Monroe's motivated sequence
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Monroe's motivated sequence is a technique for organizing persuasive speeches that inspire people to take action. It was developed in the mid-1930s by Alan Monroe at Purdue University. It consists of the steps below.
- Get the attention of your audience using a detailed story, shocking example, dramatic statistic, quotations, etc.
- Show how the topic applies to the psychological need of the audience members. The premise here is that audience needs are what motivates action. Go beyond establishing that there is a significant problem. There are many problems that are not particularly relevant to your audience. Show that the need will not go away by itself. Use statistics, examples, etc. Convince your audience that they each have a personal need to take action.
- You need to solve the issue. Provide specific and viable solutions that individuals or communities can implement to solve the problem.
- Tell the audience what will happen if the solution is implemented or does not take place. Be visual and detailed.
- Tell the audience what action they can take personally to solve the problem.
There are many descriptions of Monroe's Motivated Sequence. Here is one by Dominic Spencer, an instructor at the University of Central Florida in 2011
1# Attention: Hey! Listen to me, you have a PROBLEM! 2# Need: Let me EXPLAIN the problem. 3# Satisfaction: But, I have a SOLUTION! 4# Visualization: If we IMPLEMENT my solution, this is what will happen. Or, if we don't implement my solution, this is what will happen. 5# Action: You can help me in this specific way. Will you help me?
The advantage of Monroe's Motivated Sequence is that it emphasizes what the audience can do. Too often the audience feels like a situation is hopeless; Monroe's motivated sequence emphasizes the action the audience can take. It also helps the audience feel like you know the problem at hand. It really helps them think you are listening to them instead of just tuning them out. It invites a conversational feeling and helps them see that you truly care about them and understand them.
- Ehninger, D. Monroe, A.H., & Gronbeck, B.E.(1978.) Principles and types of speech communication, 8th. Ed.
- German ,K. M., Gronbeck, B. E., Ehninger, D., & Monroe, A. H. (2010). Principles of public speaking (17th Edition). Old Tappan, NJ: Pearson
- Lucas, S.E. (1995). The art of public speaking, 5th. Ed.
- Monroe, A. H. (1943). Monroe's principles of speech (military edition). Chicago: Scott, Foresman PN4121 .M578 1943