What is Monroe’s motivated sequence ?

Well-practiced Monroe’s motivated sequence is known as speech patterns to inspire people to take action. It will make your speech more persuasive.

Alan Monroe, 20th-century infamous American psychologist and a professor at Perdue University, is well known for his Motivated Sequence in speech patterns to inspire people to take action. The well-practiced motivated sequence was developed by him in the mid-1930s during his professorship at Perdue University. It was first shared with the readers by him in his book ‘Principles of Speech Communication’. Being a professor and psychologist, he knew the importance of clarity and effectiveness of ideas in a speech to urge people to take action to move forward in their lives.

As he himself says,

“Although individuals may vary to some extent, research has shown that most people seek consistency or balance among their cognitions. When confronted with a problem that disturbs their normal orientation, they look for a solution; when they feel a want or a need, they search for a way to satisfy it. In short, when anything throws them into a condition of disorganization and dissonance, they are motivated to adjust their cognitions or values or to alter their behavior so as to achieve a new state of balance.”


Simple Definition

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a five-step formula to immaculately design your persuasive speech to urge your audience to take action effectively.


Why use Monroe’s motivated sequence ?

Monroe used persuasive psychology to make an outline to make his speeches result-oriented. The five steps motivated sequence is the well-used and time-tested approach to design highly impactful persuasive speeches. Speaker can use it to create and arrange the components of any message in various situations.

This motivated sequence is simple, quick, and clearly structured, which makes it easy for the speaker to plan and deliver convincing speeches to persuade the audience to move for action. It is useful in making them focused on what they can do and to make them realize that you (speaker) know their problem, understand them, and you can help them to resolve it.


Monroe’s motivated sequence – the Fantastic-Five Steps

These magical steps, if followed in their true letters and spirits, ensure the effectiveness of every speech by leading the audience towards the path of persuasion and moving them towards the call to action.

The step by step description guide of each step can help you to make your speech persuasive.

monroe's motivated sequence steps

1. Get the Attention

The first and one of the most essential characteristics of a good speaker is his reliability and trustworthiness. If the speaker is not trustworthy, how can he catch the attention of the audience? One way to ensure your trustworthiness is your already established reputation. If people know about your expertise in your field and trust in your authority in your discipline, then definitely, they would be interested in listening to what you are going to say.

Steps to follow

I. Connect to the audience

II. Demonstrate the importance of the topic

III. State facts, anecdotes or quotes to highlight the value

IV. Make interesting statements to stir the interest

V. Be a bit dramatic to keep the energy high and interest alive

VI. Ask questions to engage the audience


TopicKindness brings happiness.

Purpose To encourage the audience to be active for random acts of kindness.

Reason Kindness speaks volumes. Little acts of kindness can make someone happy; bring a positive change in society even in the world.

Statement to grab the attention of the audience – Nowadays, I have developed a keen interest in reading and also observing the little acts of kindness, and by reading many authors on this subject, I have learned about the positive impact of these acts in an individual as well as collective life.


Example of Mark walking home and dropping his books…. (Canfield, p35)

Bill saved Mark’s life with a small and apparently insignificant act of kindness.

How many times has anyone of you stopped to help someone picking up the dropped books? Or said thank you to a waiter for serving so well and quick.

If your answer is not often or a no, then please start partaking in little acts of kindness, because these little acts bring happiness.

Steps to follow

  1. Use clear & precise statements
  2. Describe the importance of need or opportunity
  3. Give statistical proofs or examples from real life

Transition (why should we consider partaking in little acts of kindness)

2. Establish the Need

After you have successfully gained the attention of your audience, the next step is to explain the problem to the audience and build the notion of resolving that need. The shared facts, stories, or stats should convince the audience that the performing generous acts of kindness can bring change in lives. Make the audience anxious to realize the importance of doing kind acts every now and then.

Steps to follow

  1. Use clear & precise statements
  2. Describe the importance of need or opportunity
  3. Give statistical proofs


Throughout the world, people often walk through bad days.

According to a report, approximately 17.5 million Americans experience ill effects of depression every year.

Have you ever heard about someone taking the life of others, because of depression? A worker or a young high schoolboy.

It is evident that we all face bad days or feel unhappy.

Being professionals or students, we often get too busy in our everyday tasks that we forget to compliment each other, to stop for a minute, and helping someone in need or when we are in need and find no one around to help us; we may become unhappy. E.g., a disturbed teacher may scream at his student, and the student may yell at his friend. It is a chain reaction.

Transition (This chain reaction can be avoided or reversed through small acts of kindness.

3. Satisfy the Need

Now the third step is to lead the audience towards resolving the problem. Remember, you are not going to give them a solution; rather, your job is to convince and tell them what you want them to do, explain your proposed solution in detail in front of them. Substantiate your proposed solution with examples to show that it works well.


I. Stock the facts

II. The simplest explanation of the plan

III. Logically proving that how the proposed plan deals the problem

IV. Giving examples to show the effectiveness of the plan

V. Using experts’ opinions


With little acts of kindness, we can make others’ lives better, boost their confidence, or even can save a life and ultimately change this world. There are many ways to be kind.

Say thank you to your subordinates for always being punctual.

Pick up the dropped pen and return it to the person who has dropped it unknowingly.

Praise a friend for his strong points in an assignment.

Transition (These are a few examples that you can do. Think about acts of kindness, we all can do daily)

4. Visualize the Consequences

This is the world of visuals, and the step towards visualization requires some imagination, for you must allow your audience to comprehend your suggested solution as the perfect solution to their needs. Tell them the results, what if the given solution is implemented or if the audience does not take action otherwise. Help them visualize both scenarios through your words.


