Learn how to get paid to speak in public. Subscribe to a Great Speaking ezine for FREE

Public Speaking Course: 

Rule of Three

My public speaking course teaches about the rule of three, which is the most pervasive in constructing funny material.

You will seethe rule of three used over and over because it's so simple to use, it's powerful and it works (see I just used it there in a non-funny situation). Most of the time for humorous material the Rule of Three is like this: The first comment you make names the topic, the second sets a pattern, and the third suddenly switches the pattern, which makes it  funny. 
Look at these examples from advertising brochures at my seminars:

In the "How to Get There"; section

* From Washington, D.C. take Rt. 50 . . .
* From Baltimore, MD take Rt. 95 . . .
* From Bangkok, Thailand board Asian Air . . .

* By Metro take the Red line . . .
* By Car take New York Ave. . . .
* By Steamship take the Chesapeake Bay

A funny way to involve the audience using the rule of three is to point to an audience member and say "You can make a difference in your company."
[Pointing to the next person] You can make a difference in your
[Pointing to third fun person] You can [pause] Well not everyone can do

Three jokes or one-liners on one topic is enough to get the audience going, but not enough to bore them on that subject. Remember from your public speaking course, that the Rule of Three is good in non-funny situations too. Even Old Abe Lincoln used it twice in the powerful, but short, Gettysburg Address: "We cannot dedicate. We cannot consecrate. We cannot hallow this ground"; and that "government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Free Article Index


Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved