The Rule of Three

I came, I saw and I conquered.

These few words of Julius Caesar provide a good example of the Rule of Three.

The main idea behind the Rule of three is that concepts presented in threes are easy to remember. An interesting benefit that comes from applying the rule of three is that others will remember what you have to say and so will you. 

A real-life application is this: when structuring your presentation, group your ideas or key takeaways into groups of three so that it’s easier for your audience to remember them. The key is to always ask yourself at every point: If your audience is only going to remember 3 things from this presentation, what should they be? The Rule of three can prevent you from getting stuck in the middle of a presentation if you deliver your points in threes.

It might not always be ideal to split your ideas into groups of three, after all, the world is certainly more complex than the number 3. In some cases or most (depending on how talkative you are :), you will certainly have more to say than 3 sections will allow. In that case, regroup your ideas into 3 higher level concepts that will allow you to deliver the main points succinctly. The Rule of 3 is certainly not applicable in all situations but can be useful in:

  1. Remembering concepts
  2. Delivering speeches and
  3. Setting goals.

Use this list of 3 to remember when to apply the rule of 3.