Monroe's Motivated Sequence
Monroe's Motivated Sequence
Persuasion is the art of getting your audience to be compelled into taking action with a certain goal in mind. Monroe's motivated sequence is a motivational speech method and structure. Coined after university professor Alan H. Monroe, the sequence employs five steps to aid a persuasive speaker to motivate her listeners. The five steps are:
Emphasis rests on action and agency of the listener. Compared to persuasive talks that mainly inform the listener about a topic, Monroe's motivated sequence targets what the listener can do. Therefore, the main goals of a persuasive speech that uses Monroe's motivated sequence is both to inform the listeners and to assist them in finding an action that allows them to solve the problem.
The first part is to use an attention-grabber where the speaker begins with a provocative or emotional intro to catch the audience's attention. An attention-grabber is a technique that takes many forms:
Present shocking or startling facts or statistics
Surprise with a shocking or startling statement
Ask a question
Quote someone famous’ wise words
Tell a personal and captivating story
Please remember that the grabber should make the audience more attentive and engage them in wanting to know more. A simple introduction is not enough; who hasn't been listened to a speech where the speaker simply reads from their script, not even attempting to spark any kind of interest?
Let's consider the following examples, shall we?
I stand here today speaking to you about holding a speech ..truth be told, I actually never have spoken in public before but you will leave a change person.
50 % of people fart themselves awake, which means statistically that 10 of you will do the very same tonight.
Please raise your hand: have you ever peed your pants?
Whatever you decide as your attention-grabber, connect the story, fact or joke with the main theme and purpose of your speech.
Also known as the problem, the need addresses what issues there are related to the topic of the speech. When expressing the need, the speaker must tell the audience that there is a problem which requires relevant action. This need is something that the audience cares about.
A problem that needs to be dealt with, called the need, related to one of our four themes:
We need to write letters to strangers about …
Be uncomfortable and speak the truth about ...
Try … for 30 days.
Leave your comfort zone and believe that you can ...
Theme: write letters to strangers + topic: loneliness
"5500 Swedes suffer from social withdrawal and extreme loneliness, with no one that contacts them."
You are not to trick the audience thinking that there is a need that they have yet to understand, in fact, you help them in truly seeing the need as something grave and a pressing matter.
One or several solutions are presentated that solve the need-problem. As a persuasive speaker, you will want to provide the listeners with an encouraging solution to the need. The word satisfaction is meant to give the listener the feeling of satisfaction.
Provide the listeners with an encouraging solution to the need (problem), making the listeners pleased when they accomplish this task. Use verbs that emphasises action.
Active: Write, be, try, leave
Passive: Contact, consider, and so forth
Try eating beetles for 30 days!
Leave your comfort zone and speak up to bullying!
Consider eating beetles for 30 days!
Leave your comfort zone and discuss bullying! (what is there to discuss?)
Envision what will happen if the need (problem) is satisfied (solved). Once presented with the satisfactory solution, the speaker describes what the future will look like when using solving the need and what effects it has. Play with the audience's’ emotions and make them envision what will happen if the need is satisfied (solved). Moreover, present negatives along with the positives.
Hint! Use vocabulary related to vision: see, imagine, envision, gaze, etc. For example:
Imagine if you had no one to speak to. You would despair. When someone reaches out to you, a fuzzy and warm feeling will grow inside you.
Gaze into the future. Once you have let go of your ways, you will feel more healthy in addition to...
In addition, use inversions to increase formality and make the feel more dramatic. “Never before has the world been as clean as ...” “Seldom have we seen such a change …
Finally, the speaker leaves the audience with the solution in the form of action. When inspiring to acton, be precise and use commands or requests. Your aim is to make your listeners make something happen by their power, preferably immediately after the speech. The final step calls for tangile action and easily achievable. Here, be as precise as possible.
Your aim is to leave your listeners with an action that requires them to do something in real life to promote change. Compare this stronger and then weaker example:
“Protect others by hugging them! A study at Harvard showed that hugging decreased stress. Try hugging a new person, each day, for 30 days!” (Source: Harvard, 2014)
“It is good to be kind. Everyone needs love. Kindness lowers stress. We should try to be kind for 30 days.”