When we consider how information is presented to us, we can see that the number three is everywhere. According to Neuroscientists, the human brain is wired to absorb and remember information more effectively when it is presented in threes. Add one more element and the memory pattern tends to slip.
Cast your mind back to your childhood, there is a reason why there were ‘Three Musketeers’, ‘Three Little Pigs’, ‘Three Blind Mice’ and the ‘Three Stooges’.
It’s no coincidence that these three-part quotes are well known: “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’roll”, “love, life and happiness” and “third time lucky”.
It’s also no coincidence that good stories have a beginning, middle and end. Films, books and video games are often crafted in the form of a trilogy. Three IS the magic number.
Knowing the ‘Rule of Three’ and using it in your presentation, your cover letter or your interview can be incredibly impactful. Use the ‘Rule of Three’ and people will be more likely to remember what you said and that it was YOU that said it.
According to communication expert and best-selling author, Carmine Gallo in a recent interview published on Monster, "when you are asked in an interview, why should we hire you? Don’t give eighteen reasons. Think of three reasons, and in the interview, say, here are three. First…. and tell the interviewer what they are. Neuroscientific research shows that, once someone knows there will be three points, they have to hear all of them. It’s almost uncanny".
The ‘Rule of Three’ is more than just a way to impact your audience, it’s a cautionary reminder to not overload your audience. Our brains have a tendency to automatically tune out when faced with a daunting amount of information.
So why not try it and let me know how you get on.