What do Valentine’s Cards and a love struck teenager have to do with presenting?

When I was a teenager I had an enormous crush on a guy who lived about half a mile away.  He went to the all-boys school across the road from me and I would gaze lovingly in his direction – but he never even noticed me.


One year for Valentine’s Day I sent him 3 valentines cards.  Yes not 1, not 2 but 3 – as I said, it was an enormous crush!  The 3 cards were as follows:


Card Number 1:  Sent to arrive on the 13th, a day early.  Inside I had written “The early bird catches the worm”…. how corny was that!


Card Number 2:  Sent to arrive on the 14th – just a normal card, nothing notable written on the inside.


Card Number 3:   A blank piece of paper in an envelope.  Nothing on it at all.


By sending 3 cards I was  trying to appeal to him in 3 different ways.  Now you might be wondering about 2 things – firstly, what has the story of these 3 different Valentine’s cards got to do with communications and secondly, what happened next between me and the object of my desires?

When we are delivering a message it is really helpful to try to appeal to your listener in different ways.  For example, in a presentation try varying the content of your presentation.  Include graphs, images, videos – even using the whiteboard or flip-chart; anything that breaks away from the sameness of slide after slide.
The other relevance of the 3 cards is the use of “3’s”.  When giving a presentation – 3’s are the business!   The brain just loves 3’s.

What happened next?
So, what happened between me and the object of my desires?  Absolutely nothing – I never even spoke to him!  The only point of interest is that he is, apparently, a teacher in that school across the road – no doubt he is totally oblivious to the existence of that love-struck teenager from many moons ago!