Monroe's Motivated Sequence

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a five-step progressive method of persuasion, developed by Alan Monroe in the mid-1930s. This method is used to encourage people to take action and prime your audience to make immediate change. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is seen in many real-life situations such as infomercials and sales pitches. When using this it is important to have a passionate, confident, and extemporaneous delivery. The five steps are: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization & call to action.

Attention

The attention getter is the first thing your audience will hear in every speech or presentation. It should grab their attention and make them want to listen to you as the speaker. Some good ways to gain attention are through the use of a story, fact, quote, engaging question, statistic, etc. When trying to figure out which you should use in your speech, think about who your audience is, what is appropriate for the occasion, and what would grab your attention as an audience member. When developing your speech, try using different types of attention getters to see which works best within your speech.

Need

After you have gained your audience’s attention, you need to explain the issue at hand. Ask yourself: is there a problem? Is there a need for change? Tell your audience what the problem is and explain why it’s a problem. Explain who is impacted by this issue and how severe it is. Consider how this problem may affect your audience.

If you are having trouble figuring out a problem, think about things that you think need to be fixed or changed. Think about topics you are passionate about and if there is a problem with the status quo that you would like to see changed.

Satisfaction

Once you have explained the issue to your audience, you must present them with a solution to the problem. You should ask yourself, what is the solution to my problem or need? How am I going to accomplish it? What are the steps to the solution? What do we need to consider to reach the solution (cost, accessibility, time, when this needs to happen, who will be involved, etc.)?

Make sure this section is a clear step-by-step plan of the solution. The solution itself may be complex, so make sure this is easy to follow given the context you established when explaining the problem. Make sure to include as much detail as possible to understand the solution, including steps that may seem obvious. A good way to do this is to assume your audience has no idea how to solve the problem or address the need.

Visualization

At this point your audience should be engaged, understand the problem, and know how to reach a solution. The next step is visualization, or explaining to your audience how much better life is going to become when the solution is applied to the problem. In a perfect world, what would it look like if this problem is no longer an issue? Make sure to focus on the benefits. This may mean touching back on some of the problems to explain how much better life will be when these problems are alleviated. If you feel it’s necessary to address opposing viewpoints, the visualization is the best place to mention and refute those claims. Despite how it may sound, “visualization” does not mean “visual aid”.

Call to Action

This is the final step in Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. It comes at the very end of your conclusion and will be the last thing your audience hears in your speech. You will want to urge your audience to take action, right now, to fix this problem. By this point of the speech, your audience should be itching to know what they can do to make a change.

What can your audience do right now to help support the solution?

Make sure this is a simple, easy, and immediate task. You need to do the work for your audience, otherwise, they will not take action. Some good examples of a call to action could be passing out a flier, asking your audience to sign a petition you brought in, asking your audience to further educate themselves by providing a link to a website, etc. You could also focus on the first step of your plan and explain how your audience can take that first step. The key is that this must focus on the present day, not five or ten years down the road.