This technique can be used to deliver a persuasive presentation or speech. It uses a five-step pattern called Monroe’s Motivated Sequence and has been used successfully for political, sales, and marketing campaigns. It can also be used to sell your idea, initiative or project. The sequence is named after his creator Alan H. Monroe, who taught public speaking at Purdue University. Wouldn't it be nice to have this skill in your repertoire?
The five simple, but effective steps are as follows:
- Get Attention
- Establish the Need (Problem)
- Satisfy the Need (Solution)
- Call for Action/Approval
Let’s explore each of the five steps in more detail.
1. Get Attention
In the Attention step, you want to capture your audience’s attention by using one or two of the following methods. Implicitly you need to answer the question your audience has in their mind: “What’s in it for me?”
- Telling a funny or dramatic story about the problem,
- Offering a series of examples about the problem,
- Stating a quotation,
- Showing an image, video or other visual aid,
- Providing a startling statement or statistic about the problem, or
- Asking a rhetorical question about the problem
2. Establish the Need (Problem)
In this step, you want your audience to identify with the need, feel the pain, and almost beg for your solution. You can accomplish this by performing the following four tasks:
- State the problem, but don’t reveal the solution.
- Illustrate the problem with examples, testimonies, statistics, etc.
- Show the ramifications of the problem, how serious it is, how much it costs, how many will suffer, etc.
- Point out the direct effects of the problem on your audience. Make sure this need/problem is relevant to your audience.
Support your statements with credible sources.
3. Satisfy the Need (Solution)
Now that the audience is anxious for a solution, the Satisfy step includes the following five parts and illustrates how to efficaciously satisfy the need.
- State the solution concisely (central idea of the presentation).
- Now explain the solution. Who will do what, when, and how?
- Show how the solution will solve the problem using citations, explanations or other support.
- Prove by showing how others have employed this solution with real stories or a list.
- Anticipate opposition to your solution, and Answer two likely objections. By not hiding these objections, you dissipate doubts and significantly increase your credibility.
Use images, videos, charts, and statistics to support your solution.
In this step, you will show what the future will be like with a hypothetical story. You will help your audience appreciate and savor your solution with as many senses as possible (sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell).
- Tell a Positive story to describe life 5 or 10+ years from now after the solution is implemented. Show how the world will be a better place.
- Or present the worst case scenario that could happen if your solution is not adopted.
- Better yet, tell both scenarios and emphasize contrast.
5. Call for Action/Approval
In the final step you lead, instruct, challenge, appeal or induce the audience to act on or accept your proposal. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to commit. For instance, give them a pen and a form to sign. This action must be done as soon as possible. If it is delayed, it the audience will lose momentum or will just forget.
Will you apply this sequence on your next persuasive presentation? What other persuasion techniques do you find effective? Please write a comment below.
Recommended books from Amazon.com related to this article:
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This classic book on persuasion explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion.
Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. New York Times bestselling shows fifty scientifically proven techniques for increasing your persuasive powers in business and life. Small changes can make a big difference in your powers of persuasion. What one word can you start using today to increase your persuasiveness by more than 50%? How can you win over your rivals by inconveniencing them?