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 as well as a tool to create 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 immediate action and agency of the listener. In contrast to persuasive talks that mainly inform the listener about a topic, Monroe's motivated sequence stresses urgency and what the listener can actually do about it. Therefore, the primary goals of a persuasive speech that uses Monroe's motivated sequence are to convincingly  inform the listeners, and furthermore, to show them and action that allows them to solve the adressed problem.

Word list


To begin with, the first part of the sequence is to use an attention-grabber where the speaker provocatively or emotionally catches the audience's attention. An attention-grabber as a technique may take many forms:

Please remember that the grabber should make the audience more attentive, engaging them in content as well as emotionally, making them want 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, embodies no passion whatsoever, not even attempting to spark any kind of interest?

Let's consider the following examples, shall we.

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:

For example:

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 examples:

Passive examples:


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:

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:

Example failed speech: (No title)

Specific purpose: Convince the audience to give money to organizations that fights poverty

General purpose: Poverty and organizations that fights poverty


Attention: : 736 million people lives in extreme poverty, surviving on less than 1.90 dollar a day. That’s 10 percent of the world’s population and more than 70 times the population that lives in Sweden. Think about it.

Need: For every ten persons there’s one that won’t be able to get food for the day. This person can’t afford clothes or go to school. Of these 736 million people that lives in poverty 385 million is childrens. People are dying and they need help. 


Satisfaction: Poverty is a big problem, but the extreme poverty has decreased. In 1981 there was 1.9 billion people that lived in extreme poverty. There’s some simple steps for action that you can take to be the change that you wish to see in your world. To give money to organizations that fights poverty is the easiest way to make an impact. Today there’s many organizations that works with these questions and the only thing you have to do is donate a little amount of money. Choosing to take action even in the smallest of ways will make a huge impact. By donating money and food to the people that really need it we are taking a step in the right direction to create a poverty-free world

Visualisation: So what would a poverty-free world look like? Well first of all everybody would be able to get food for the day and have somewhere to sleep. Everybody would be able to get education and a job. This is not just good for the individual, when everybody can work and make a living, people can help each other even more for a better future.


Action: You never know when you yourself might be in need one day. Today 736 million people lives in extreme poverty. 736 million too many. 385 million childrens. And we have the chance to be a part of the solution and maybe save a life or two. Take some time and think about this. You can be the difference between a life in poverty or a life that’s worth living for someone.

Example basic speech: All education should be free

Topic: All education should be free 

Specific purpose: (Feke's note: missing)

General purpose: (Feke's note: missing)

Step 1: Attention. Select an Attention-grabber. 264 million children doesn’t have the chance to go to school. Education is a choice for some, while for others, school isn’t an option. Kids all around America can go to school, earn a degree in college, and even get a job. For most kids, education isn’t an option. They can’t go to school due to conflict, disaster, living conditions, and much more. All kids deserve educational opportunities no matter what gender, race, religion, they are. Many students around the country drop of school between the ages of sixteen to twenty four. Nearly 6.2 million students in the U.S. between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2007 dropped out of high school, which is more than 16 percent of all Americans in that age range.. This number is shocking.  Who would have thought that 6.2 million kids dropped out of school? 


The question is why? Kids drop out of school for many reasons. Some reasons are due to an illness, helping with the family, moving around too much, or they just don't really care. Everyone has a choice. Students don’t make the greatest choices for their education. 

Step 2: Need. What is the problem? The problem is that not  everyone has the opportunity to go to school for free or attend school at all. Money shouldn’t avoid people to go to school. People should not have to pay for education. If we didn't have education, we wouldn't be expressing our opinions in the first place. If we didn't have education, we wouldn't be able to even read what I just said. Not many people have a successful career in their lives, and if education is not free, they may not have the sufficient funds to help their children go to school. What this would mean is they may not get the skills they need for their future to find a job or even hope. Many people in Africa and other places which does not provide free education as a law, when asked, wished they had education. 

Steg 3: Satisfaction. What is the solution? The government should take their responsibility and make education free. Government, business and civil society need to come together in a mature manner, beyond lip-service to deliver concrete and workable solutions to the country’s problems.

Step 4: Visualisation. What will it look like when we have solved the problem? College is a time where kids become adults. They learn what to do in the real world. For some, college is effortless,  For others, college is a bumpy road the whole four years. People all around us struggle in something. Imagine if everybody have the opportunity to go at school, more people would be educated and in this way more people would get jobs. In conclusion, all kids deserve  educational opportunities, no matter who they are or what they look like. Everyone's the same. Treat them the same. School decides what you are going to do with your life in the future, so that’s why everybody should have free education. If everyone had free education, maybe the world would be a better place.

Step 5: Action.  What do we need to do? I'm so thankful that i have the opportunity to go to school everyday and get free food in school everyday.  I hope everybody who have the opportunity to go to school for free is thankful for that. 

Example intermediate-advanced speech: Just do it! Life's too short to think - just do it

Topic: Just do it! Life's too short to think - just do it.

Specific purpose: Step out of your comfort zone 

General purpose: You are going to miss out about all of the good things in life if you don’t take that decision. 

Step 1: Attention. Select an Attention-grabber.

I stand here today speaking to you about that life’s too short to think, you should just do it. But truth be told, I’m really bad at “just doing it”. Hopefully I’m going to listen to myself and start doing random things to go out of my comfort zone, to experience more in life and to not think about what everyone are going to think about me. For example, I should have said yes to go with them and to meet new people. I should have said yes to my friend and go to that party and just let everything around me disappear for a while. Even though I say yes to a lot of things, I’m constantly afraid of what people will think of me and that needs to STOP.

Step 2: Need. What is the problem?

The problem is that we never do those things who affect our lives, for example when you ask that really handsome boy or girl out. We are to afraid to stand out. All of us are afraid of doing something that is going to affect people around us. Either to affect their feelings or to change the way they think about you. You are afraid to not be loved. You’re afraid that people are going to talk shit about you. One thing I can tell you is that in your lifetime, people are going to talk  shit about you and you are gonna have rough times in your life. Just remember who you are and stand up for yourself. Don’t let them take away your personality, don’t let them push you down, don’t let them think that they are better than you, because NO one will ever be that. We need to feel that rush in our body when we ask someone out. We need to feel that our heart beats so fast that it feels like it’s going to jump out of our body. Everyone needs to be more spontaneous in their lives.

Steg 3: Satisfaction. What is the solution?

We all are in this problem and this problem is bigger than we actually know. Problems are made to go away and this problem needs to go away right now. Therefore we need to stop caring about what people are going to think about us. We need to stop overthinking. The solution of this problem is to be brave. Start with the little things and take one step at a time. 

Step 4: Visualisation. What will it look like when we have solved the problem?

When all of us realise that it’s not scary to stand out or to do the things we want to do, we are going to be the best version of our self. I think we are going to be more social in life and I also know that we are going to be happier and spread the big smile in your face over to someone else who is having a rough time. Sometimes you should just do it and think afterwards, or never think;) No matter what you do or who you are, people are always going to talk shit about you. Ignore them, do the things that make you happy and the things who bring out the best of you. 

Step 5: Action.  What do we need to do?

To summarise, I just want to say that we should encourage each other to step out of the comfort zone. Start saying yes to random things, and the most important one that I’m also going to take with me  is to not think what the people around me says. 

Ditch the friend who not let you do the things you want. Be yourself and try new things. When you do all of this, I promise you, you’re not going to miss out on the fun things you can do.  “Just do it”. 

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