Monroe's motivated sequence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 H. Monroe at Purdue University.[1]


Monroe's motivated sequence states that on the first step is to state the problem the customer is having, then explain it if one cannot solidify the need and give a representation of the situation that may occur.

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 an example description 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 the speaker knows the problem at hand and is listening to them instead of just tuning them out.[2][3][4][5]


  1. ^ "Monroe's Motivated Sequence". Changing Minds.
  2. ^ Ehninger, D.; Monroe, A.H.; Gronbeck, B.E. (1978). Principles and Types of Speech Communication (8th ed.).
  3. ^ German, K. M.; Gronbeck, B. E.; Ehninger, D.; Monroe, A. H. (2010). Principles of Public Speaking (17th ed.). Old Tappan, NJ: Pearson.
  4. ^ Lucas, S.E. (1995). The Art of Public Speaking (5th ed.).
  5. ^ Monroe, A. H. (1943). Monroe's Principles of Speech (military edition). Chicago: Scott, Foresman.