Wednesday, December 4, 2013

bing bang bongo

This is the third post in a series on helping ensure the story you want to tell comes across clearly in your communication. Prior posts were on the topics of horizontal logic and vertical logic.

Bing, Bang, Bongo is a concept that was introduced by my junior high english teacher when we were learning to write essays. I don't actually remember what the bing, bang, bongo nomenclature referred to, but I do remember the main point - and I believe it can be leveraged when we need to tell a story with data as well.

The idea is that you should first tell your audience what you're going to tell them. Then you tell it to them. Then you tell them what you just told them. If you're the one creating or giving the presentation, this can feel really redundant (because you are familiar with the content and know your stuff well). But to your audience (who is not as close to the content), it feels nice: you've set their expectations, then provided detail, then recapped. The repetition helps cement it in their memory. After three times of telling them, hopefully they are clear on what they are meant to know and do from the story you've just told.

The next post in this series will focus on reverse storyboarding.


  1. I wanted to tell you how much I love your Bing, Bang, Bongo.
    I feel the need to change it to Bing, Bang, and Bingo.
    The Bingo being the step when you recap; and Bingo.... they got your message at that point.
    However, I will leave it alone since it is direct and to the point.
    I learned this back in my Master’s program.
    Our instructor said the same thing but put it like this.

    -Tell them what you’re going to tell them
    -Tell them
    -Tell them what you told them.
    Tell Tell Tell
    Saying anything three times with details to explain in the middle, gives your message understanding. I find sometimes I even do this in conversation. Folks seem to remember more.

    1. If you talk like that you do not work as a teacher.
      Then you ARE a teacher for the rest of your life ;-)

  2. Hi Cole

    I'm gonna use some of these techniques at an upcoming presentation. Let's see how it goes.