Developing Your Persuasive Message
The 27-9-3 Rule
Created by some Vermont lawmakers several years ago, the 27-9-3 rule requires you to make your persuasive point in no more
than 27 words within a time frame no longer than nine seconds with no more than three points discussed. These limitations
help us focus on understanding how to connect to our listener. This message is not the place to present your entire appeal – just
enough to hook the listener into wanting to hear more.
Click here to download a 27-9-3 work sheet
As a start to a letter to the editor -
Actual 27-9-3 messages developed through this exercise:
"Almost everyone in our jails and prisons will return to our community.
Do you want them prepared to be a better neighbor or a bigger problem?"
Personal story example -
"My son has had 3 open heart surgeries. Despite having health
insurance, our family has suffered significant medical debt from high premiums, deductibles, and co-pays."
As an invitation to join the WISDOM Task Force -
"Help us make our community safer by getting people the treatment
they need, instead of giving them time – time to just get worse."