it’s hard for the human brain to remember more than three things in a conversation, lecture or presentation. Three facts, three numbers, three tasks – fine. After that it can get fuzzy, right?

That’s especially true in today’s always-on, distracted society with diminished attention spans.

So here’s another tip, continuing our guide to key messages from the last blog: When you’re developing your key messages, or talking points, you should consider the Rule of 3.

It’s the top three messages you want someone to know. That way, at least, people will remember at least one.

With so much to say about your company or organization, then, how do you determine which three messages rise to the top? Consider the following:

  • Categorize your messages by subjects. For example, facts about your company; what your company sells; who your customers are; your philosophy; about your industry, etc. Then, craft at least three messages for each category.
  • Know your audience. Your key messages will depend on whom you’re speaking to. While some messages are the same for everyone – customers, employees, vendors, partners and others – in most cases you’ll need to tailor your messages for the audience you’re speaking to. Think about what different audiences need to know about you to meet their needs.
  • Don’t forget the call to action. A key message – even if clear and well delivered – doesn’t do much good if there’s no call to action about the information. Be sure to end conversations about key messages with follow-up questions like:
    • How can we help you?
    • Can we connect on LinkedIn?
    • Do you have a business card?
    • Would you like to learn more about us?

As 2022 gets under way and – we hope – more in-person events and activities get on your calendar, our next blog will provide some tips for effectively delivering your messages.

In the meantime, we can help you create your key messages – and how to best activate your messages across multiple media platforms. Contact us to learn more.


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