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Monroe's Motivated Sequence


Techniques General persuasion > Monroe's Motivated Sequence

Attention | Need | Satisfaction | Visualization | Action | See also


This is a simple sequence of steps for persuading that Alan Monroe developed, starting in the 1930s and which was influenced by John Dewey's reflective thinking sequence and Maslow's Hierarchy.


A simple attention-grabber is their name. You can also demonstrate emotion ('Oh no!') or physically grab them (if it is socially valid). Longer attention grabbers include jokes and dramatic stories.

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. There are many of these, although the CIN Needs Model helps simplify this. A stimulated need leads to the person seeking a solution. 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 stimulated.

This step includes:

  • Propose: state clearly what you want from your audience.
  • Explain: the detail of what you are proposing.
  • Show: how it solves the problem and addresses the need.
  • Illustrate: with examples and data about of how this proposal has worked in the past.


Now that you have proposed a solution, the next step is to move the listener to see it as the right answer for them to meet their need. Help them visualize the solution in place, such that it is complete and successful. If it involves them doing something, get them to see themselves in action.


Finally, you need to prompt the person into action, implementing the solution that you both now know is the right thing to do.

This step may include:

  • Challenge: them to take action.
  • Appeal: to them to act.
  • Illustrate: how they might act.
  • Summarize: your proposal.
  • Steps: to achieve the proposal.

See also



Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think, Heath

Monroe, A. H. (1943). Monroe's Principles of Speech (military edition). Chicago: Scott, Foresman

Ehninger, D. Monroe, A.H. and Gronbeck, B.E.(1978.) Principles and Types of Speech Communication, 8th. Ed


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