Monroe's Motivated Sequence

Monroe's Motivated Sequence

This is a simple sequence of steps for persuading that Alan Monroe developed, starting in the 1930s.


Begin with an attention grabber — maybe a shocking quote or statistic. A longer attention grabber, such as a story, scenario, or anecdote can be very successful in an advocacy argument.

Attention can be very brief, so once you have it, you need to move on quickly. Attention-grabbing should also move them towards interest. If you annoy them, then you will have your work cut out to recover the situation.


The next step is to trigger a need that the listener has. An established need leads to the person seeking a solution. Non-profit organizations develop out of a need that is not met in a community.

This step includes:

  • State the need: with a clear statement of need or problem.
  • Illustrate the need: using practical examples that show it is real.
  • Elaborate the need: with further examples, statistics, references and so on that moves the audience to understanding the severity of the problem.
  • Point the way: use convincing demonstrations to highlight how the need directly affects the audience

This is not about creating satisfaction, but proposing a way in which satisfaction may be gained by meeting the need that you have just identified. Lay out for your audience the solution to the problem, which is the non-profit for which you are advocating.

This step includes:

  • Propose: identify your non-profit and explain its history.
  • Explain: what your non-profit does in the community.
  • Show: how it solves the problem and addresses the need.
  • Illustrate: with examples and data about of how this non-profit has worked in the community.

The next step is to move the listener to see that this non-profit is the right answer to meet this need. Help them visualize the work the non-profit does.


Finally, you need to prompt the person into action, implementing the solution that you both now know is the right thing to do. In the case of this advocacy presentation, the action you want them to take is to vote to donate money to your non-profit.

This step may include:

  • Challenge: them to take action.
  • Appeal: to them to act.
  • Illustrate: how their vote will help.
  • Summarize: your proposal.
  • Steps: to achieve the proposal.

adapted from: changing minds

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