A pracical example of how to say 3 points instead of 17
‘My direct reports, say a lot about our brand to customers, but don’t get our key messages across. They say 17 things, instead of repeating 3 things.‘
Here is a way to address this challenge.
Practice conveying your ideas, in threes.
Why three things? Some of you will know of/heard of the power of three. We are programmed in our life to remember and repeat things in threes. One famous example of threes is: ‘He came, He saw, He conquered.’ (‘Veni, vidi, vici’).
When you have umpteen things to convey, you need to be brutal in choosing the three most important things*, points etc.
For most of you, chiseling your ideas to three things is not easy to do.
Recently a colleague asked for a ‘learning context’ for introducing me to people in his network.
I know I had a lot to say. Below is the stream of mind writing I came up with. As you’ll see, after reviewing the paragraph, I noted it was long winded.
At first I was convinced that I needed to convey all the information in the paragraph. Then, somehow without much thinking, I came up with a one sentence summary.
That sentence resonated best with my colleague.
Now that one sentence is still too long for my liking, but it was easier to digest for the audience than the paragraph. And With the help of my digital strategist, Vernon Song, I’ve since revised it to the following:
‘I transform top performing executives into extraordinary communicators who can engage, persuade and inspire.’
Own the conversation
In the next seven days – in safe conversations – practice ‘speaking in threes’. Here are some examples to adapt.
- To a colleague: ‘x – my view is that we need to focus on the scope, cost and downtime of the x project’.
- In a boardroom presentation: Open your presentation with three ‘hook’ words.: ‘Mistakes – make – money’. (this is an example used by a client of mine. The three words, were delivered paired with three sequential slides displaying the words. The key message of the presentation was, that by examining mistakes made in the operation, money making opportunities could be found).
- In a 1:1 with your boss you might say: ‘Sure, let me share where we’re at with x. It’s all green except for a budgeting issue with supplier p. That’s where I need your help.’
*a caveat here is that saying three things is not the magic number. Say even less words/things if you can still get your message across.
p.s. This article, There are no such things as Introversion and Extr0version, reflects thoughts I’ve had for a number of years regarding the topic of Introversion/Extroverson. It might interest you.
p.p.s. At an AmCham Access Series, networking event in North Sydney, on 29 March, hosted by Shadforth Financial Group, I’ll be delivering a presentation entitled. Own the conversation. I’d love to see you there.