Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

A five-step speech outline that aims to inspire or persuade the audience to take action

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What is Monroe’s Motivated Sequence?

Developed by American psychologist Alan Monroe at Purdue University in the mid-1930s, Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a five-step speech outline that aims to inspire or persuade the audience to take action.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a simple sequence of steps, with a clear structure, that makes it an effective method to organize and deliver persuasive speeches, influencing audiences to take action.

Monroe's Motivated Sequence

You can follow the technique when giving a speech at work, a conference, or any networking event. It will also work well when giving a sales pitch to a group of people.

Steps in Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Here are the five steps that comprise Monroe’s Motivated Sequence:

#1 Attention

One of the key values of a good speaker is credibility. If you’re not credible enough, how can you get the people’s attention? One way to establish credibility is your reputation. If the people know that you’re an expert in your field or an authority in the topic, they will most likely be interested in what you’re going to say.

How can you make sure that you can hold on to their attention? You can start telling a joke, quote, trivia, an anecdote, or inspiring story that will stir their interest. This is your opportunity to make them listen and know that there is a need or a problem. If you lose it, it will be challenging to recover the situation.

#2 Need

Once you get your audience’s attention, the next step is to explain the problem and to convince them that the problem needs to be fixed.

Prepare a clear statement of the need or problem, then include practical examples to convey that the problem is real. You can also use references or figures to aid comprehension and to demonstrate how the problem directly affects the listeners.

#3 Satisfaction

Satisfying the need means introducing a solution that takes care of the problem. Communicate In detail what your proposed solution is and what you want your audience to do. You can also include data or examples to support your proposal and show that it has worked before.

#4 Visualization

The visualization step entails some creativity, as you need to move the listeners to see your proposed solution as the right one to meet their needs. Explain the consequences – what would happen if the solution is implemented and if, alternatively, the listeners don’t take action.

#5 Action

Tell the listeners what they can do to be part of the solution. Offer several options so they can choose the best one based on their situation and capability. Provide specific steps and examples.

Lastly, end your speech in a memorable way. Deliver a strong statement, a punchline, or a quote that supports your call to action.

Additional Resources

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. CFI is the official provider of the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification program, designed to transform anyone into a world-class financial analyst.

To keep learning and developing your knowledge of financial analysis, we highly recommend the additional resources below:

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