Steve Jobs would always take it one step further. Most people would just deliver 5 gigs. Smart communicators would say that’s the equivalent of 1000 songs, genius communicators go one step above that. Apple continues to do this to this day which is why Apple is so brilliant at communicating information and messages behind their products. There’s a whole team of people back there and they work really long and hard to communicate interesting and engaging messages.
So last year when Phil Schiller introduced the new iPad Mini, I forgot how thin it was. I’m going to show you a clip and it’ll remind me. It was thin. It was some kind of number. Really thin. I don’t remember the number. I remember it was thin as a pencil. I do remember it was as light as a pad of paper.
What’s more memorable to you? The data, or what the data actually show? And the metaphor and the analogy that the data create? This takes work, but listen and watch how it turns out.
[Video Clip Starts:
Phil Schiller of Apple: So, this iPad Mini is just 7.2 millimeters thin. That’s about a quarter thinner than the fourth generation iPad. To put it in context, it’s as thin as a pencil. Yeah, it’s thin. It weighs just 0.68 pounds. That’s over 50% lighter than the previous iPad fourth generation. So in context, what can compare that to? It’s as light as a pad of paper. We were going to say a book, but books are much heavier. So, we came up with a pad of paper.
[Video Clip Ends]
You tell me. Isn’t that far more interesting than just introducing a number. That’s memorable. That’s the iconic photograph, from that particular presentation as well. So ask yourself, what numbers can I bring to life?
Now we’re going to focus on one other technique, that I think is one of the most powerful techniques in communications, to make your message truly memorable and easy for your audience to grasp. That’s the Rule of Three.
The Rule of Three
The Rule of Three simply means that in short term memory, working memory, I’m only going to be able to carry about, three or four points of information. So why overwhelm me with 12? Don’t give me 12 or 15 reasons why I should back your idea. Give me three. Much easier to grasp.
I wrote about this for Forbes, and one of my readers actually sent me an infographic. His name is [Felipe Packu]. He created this infographic. It’s on the Rule of Three. I know it’s hard to read, but it just shows you how the Rule of Three pervades all aspects of our society. Even religion, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Slogans. Nike, just do it. Obama, yes we can.
The colors of the flags. I hadn’t realized most flags have three colors. Language, science, certainly literature. Three little pigs, three musketeers. I’m a big fan of Thomas Jefferson’s writing. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. I had forgotten how many companies have three letters in their logo. UPS, SAP, IBM, CNN, the Rule of Three. Okay, it’s only because this is the way our mind works naturally. It likes to see groups of three.
So use it in your next presentation or pitch. Apple does this all the time. All the time. When iPad 2 was released, I’ll never forget, I got an e-mail. The subject line was, iPad 2: Thinner, Lighter, Faster. That’s it. Thinner, lighter, faster. That’s all you need to know about it.
In fact, this pervades design at Apple as well, because, again, design is simple at Apple. Not the process to get there but the end result. There’s only three models of iPads you can choose from. There’s different configurations. But they introduced three models, three models of the iPhone. Everything is in three. Three is very powerful.
A Message Map
So now I’m going to show you how to incorporate the Rule of Three, Twitter-Friendly headlines, and selling the benefit, into what I call a Message Map.
A Message Map is something that you can use today for your very next pitch, no matter how complex your idea. This is going to help you a lot. By creating a Message Map, you create a visual display of information, the visual display of your story on one page. This works remarkably well. Because I’ve used it for some — a lot of products. Products that actually you use in your everyday life. Started — we sold it with a Message Map. Message Map is not necessarily meant for consumers. It’s meant for you, to help you articulate and visualize what the story is behind your particular product initiative or idea.
Would you like me to show you how to create a Message Map? Okay, let’s do that.
I’m going to make it. I could make this complicated. I’m going to make it very simple though. I’m going to go to the other extreme. I’m going to show you, that you can make this for anything, even soap. How many of you have been to a store called Lush? It’s a soap store. Okay, good, good number of you, there’s a few here in the Bay Area, there’s two in San Francisco. It’s a UK-based soap store, and it has about 150 locations in the U.S. and Canada. It’s very nice, nice soap store.