  1. Using contrast/negative method
  2. Using a positive method


Imagine yourself saying thank you to your manager for providing support during the project. It will make him feel amazing, and he will ensure to be best for the next projects.

Acts of kindness have no drawbacks. It is always a win-win situation.

Kindness costs nothing. Admit the fact that by helping each other, we feel good.

Transition (Don’t just think about it, do it)

5. Call to Action

Tell the audience to become part of the solution. Provide choices to choose the best according to their situations and abilities. Provide individual measures and examples that may help and motivate them to take the call to action because actions speak louder than words.


  1. Explaining the audience what they need to do
  2. Giving them examples for better understanding
  3. Providing them with addresses, they can write to
  4. Use quotes, summaries, visual aids and statements of personal intentions


Let’s change adversity into happiness; a bad day into a good day through simple acts of kindness. I am going to give you small suggestion cards suggesting some acts you can do now.

Be honest, kind, and courteous.

Who knows the world may become a better place just because of a small act of kindness.


Pros and Cons of Monroe’s motivated sequence

Everything has good and bad points. Monroe’s motivated sequence helps speakers to convey their message effectively to the audience. It encourages speakers to motivate their audience to respond positively to the speaker’s purpose.

Persuasion is a blessing. If you possess the ability to speak well, you can diligently sell your ideas. You can galvanize your audience with your purpose through effective use of emotive language, and instilling above discussed five steps to influence your audience. Whether you are a senior executive, a manager, or a team leader, your job is to motivate, inspire, and move people towards action. Make Monroe’s motivated sequence the biggest advantage and helping aid to make all factors of your speech glued together well for a subtle and engaging call to action persuasive speech.

monroe's motivated sequence outline


Persuasive Speech Outline

Topic Fear of Public Speaking

Purpose to motivate people to overcome their fear and face the public confidently

Central Idea facing public confidently opens many doors of opportunities

Audience teenagers, university students, professionals

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Step 1 – Attention

Do you have any idea how high the price of public speaking fear is?

Indeed, it is quite high, my fellows.

According to a survey, a person who possesses the fear of public speaking has 10% fewer chances to receive good wages and 15% fewer opportunities to reach top leadership or management position.

Why pay for this price? Why compromise on less? WHY?

Setting Credibility

I asked this question quite often. Being an experienced teacher, I often come across many students who hesitate to face the public; I always thought why and to get an answer, I researched and using those answers I have developed training sessions and courses to overcome public speaking fear.

Transition shift from step 1 to step 2

Can you think about the positive impact of facing public confidently? Its impact on families, societies or, most importantly, on individuals.

Step 2 – Need

After grabbing their attention, now it is time to let them agree with you that fear of public speaking is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. To effectively engage them with you, share some stats e.g.

More than 75% of people experience their first symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder, which often includes fear of public speaking during their childhood or early teenage years – American Psychiatric Association. (2014). Understanding Mental Disorders

Let’s conduct a quick survey to know how many of you anxiety about public speaking felt in your childhood.

Transition establishing a link between step 2 and step 3

This pattern of anxiety can be erased from your life. Raise your hands on how many of you want to get rid of this fear of public speaking and want to learn the ways to face the public confidently.

Step 3 – Satisfaction

Now prove with your words that the solution you brought for them is the best remedy to overcome the fear of public speaking. The anticipated outcome is that the audience should be in total agreement with the proposed solution that yes, this is a practical solution to their problem and can bring a positive result. E.g., present the outline of course like:

  • This free course is specially designed for people to overcome their fear.
  • The course includes practice sessions to provide the training of public speaking effectively.
  • You will learn to deal with your anxiety and to prepare your lectures, presentations, or interviews well.
  • It will help you to communicate well with others.

Transition a link between step 3 and step 4

Can you think of the benefits it would have on people’s lives or your life?

Step 4 – Visualization

Draw the picture of their action or inaction through your words. Make them enjoy, feel the pain, or the pleasure in their imagination. It would only be made possible with the relevance of stories you have used and the stats you have shared. E.g.

It would create a revolving effect. Those who have faith and integrity in their language inspire others to do the same. People would feel motivated to be their strongest and best version to face everyone confidently.

Transition a link between step 4 and step 5

Now let’s move towards taking action of facing the audience entirely and competently. Let’s join hands to make it happen.

Step 5 – Action

To ensure its effectiveness, the action step must be taken as soon as possible. Make it easy and viable for the audience. E.g.:

a) Summarize in best possible way

Many of us feel uncomfortable about public speaking- often because of some bad childhood experience. To become bigger and better, we need to get rid of the impact left long ago. Instead of living a mediocre life just because of the fear of public speaking is not good. Let’s change and take action to better ourselves.

b) Call to action

I have formed here available with my assistant for all those who want to join my training session to eliminate the fear of public speaking from their lives and want to settle for more instead of compromising on lesser. This course includes proven and tested methods to train you to look the world into its eyes and to add confidence and competence in your life.

c) Memorable Close

Are you ready to charm the world with your words? Let’s embark on the epic journey of becoming an immaculate speaker together.




Franklin Schneier. (2005) Social Anxiety Disorder. Retrieved from http://www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/medical/psychmed2/3_2005/Schneier-SocialAnxietyDisorderBW.pdf

Canfield, Jack, and Mark Victor Hansen. Chicken Soup for the Soul. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1993.

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