How many times have you heard “You didn’t tell me that!” and you know for a fact that you did communicate what they don’t remember you saying?
Sometimes it is just a minor annoyance, but sometimes a communication gap can have serious business consequences.
And who’s right? The person who is sure they communicated, or the person who is sure they didn’t?
Huh? How can both be right?
The cornerstone of effective communication is paying attention to whether or not the person you are talking to is listening, is able to hear and understand what you are saying.
My recommendation to dramatically increase your effectiveness – pay attention not just to what you are saying, but also whether or not your audience can hear, understand and use what you are saying.
Which brings me to the Power of Three.
Expect to say something three times to your audience so they can register, hear and understand what you are saying.
If you look for it, you can see the Power of Three used everywhere.
When a big company like Proctor & Gamble launch a new product they create an advertising campaign with multiple exposures through newspapers, radio, TV and billboards.
The idea is that you get exposed to their new product at least three times so that when you walk into the store you see if on the shelf, recognize it and are willing to buy it.
If you haven’t seen any of the advertising you probably won’t even see it on the shelf – the product won’t even register in your awareness.
If you have had any training to be a speaker, the basic structure of any speech (or really any communication) is to tell the audience what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you just told them.
In other words you communicate your message three times!
Why is the Power of Three so important?
Because you literally have to “interrupt” your audiences’ thinking and capture their attention before they can hear your message.
There are many examples of companies not following the Power of Three…
… particularly with radio advertising. A radio ad will start with saying the company name and how to reach them, then launch into the message with a call to action and then NOT REPEAT THE COMPANY CONTACT INFO!
The radio ad gave them the contact info before the audience’s interest was engaged. Once it was, the contact info wasn’t repeated!
Double check to make sure any advertising message ends with a call to action and your contact information.
If it is a radio ad or voice broadcast say how to contact you TWICE at the end of the message (and remember to speak slowly).
Take a look at your communication to your team, your customers, and your marketing message – are you reinforcing your message (and making sure it was heard) by saying it three times?