The “Rule of Three”


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It is said that humans hear and retain information presented in groups of three very well. A Blog reader ( offered the following article that explores this further:

Examples of the Rule of Three

(Thanks, Kevin!)

I certainly see the same effect and map accordingly in Great Demo! methodology. For example:

– Great Questions (which we address right away)
– Good Questions (which we queue-up for later)
– Stupid Questions (which we also queue-up for later)

Bugs and Crashes:
– Cosmetic Bugs (which we ignore)
– Serious Bugs (we acknowledge, jump over and move on)
– Crashes (we acknowledge, direct attention away from the disaster, and move on)

General Great Demo! Method:
– Illustrate (show the Wow!, the main take-away, the end result)
– Do It (the fewest steps to get to that end result)
– Peel Back the Layers (in accord with audience depth and level of interest)

[And, of course, Learning:
– Adults learn by repetition (let me say that again…)
– Adults learn by repetition (one more time…)
– Adults learn… (yes, by repetition!)]

I’d be grateful for more insight into why the “Rule of Three” works so well – as well as other examples…

For more tips and articles on demonstration effectiveness skills and methods, email me at [email protected] or visit our website at For demo tips, best practices, tools and techniques, join the DemoGurus Community Website at or explore our blog at

Peter Cohan
Have you ever seen a bad software demonstration? Peter Cohan is the founder and principal of Great Demo!, focused on helping software organizations improve the success rates of their demos. He authored Great Demo! - how to prepare and deliver surprisingly compelling software demonstrations. Peter has experience as an individual contributor, manager and senior management in marketing, sales, and business development. He has also been, and continues to be, a customer.


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