Rule of Three – List of Three

Max Atkinson has a great blog that you will want to visit if you are at all interested in speaking and communications (which is why I assume you are here!) He is the speaking expert from the UK behind “Claptrap”, which is an outstanding movie classic on the use of oratorical devices. Sounds boring, but the 30′ film dramatically takes a woman with moderate education and makes her into a “standing ovation” parliamentary speaker. With Max Atkinson’s help. (Unfortunately the film’s only available in PAL.)

His great post on Barack Obama’s advanced use of alliteration, list of three, and other oratorical devices is not to be missed. Atkinson is a master at coaching and analyzing the written speech. As he mentioned in his email to me, Obama “included 27 three-part lists at a rate of about one every 30 seconds!”

And keep in mind that the “list of three” is not just a device of rhetoric. As a proven principle in physics, it is also used in communicating for

  1. organizing ideas on the spot
  2. creating presentations, and
  3. putting together agendas of any kind

(and a lot of other uses beyond those three.)

It is one of the organizing principles for The Decker Grid, which we use in every program we teach and train. So if you use the Rule Of Three you will be

  1. More prepared,
  2. More persuasive, and
  3. More powerful!