THE UNITED STATES NAVY
SENIOR ENLISTED ACADEMY
Three Part Communications Module 2.01a
Three Part Communications
Senior Enlisted Academy – Newport, RI
Communication is the process of people sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings with each other in
commonly understandable ways.
For Senior Enlisted Leaders, there are few tasks more important than communication.
When communicating up or down the Chain of Command, communicating with peers, or
communicating with others outside the organization, Senior Enlisted Leaders must be able to
express their ideas and feelings in a quick concise manner, understandable by all.
Whether writing a paper or giving a speech, there are many different ways to communicate your
message. Three Part Communications is one such technique and it is the basis for all written and
oral assignments at the Senior Enlisted Academy.
Three Part Communications
Three Part Communications consists of an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. The
Three Part Communications structure allows the communicator to package ideas and thoughts in
a way that is easily and quickly understood.
Part one of Three Part Communications is to tell them what you are going to tell them. This is
Part two of Three Part Communications is to tell them. This is the main body. It uses main
points and transition sentences to accomplish this.
Part three of Three Part Communications is to tell them what you told them. This is the
Introduction – Tell them what you are going to tell them.
The introduction is where you introduce the listener/reader to what you are speaking/writing
about. In other words, tell them what you are going to tell them. To accomplish this task, use an
attention getter, motivation statement, and an overview of the main points. This is not a long
drawn-out process and it should not exceed, in most cases, a paragraph in length.
The attention getter grabs the listener/reader’s attention. Use a startling fact, thought, or idea
that will make your audience sit-up and want to hear or read more. The point of the attention
getter is to remove any distracting thoughts the listener/reader is currently thinking about and to
focus on the subject you are about to communicate. The attention getter should be one or two
The motivation statement is known as the what’s in it for me (WIIFM) statement; the me refers
to the listener or reader, NOT the speaker or author. Use the WIIFM statement to motivate the
intended audience to want to listen to or read the message you are trying to communicate by
showing how your presentation benefits them. To keep their attention throughout, you must
convince them that the presentation will help satisfy their personal or job-related needs.
Your motivation should answer three Ws: Who? What? and Why? When you develop your
motivation use this method. Who is your audience. What is the topic you are going to discuss.
Why should the audience continue to read or listen? The why is often preceded by the word
“because” or “in order to” or “so that.” For example, “Senior Enlisted Academy students (who)
should understand three part communications (what) because it is the format used for their
assignments (why).” The motivation should only be one sentence.
The overview covers the main points of the paper. A clear overview can contribute greatly to
the communication process by removing doubt in the minds of the listeners/readers about where
the presentation is going and how it is going to get there. Highlight only what the main points
are, do not cover information or details about the main points, save that information for the body.
The overview should only be one sentence.
Main Body – Tell them.
The main body of the paper is where you provide the meat and potatoes of the overall topic.
This is where you tell them using detailed main points. The main points should support the
overall topic of the speech/paper and be organized logically, sequentially, or chronologically.
The total number of main points is up to you, but if you have a main point, there must be enough
information to explain the main point fully. Too many main points make the presentation too
long or do not cover the individual main points in enough detail. Too few main points lead to
not enough details to support the overall topic. *** At the Senior Enlisted Academy, the main
points are already assigned for your written and oral assignments. ***
Transition sentences are at the end of each main point. Transitions signal to the listener/reader
that the communicator is progressing from the current main point to the next main point. They
are important in maintaining the continuity of the information being communicated. It is
important to remember to close out one main point and then introduce the next main point in the
transition. Ensure you use the main point and not a sub-point. An example of a transition
sentence with the main points “background” and “government” could read, “Knowledge of
Scotland’s diverse background will assist in understanding the structure of its government.” You
do not need to transition between the introduction paragraph and main point one, or from the
final main point to the conclusion paragraph; only use transition sentences between each main
Conclusion – Tell them what you told them.
Now that you have communicated all the pertinent information about the topic in the body, you
move to the conclusion paragraph and tell them what you told them.
The summary is the reverse of the overview from the introduction where you re-cover the main
points. Do not provide any additional information on the main points, just state or list what they
were. The summary should only be one sentence.
The re-motivation statement should highlight the importance or value of the brief or paper. In
the introduction paragraph, you gave the listener/reader a WIIFM; the re-motivation statement
should tie back into the original WIIFM. The re-motivation should only be one sentence.
The closing should consist of either, a thought provoking idea (in reference to your overall
topic), or a quote from someone of importance or expertise that supports the information outlined
in the speech/paper. Its purpose is to give the audience a thought or challenge that will keep
them thinking about your topic long after you are done, making them want more information, or
making them agree with your overall ideas. The closing should be one or two sentences.
When developing your brief or paper you should first develop an outline. The bottom line is the
outline comes before the brief or paper, not the other way around.
Enclosure 1 is the outline format used at the Senior Enlisted Academy. Enclosure 2 is a sample
outline of a presentation that has two main points. If the assignment requires additional main
points, just remember to provide a transition sentence in between each new main point. This
example has sub-points under each main point. These are not required, but can help as you
further organize your thoughts and ideas. Do not include transitions between sub-points and
ensure that your transitions flow from main point to main point, not from a final sub-point to the
next main point.
The importance of effective communications cannot be stressed enough. To be an effective
communicator, you must be able to present ideas in a clear and concise manner.
Three Part Outline
INFORMATION: The three-part outline is the basic framework for effective communication.
A. Attention Getter:
II. Main Body
A. Main Point 1:
1. Sub-point (listing sub-points is optional)
Transition Sentence 1:
B. Main Point 2:
1. Sub-point (listing sub-points is optional)
Enclosure 1 (HO 2-02-1)
Government Credit Card Abuse
A. Attention Getter: Each service member spends one hour of Government Travel Charge
Card (GTCC) training each year amounting to 1.5 million manhours throughout the
Armed Forces. With so much training, how are cases of GTCC misuse still on the rise?
B. Motivation: Senior Leaders must ensure their service members follow GTCC guidelines in
order to prevent wasted manhours on additional training, thus increasing a more
productive work environment.
C. Overview: This essay will discuss the background of a GTCC misuse case and the
resulting impact from the member’s actions.
II. Main Body
A. Main Point 1: Background
1. Senior NCO purchases items with GTCC unrelated to official travel.
2. Member mandated to reimburse the government; retired shorty after.
Transition Sentence 1: Understanding the background leads to the potential impact in the
workplace created by this NCO’s behavior.
B. Main Point 2: Impact
1. NCO’s unethical behavior gives other NCOs a bad name; travel claims are scrutinized
causing the command to have a bad rep.
2. The entire work center must go through GTCC training again resulting in hours
focused on training and not on taskers/mission.
3. NCO is relieved of his collateral duties, now new personnel must be trained.
4. Good order and discipline/morale decrease; members show regression or have
minimum desire to engage in work center “fun” activities.
A. Summary: This essay covered the background of a GTCC misuse case and the resulting
impact from the member’s actions.
B. Re-motivation: Senior Leaders must ensure their service members follow GTCC
guidelines in order to prevent wasted manhours on additional training, thus increasing a
more productive work environment.
C. Closing: If a member wouldn’t buy certain items with a personal credit card, then why
engage in unethical behavior that results in additional money spent and embarrassment in
front of peers?
Enclosure 2 (HO 2-06-6)
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