Three’s The Charm



By Susan Tomai 

At Oratorio Media and Presentation Training, we believe that if you have more than three messages, you have too many messages.

Indeed, the rule of threes has a long and distinguished history. The Three Wise Men in the Gospel of Matthew. Jefferson’s Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Steve Jobs in 2007 introducing the first iPhone as a trio of revolutionary product categories: new iPod, a phone, and an Internet communications device. The genie in the bottle and his three wishes. The Three Musketeers, Three Blind Mice, Moe/Larry/Curly.

And so on. Need we say more? There’s something about presenting information in threes that resonates with audiences. So after 25 years of media training and presentation training the best and brightest in business and government, we continue to whittle all key information into three high-level, easily understood messages. On rare occasions there may be only two key messages, and of course all messages can have multiple supporting points – examples, stats, stories – but in general, more than three messages cause the audience’s attention to begin to wander. So don’t squander your three wishes – tell the genie your presentation will stick to three key messages.

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