In his surprise TED 2017 presentation, Pope Francis relied on a proven rhetorical technique used by great writers and speakers.

The TED conference teased its audience with a “surprise guest” and they lived up to the billing. When Pope Francis took to the TED stage (remotely from his humble guest house in Vatican City), it lit up social media. But while the appearance might be surprising, the approach Francis took to writing his message isn’t a surprise to those who study the art of persuasion.

Francis is a fan of using a rhetorical device called the “Rule of Three.” It pervades the Bible as well as great speeches and literature throughout history. Continue reading