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Therefore, presentation skills are important in every profession. A person become more impressive if he learns the art of public speaking as well as effectively use of hardware for corporate presentation.


Don't repeat yourself 3 times.

But do tell them what information is coming next - it prepares the listener to hear you; now that they're prepared to hear you, tell them; , and finally give them a practical application or example of what you told them.

Tell them what you're going to tell them,

Tell them.

Tell them what you told them.

Some sage advice is still around because it is sage advice.


I'm going to disagree with you.

A lot of what you wrote may be true, Brett, but where you missed the boat is that a boring presentation and telling your information three times are totally unrelated. Creating engaging content takes a lot more effort than you seem to indicate. Plus, there is also a knack to telling your story three times that requires practice and not everyone has acquired it.

So, in the end, boring content can exist without repeating it three times. There's more to building an engaging presentation than simply falling back on rules of thumb, or avoiding them.

(Oh, gee! I seem to have repeated my point three times.)

Bren Rick

I also disagree with you.

Repetition enhances recall. I believe you CAN use the tell-em, tell-it, told-em method and not be booring. In a more global context than just a presentation, i.e. other learning situations, the method allows the lazy listener to grasp what they are in for, hear it, and then have a reinforcement on what they heard. If you are a lecturer, you want your audience to have the best chance of recalling the information you present. If you are a teacher, this gives you the best chance of retention in your students.

Further, you assume that anyone that uses this method automatically is not using engaging stories? One can still have the product as the hero, show how short-term sacrifice leads to long-term success, and attract investors and partners, to set lofty goals, and to inspire employees.

PS, you make the giant assumption that an "adult" requires more than a 6 year old and that only a 6 year old can respond without boredom to this approach. I have taught college classes to "adults" and I guarantee you that some 6 year olds have better retention of material.

PPS: Where is the story in your initial material?

KC Smith

Am I the only one who noticed that the author of this article uses tell em, tell em, told em?
First he says TE-TE-TE is the "biggest load of nonsense." Then, he says "Repeating something three times does not make it interesting or engaging." And finally he closes with "The "tell them what you are going to tell them" approach is a poor substitute for great storytelling."
He repeats 3 times not to repeat 3 times...

Nathaniel "Nat" Byrom C.T.

I'm noting the difference in instructing and public speaking here. We'd love to "entertain and enthrall" everytime we instruct, however, some materials, especially those more technical in nature, do not lean toward great storytelling. When I am instructing an audience on the proper operation of a hazardous gas compressor, the tell 'em, tell 'em, tell 'em approach might be more appropriate. It is, of course, great to be able to repeat old "war stories" of past operational exploits during the course, but when the students need to leave with identified requisite skills and knowledge, the instructor had better done more than just delivered an entertaining session.

Greg L

I also disagree, for the reasons cited above.

C.D. Brewer

I also disagree! This formula (tell them) is right on ... the problem with this old saw and any presentation is if you are boring ... you are boring regardless of your format.


KC Smith, way to go! Excellent observation!
I mean, uh...

I've just read an amazing observation in one of the comments!

KC Smith pointed out that Brent used TE-TE-TE in this article.

How cool that KC helped Brent understand that TE-TE-TE is such a good approach he does it without even trying.

Mack Bazile

Right on KC Smith.

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