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Presentation Techniques: Speaking in Threes

Presentation techniques: tripling

There are hundreds of presentation techniques, and some are more common than others. One example is that people find it easy to remember things in threes, and building on this tendency (known as tripling) is one of the simple presentation techniques that work in all presentations.  You’ve probably already seen or heard people doing it…

„Veni, Vidi, Vici”  – Julius Caesar
“Friends, Romans, Countrymen …” –William Shakespeare
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people” – Abraham Lincoln

Of course you don’t need to be a great public speaker to make this work for you in your business presentations.

3 simple tips on presentation techniques for speaking in threes

1. Use three items that fit together to make an impact

Come back to the same item each time, hammering home the point:
  • We can retain customers by reducing our reaction time.
  • We can retain customers by offering round the clock support.
  • And we can retain customers by delivering spare parts within 48 hours.
  • Three items that act in sequence to reach a desired goal. e.g. “If we reduce our reaction time, offer round the clock support, and commit to delivering spare parts within 48 hours we will retain more customers.”
  • Three key themes that together cover a wide area. e.g. “We need to retain customers, we need to expand into the BRIC countries and we need to acquire smaller local competitors.”

2.  Use rhetorical questions

  • Ask a rhetorical question e.g. “So what is our new customer support strategy?”
  • Offer a simple, even minimalistic, response  e.g. “It’s called One Service.”
  • Then drive this home with three related words or phrases to grab attention, encapsulate or summarize. e.g. “One Service will form networks, it will promote best-practice sharing and most importantly it will make us even more effective.”

3.  Use your voice to leave a lasting impression

  • You can connect the three items by rising or reducing the pitch of your voice for each one.
  • Going up with your voice increases emotion, going down brings a sense of finality and certainty.
  • You may also want to put your most important point last – and then pause before it to make an additional impact.

Give it a go. Using presentation techniques such as speaking in threes will make your key messages simple. It will also make them clear and, above all, it will make them memorable. Let us know what you think in the comments area below.  Also, click here to see how Target Training’s seminar can help even the great presenters get better.


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