How to Use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to Persuade People

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The medium of words is one of the most powerful and compelling ways to affect others. It is often much more convincing than brute force or intimidation. For example, Martin Luther King had an incredible capacity to convince others to listen to him and to put themselves in dangerous situations to fight for their rights. Silver-tongued leaders throughout history were not always born with the astounding ability to persuade people to invest in and act for a cause; many of them used persuasion techniques, such as Monroe’s motivated sequence. Speaking in a way that motivates your audience to listen and change their opinions about a topic takes practice and skill, along with the ability to read others and understand their reasonings and emotions. If this sounds like a challenge to you, learning how to use a proven technique is an excellent way to compensate for this and be a successful persuader regardless of your natural abilities. Knowing how to appeal to others is an invaluable skill in any field or social situation as it can help you break down barriers between people and ask for help more effectively. Learning and implementing Monroe’s motivated sequence is helpful for motivational speakers, life coaches, and anyone who wants to relate to others more effectively.

What Is Monroe’s Motivated Sequence?

Monroe’s motivated sequence, created by a professor at Purdue University named Alan H. Monroe, is a strategy for making speeches using the psychology of persuasion. Monroe developed this outline for speech-giving with the goal to organize the parts of a message in a way that maximizes the impact on its listeners. Monroe’s motivated sequence moves past simply choosing a goal, but also aims to motivate an audience to take a specific action, which is typically how the speech ends. When using this technique when giving speeches, speakers keep their goal in mind throughout the speech and naturally segue into the action they are convincing their audience to take. In some cases, motivational speakers or life coaches have sound ideas and excellent speaking skills but are still unable to completely convince others to take certain actions. It can be difficult to identify what component of a successful argument they are lacking, but it is often related to the level of specificity they use when making their argument. The goals in a good motivational speech should be thoroughly described and specific; in order to truly change someone’s mind and behavior, you must give him or her an exact idea of why it matters to do so. The audience should have a clear picture in their mind of how certain actions will benefit them or the world, along with a clear idea of how ignoring the message could be destructive.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence: Steps

Monroe’s motivated sequence is made up of steps arranged in a detailed organization that guides speakers to form arguments that are clear and compelling. This technique uses scientifically proven techniques to grab the attention of the audience and then show them why the given argument is important, ultimately leading the listeners to change their thoughts and behaviors.With this strategy, a speaker can convince others to change their perspectives on various matters and to change their actions accordingly. Developing the power to persuade audiences is extremely useful for anyone who interacts with others frequently and wishes to make their voice heard.

Step One: Grab Attention

No matter how passionately you believe in a cause, your arguments will go nowhere if you don’t grab the attention of your listeners before making your pitch. This is the first step in learning how to use Monroe’s motivated method to persuade others to change their thoughts and actions, leading them to listen to your words and want to hear more.To accomplish this, you should start with an interesting story, a unique fact, a thought-provoking question, or a powerful quote. Your objective is to have your audience hanging on to your every word, but at the very least, they should be engaged enough to continue listening.

Step Two: Establish a Need

Now that you have your audience engaged in your speech and they are ready to hear the rest of your argument, it’s time to introduce the reason they are there, and that is the problem. This is the first main point of your speech, and in it, you should regale your listeners with the sad, upsetting, or unjust problem you are aiming to solve.The objective of this step is to leave your audience thinking: “This is a serious problem! I wonder if there’s anything we can do to fix it.” You should be careful to include sources and research to back up your point to avoid giving the impression that you are overdramatic or overly emotional about the issue at hand.

Step Three: Satisfy the Need

Since your audience is now emotionally invested in the issue you have opened their eyes to, you can continue into your second main point, which is the solution to the problem. Your audience should completely understand the impact of the problem and be highly motivated to solve it, so this step will be a highly welcomed affirmation that the issue can, in fact, be fixed. During step three, include your idea to fix the problem in detail, offering a concrete and specific plan that your listeners can get involved in. While developing your solution step, be sure that your proposed solution will actually fix the desperate situation you described in the previous step.

Step Four: Visualization

This step of Monroe’s motivated sequence brings your proposed solution from an ethereal idea to a visualization of how it would be implemented in reality. This is your third main point, and your goal is to create a picture in the minds of your audience of the real-life effects of your solution. Visualizing the impact of the solution is a crucial step in motivating people to change their thoughts and behaviors as it will cause them to understand more wholly the potential effects of their actions. You should paint a vivid picture in the minds of your listeners, using one of three techniques. The Positive Method is one technique you can use. In this method, you should describe all the positive, wonderful ways that implementing your solution will affect the situation at hand. Ensure that you continue to be specific in how you develop your explanations, showing the audience exactly how the problem will improve because of their actions. The Negative Method is another method. Using this method, you should detail all the negative, terrible ways that the issue will deteriorate if the problem is ignored and your solution is not implemented. Ensure that you explain these impacts in specific terms, making it impossible for the audience to remain emotionally unaffected. The Method of Contrast is another method you can use. This is an effective way to combine both positive and negative tactics in order to give your audience a very thorough understanding of the situation. Make sure to show the difference between the results of using the proposed solution and deciding to do nothing. This will express to your audience how imperative it is to take action.

Step Five: Take Action

Now that your audience understands the problem at hand, is emotionally invested in solving it, and knows there is a viable solution, it is time to call your listeners to action. When using Monroe’s motivated sequence, don’t be overwhelming by overloading your audience with information or expectations, but ensure that they are left with specific ways to fix the problem. Give them options for how to get involved in the solution, allowing them to have ownership over the solution. These options should also include varying levels of involvement so they are not intimidated by the call to action.

How to Use the Sequence to Persuade People

All that you need to persuade people with Monroe’s motivated sequence is to follow the steps in a detailed manner and have a well-developed argument. It is also essential that your proposed solution is easy to understand and realistic; if it isn’t, your audience will care about the problem but be reluctant to put any effort into fixing it. Make sure you make your topic accessible to the average person so that your listeners can have a full understanding of the topic. As long as you have carefully organized your speech, effectively detailing your problem and solution, your audience should be highly motivated to change their behaviors and join your cause.


There is an innumerable amount of problems plaguing our current world, from environmental pollution to mass poverty, but it can be distressing and overwhelming to think about actually solving them. However, if you have the ability to motivate others to join your cause, you are one step closer to improving social issues.Using Monroe’s motivated sequence is one way to convince other people to care about issues and change their behaviors to solve them, which is necessary if you hope to implement people-driven solutions. Learning how to impact the opinions and behaviors of others opens up a world of possibilities for teamwork and problem-solving, allowing your ideas to develop into solutions that can make the world a better place.

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