Rule Of Three In Pitching

The Rule Of Three is a useful way to look at most things pitch. Standup comedians use it to make the best of a good punchline, designers use it to get clients’ attention. Two case studies isn’t quite enough, four can be a drag, three is just right. The case studies work best in the right order, one that builds up towards a key message. They should work together to bring across a memorable story. This applies to portfolios too, three strong pieces of work are what employers will expect and have time for. Three is memorable.

In a pitch, we aim to deliver a narrative that follows a logical order. A story is made of a beginning, middle and end: three parts. The case studies, or portfolio pieces build on one another to deliver a message and demonstrate a thinking process. This is important, because when we pitch we don’t sell ideas (many come up with good ideas) nor do we impress with visuals of our finished projects (what are the measurable business results?). What we sell is our tried and tested process—clients need to feel confident that we can reproduce that success with their own project, that we can take a new brief and deliver a solution by following our winning formula. On top of that, we pitch our passion and honesty. What we are presenting is us as designers and thinkers, the case studies are merely helping us prove that point.

Curating the right case studies for any given pitch is a fundamental step, the rest is simply telling stories around each experience, the ups and downs, challenges overcame, eureka moments and the solution that always comes on time and budget. If you are dying to show off more of your work, stay strong and don’t dilute the pitch. Direct your audience to your company website, chances are they’ve been there already.

I’m a Maltese designer/entrepreneur based in London. Partner at Sebazzo. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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