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How many times have you heard: “You didn’t tell me that!” while you know for a fact that you did communicate what they don’t remember you saying?

It can be just a minor annoyance, but sometimes, a communication gap can have serious business consequences.

And who’s right? The person who is sure they passed the message, 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, able to hear and understand what you are saying.

My recommendation to dramatically increase your effectiveness is as follows: pay attention not only to what you are saying, but make sure that your audience can hear, understand and use what you are saying.

Which brings me to the Power of Three.

Make sure to pass your message 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 to have customers exposed to their new product at least three times so when they walk into the store they see it on the shelf, recognize it and are willing to buy it.

If the customers haven’t seen any of the advertising, they probably won’t even notice the product on the shelf – it won’t even register in your awareness.

If you have had any training to be a speaker, you know that the basic structure of any speech (or really any communication) is to 1. tell the audience what you are going to tell them, then 2. tell them, and then 3. 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 it literally helps you “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 contact information, then launch into the message with a call to action and then NOT REPEAT THE COMPANY CONTACT INFO!

Huge mistake!

The radio ad provided the contact info before the audience’s interest was engaged. Once that happened, the contact info was not available anymore!

Always make sure any advertising message ends with a call to action and your contact information.

Whether it is a radio ad or voice broadcast, communicate the contact information TWICE at the end of the message (and remember to speak slowly).

Take a look at your communications to your team, your customers, and your marketing messages – are you reinforcing your message (and making sure it was heard) by saying it three times?

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