Rule of three…

22 Feb

We had a great session this morning on presenting and presentations.

Given that we did a presentation yesterday I think our minds were widely open to suggestions.. more so than if we’d had this talk last week.

One of the points raised was ‘Rule of Three’; something I was aware of in storytelling (the hero always succeeds after the third fail…) but didn’t connect to my presentations…

Wikipedia has a great page that lists several ‘Rules of Three’ but in particular check out the ‘writing‘ one.

I’ve always been a bit wary of ‘rules’… the designers and musicians that I gravitated towards were openly ‘untrained’ and talked about being ‘free of rules’ because they didn’t know what they were.
While it clearly worked for them… I think I may have been lazy.

What resonates with me now is a quote I heard a while back…
I tried Googling it and I can’t find the originator, so what I heard may be paraphrased, but here goes,

” You can leave anything out, so long as you know what it is.”

Learning the rules is empowering, because when you break them (and you should…) at least you have an idea why..!

Over the last few years a great source of inspiration for me in terms of learning about presenting and styles of presentation has been the TED website. The first one I ever saw (JJ Abrams) is a permanently fixture on my about page; Sir Ken Robinson’s first TED talk (which I first saw sometime in 2009) was hugely influential in me considering a return to full time education… which is where I am now.

For an insight into TED and why presentations can be so profoundly influential to us, I’d strongly recommend this new interview with curator Chris Anderson on Charlie Rose.

Finally, Mike Press, who was leading the session this morning gave us an example of a great presentation (in contrast, he had a mock-up on screen of what it ‘may’ have looked like as a dull list of college lecturer bullet points…), Barak Obama’s victory speech. It’s freely available on YouTube… search it out.
However, I leave you with an alternative version, created by Adam Buxton of ‘Adam and Joe’ – I think you’ll be impressed by his use of Obama and the ‘rule of three’… “In. Your. Face. Sarah Failin!”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: