Thinking in threes

Great writers often use a technique the ancient Greeks called tricolon – repeating in patterns of three. Think of “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” or Tony Blair’s promise to make his priorities in government “Education, education, education.” If your audience isn’t listening all that closely, the first time you say something they might not notice. Repeat once and they’ll realise this is important. Say it for a third time and they are primed and ready to remember.

You need: 30 minutes, pen and paper.

Download this worksheet:

Write a short summary of your project. Now write three sub-headings: Reasons Why; Tricky Issues and Next Steps. Beneath each heading, write three more statements or questions. Rewrite them until they are all short and simple. Now look back over everything you’ve written. Chances are your audience will only remember three things you tell them, so what should those three things be?