Simplicity and repetition are effective tools for helping your audience to understand your point.
An example of this is a series of campaign ads running on the radio in California.
The beauty and effectiveness of these ads is in how they are structured. The candidate is able to take something as complex as the economic crisis in California and boil it down to three simple issues. For each issue she offers one solution.
The rule of three. We can all remember three. Almost everything she says is in sets of three. The problems, the solutions, even her experience. Listen to her ads and count.
Regardless of your political views, the ads are brilliant. Meg Whitman has taken a very complicated issue with very complicated solutions and made them understandable and memorable. Listen to her ads and you will know her political platform. Chances are you will remember it as well. After all, we can all remember three.
What is it that Meg Whitman knows? That psychologists and learning specialist long ago figured out there is a limit to how much new information people can take in at one time. She knows that complex issues must be marketed in simple terms. She knows that her audience does not want (or need) to know all the details – they just want to know what it means. While her ads are simple, they are very effective.
We often are lured into saying far more about our topic than our audience both cares to know and have the ability to remember. The more we give our audiences, the less they remember. The less we give them, the more they remember.
The next time you speak, divide your topic into three facts, and talk about those. Just three – the rest are overkill and probably irrelevant. If Meg Whitman can simplify the problems of the most populated state in the US into three issues, it should be possible for you to present your ideas with three facts as well.
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