We’ve often heard the brain can only hold seven things in mind. The brain research behind this is valid, and in everyday life we experience it with 7-digit phone numbers.
This week in Las Vegas, at Chris Farrell’s and Mike Filsaime’s Affiliatedotcom.com event, many speakers presented “7 Steps” to better internet marketing. But I think there’s a perception that an audience will listen and remember 7 things from a presentation which is wrong.
What’s true for phone numbers isn’t true for concepts.
Try 3-4 things instead. There’s no way anyone can remember seven tips from a presentation. No way. Especially when there are 6-7 other speakers on the podium per day, over two days.
Let’s get real, folks. The other things is, that to be effective, you need to repeat your message several times. Now some of the speakers were able to do this, even in spite of having 7 tips. But that makes for a lot of repeating and it’s still not going to be remembered.
But with 3 things, yes, you can drill them home. 1-2-3. Repeat at least 7 times, and you’ve got a message that will be remembered and associated with your name.
The more I think about this, this “rule of 3” should also apply to other content you publish and communicate: newsletters, blogs, white papers, ebooks, etc.
Especially in this era of information overload, we need to become more aware and considerate of our target audiences’ capacity to receive and retain messages. Only 3 main points or steps to your solutions. Not 7.
- Make your point by providing 3-4 key steps
- Summarize or repeat your message
- Provide only one call to action, one most important thing people should do next
People will remember your ideas if you can give them the bullet point summary of three things.
When I was at the Affiliatedotcom.com event, I asked many of my colleagues which speakers they found most relevant, and why. The ones who made the most impact were the ones who were authentic and personal, with messages that were short and succinct.
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