Articles tagged: rule of three

The Rule of Three is a speechwriting technique which suggests the use of three related elements — three words, three phrases, three sentences — for maximum impact.

For a complete primer, see How to Use the Rule of Three in Your Speeches.

Examples and more information can be found in the following Six Minutes articles:

[…] an iron curtain has descended across the continent.

On March 5, 1946, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Winston Churchill delivered one of his most famous speeches. Though he was not the first to use the phrase “iron curtain”, this speech brought the phrase into common usage and is thought by some to mark the beginning of the Cold War.

In Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History, William Safire writes:

This is a Beethoven symphony of a speech. […] this is the most Churchillian of Churchill’s speeches.

This speech analysis article examines how to use charisma tactics in speech writing. It is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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When you think about charisma, who do you think about? Bill Clinton? Martin Luther King Jr.? Steve Jobs?

What about you? Do you have charisma?

Many speakers and non-speakers hold the belief that charisma is an innate gift — either you are born with it, or you aren’t.

But can you learn charisma? Recent research suggests that you can!

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This article reviews a thought-provoking speech by Dan Pink about the surprising science of motivation, which was delivered at TED in 2009.

Pink delivers a masterful speech which demonstrates many strong speech techniques, including:

  • A powerful opening, which establishes a framework utilized throughout;
  • Building of ethos and logos;
  • Well-timed use of humor;
  • Employing contrast and the rule of three;
  • Powerful conclusion; and
  • Superb delivery.

The strength of this speech isn’t surprising at all, given Pink’s former role as chief speechwriter for Al Gore.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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Thomas Carlyle once observed:

Music is well said to be the speech of angels.

You can make your speechwriting sing by learning lessons from songwriters. By applying these eight songwriting techniques, you will get your audiences to virtually tap their feet, nod their heads, and even hum along to your message.

  1. Triad
  2. Refrain
  3. Cadence
  4. Harmony
  5. Rhythm
  6. Rhyme
  7. Echo
  8. Sound Effects

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In the first two articles of this series, we learned how using the rule of three can improve your speeches by [1] writing triads of words, phrases, and sentences and [2] by applying three-part speech outlines.

In this article, you will learn how adding an unexpected twist to the third element can add power or humor to your speech.

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Previously, we learned how the rule of three improves speeches when used at the micro-speech level, to craft memorable triads of words, phrases, and sentences.

In this article, we will learn how the rule of three improves speeches at the macro-speech level when applied to speech stories or to entire speech outlines.

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The rule of three is powerful speechwriting technique that you should learn, practice, and master.

Using the Rule of Three allows you to express concepts more completely, emphasize your points, and increase the memorability of your message.

That’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

What is the rule of three? What are some famous examples? How do you use it in speeches? Read on!

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Some will argue that Barack Obama’s Inauguration speech was not his most electric speech, or that it failed to deliver on unreasonably high expectations.

Nonetheless, studying the speech provides five key speechwriting lessons that can help us all be better communicators.

This article is the latest in a series of video speech critiques which help you analyze and learn from excellent speeches.

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Is fifth grader Dalton Sherman the next Barack Obama?

Of course, it’s far too early to tell, but that’s how he refers to himself in an interview on the Ellen show, where my wife first saw this extraordinary young man who can teach us all something about inspirational speaking.

This article reviews the keynote address at the Dallas Independent School District (D.I.S.D.) Teachers’ Conference delivered by a 5th grade student: 10-year-old Dalton Sherman from Charles Rice Learning Center.

This article is the latest in a series of video speech critiques which help you analyze and learn from excellent speeches.

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Each year, MIT professor Patrick Henry Winston delivers an open lecture entitled How to Speak.

Positive word of mouth spread over the years, and the event now draws a beyond capacity crowd with people sitting uncomfortably on steps and the floor to listen to Winston. You can learn from the master teacher from the comfort of your web browser by viewing the lecture video.

In the 45-minute lecture, Winston delivers dozens of practical tips for speaking effectively, particularly when teaching. This article highlights seven of the best.
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A strong speech opening is critical to grab the attention of your audience.

Suppose you were delivering a speech to raise awareness in your community about school security. How would you open your speech?

  • I’m going to talk to you today about security in our schools…
  • School security is an important issue that we must deal with…

Both openings are direct, to-the-point, and boring! What if there was a better way?

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