Boost The Retention Of Information With The Magical Rule Of 3’s

A few months ago on a Friday evening, sitting on the couch watching tv, I started the process of engaging a Copywriter for my business.

As part of the form I had to fill out, they asked for my company values (along with other information about my business).

However, the problem was, that I didn’t have a core set of company values I could provide off-the-cuff……

Not because I hadn’t ever thought about them though.

I’d crafted them on many different occasions and felt like they were spot on each time too. But they’d just never *stuck*.

So, that very night, with a wine in hand, I went back to the drawing board.

I brainstormed some values and the list was long. There were so many words I felt needed to be included to represent me accurately, my business, and how I operate. But I knew I couldn’t have 10+ values.

So I cut the list down and landed on the 5 values I thought best represented me and my brand. Then I input them into the form the Copywriter requested and went to bed.

However, the next day when reflecting on my values, I still couldn’t remember all 5 of them off the top of my head.


I spoke with another business owner and they mentioned they also have roughly 5-7 values and they mentioned they have to write them down on a post-it-note so they can reference them when needed.

That seemed counter-productive to me.

Surely for values to be truly useful, they need to be with you at all times, directing decisions and influencing the choices you make!?

But, I just wasn’t sure *how* to get to that place where I could remember them off hand.

However, the answer revealed itself soon enough……..

A few days later I was listening to an entrepreneurial Podcast where a lady was asked about her company values. Interestingly she was able to reel hers off, without a moment of hesitation, just-like-that.

Gahh!! She talked about them with so much certainty! Just like I wanted to.


Straight away the reason seemed obvious to me. She only had 3 values.

I needed to cut my list down to make them stick in my mind and be useful to me!

So, I sat down with a pen and paper and whittled my list of 5 values down.


grouped them, tweaked them, mulled over them, and then landed on just 3.

Three things that I felt actually really did sum me and my business up very well.

They were:

1. Transformation

2. Joy

3. Practicality

Yass! It felt so clear to me at that point!

It was me and my business, in just 3 simple words. It also summed things up better than when I’d had even *more* values!

However, the biggest test was whether they now *stuck* in my mind.

The next day, I was able to recall them. Even better, for every day since, they’re there, top of mind! Able to be recalled wherever I am and whenever I need them.

No need to write them down on a post-it note in order to be able to recall them.

Voila!! Problem solved.

It’s funny because I know about the Power of 3’s.

I teach it in my Powerful Presenter Group Program and with clients whenever I’m prepping them to share information verbally. I just hadn’t connected the dots myself to this type of application.

So, here’s the lesson for you.

If you want others to remember a set of discrete points, sick to the Magic Rule Of 3’s.

When you’re giving people a discrete set of points, whether it’s the benefits of something you’re talking about, or the various causes of a problem, don’t reel off lots of things. Always try and stick to the rule of 3s.

Because, information is only really *useful* to people if they can recall it when required (without having to refer to that Slide Deck you used or that document the details are buried in).


Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 100 group coaching sessions, coached more than 200 people privately and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe. 

She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact and confidence. So they can share their ideas, boost their brand and start to enjoy public speaking.

She’s also a regular podcast guest, a writer, a single mum of one, a massive dog lover and a fan of cryptic crosswords.