Monroe’s Motivated Sequence: Identify a persuasive argument that compelled you to change your mind

Throughout this course, you will have many opportunities to respond to other people’s opinions and comments. After you have completed the Reading for the week, respond to the questions below. Discussion responses should be on topic, original writing, contribute to the quality of the Discussion by making frequent informed references to course materials and the course textbook (include proper APA in-text citations), and be a minimum of 200 words in length. Please refer to your Discussion Rubric for grading details.

·       Identify a persuasive argument that compelled you to change your mind. Examples include persuasion from a work presentation or meeting, an argument in your personal life, an advertisement, political debate, news article, speech, media, or any other source.

·       Describe the persuasive point. Then, using the information in the textbook, identify the claim and the persuasive pattern. Explain why these elements effectively persuaded you.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

One commonly used pattern is especially effective when you want people to do something. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a modified problem–solution format, named after Alan Monroe, a legendary professor at Purdue University.

Because people need encouragement to do what they know they should do, it’s important to provide emotional as well as logical reasons for behaviors. This pattern includes the word motivated because it builds in several steps that increase motivational appeals. (Note: This pattern is not a formula in the sense that you must include each element. Rather, Monroe suggests various ways to develop your points.) Here are the five easily remembered steps in the sequence, as explained by Monroe himself.*

  1. Attention Step: As with any other speech, begin by gaining the audience’s attention and drawing it to your topic.
  2. Need Step: This step is similar to the problem part of a problem–solution speech. Monroe suggests four elements: (a) statement—tell the nature of the problem; (b) illustration—give a relevant detailed example or examples; (c) ramifications—provide additional support such as statistics or testimony that show the extent of the problem; and (d) pointing—show the direct relationship between the audience and the problem.
  3. Satisfaction Step: Next, propose a solution that will satisfy the need. This step can have as many as five parts: (a) statement—briefly state the attitude, belief, or action you want the audience to adopt; (b) explanation—make your proposal understandable (visual aids may help at this point); (c) theoretical demonstration—show the logical connection between the need and its satisfaction; (d) practicality—use facts, figures, and testimony to show that the proposal has worked effectively or that the belief has been proved correct; and (e) meeting objections—show that your proposal can overcome your listeners’ potential objections.
  4. Visualization Step: This is the unique step. Here, you ask listeners to imagine the future, both if they enact your proposal and if they fail to do so. (a) Positive—describe a positive future if your plan is put into action. Create a realistic scenario showing good outcomes your solution provides. Appeal to emotions such as safety needs, pride, pleasure, and approval. (b) Negative—have listeners imagine themselves in an unpleasant situation if they fail to put your solution into effect. (c) Contrast—compare the negative results of not enacting your plan with the positive things your plan will produce.
  5. Action Step: Call for a specific action: (a) name the specific, overt action, attitude, or belief you are advocating; (b) state your personal intention to act; and (c) end with impact.

Terah, a nursing major, wanted to give an organ donor speech, but her survey revealed that her classmates had a lot of information and a good attitude toward donation, so she focused on motivating them to put their good intentions into action by giving specific details they could easily do. Here are her major points:*

  • Attention: My survey showed that you want to be organ donors but have not yet signed up.
  • It’s easy and accessible.
  • From my research, I will give you specific steps to take to become an organ donor.
  • Need: My survey showed that I don’t need to convince you of a need for organ donor, and I don’t have to clear up misconceptions.
  • Satisfaction: My survey revealed that you need how-to information about signing up.
  • For $34 and proof of identity, the Department of Motor Vehicles can mark your driver’s license.
  • You can get a free donor card from www.organdonor
  • Imagine you sign up, a tragedy happens, and Josh in New Mexico gets your heart, Mary in Colorado has a new kidney, Glen in North Dakota receives your liver, and many more have improved lives from other tissues.
  • Now imagine you don’t follow up, a tragedy happens, and several very sick people can’t benefit from your organs.
  • Which choice is ideal?
  • Action
  • Follow one of the easy procedures and sign up to be a donor.
  • I did this last year, and I’m very glad I did.
  • No more procrastination; do it today!

As you might imagine, this pattern is good for sales speeches when your goal is to create a need and motivate people to purchase a product.

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