When most people think of Monroe, they think of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. The last President to be a Founding Father. The creator of the Monroe Doctrine.
But in the world of heart-centered, high impact communication, there’s a far more significant Monroe. Alan Monroe. Creator of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.
Developed in the 1930s at Purdue University, Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is the seminal theory of effective persuasion. With its creation, Monroe created a simple, foolproof way to connect with an audience and inspire them to take action.
If you ever took an Introduction to Public Speaking course in college, undoubtedly you were forced to memorize, and hopefully apply, the five steps of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.
Unfortunately, most of us then forget the formula and as a result, seek to reinvent the wheel anytime we seek to persuade people to change a behavior, prioritize a task, fork over some money, or place a particular vote.
Whether you are seeking to dial-up your impact in negotiations, ensure that your training transfers into action, or have your little ones remember to brush their teeth, the most effective thing you can do is build a sequential argument that follows these five steps.
1. Attention – Give people a reason to listen, care, and believe in what it is you are arguing for. Share a story. Dazzle with a quote. Drop jaws with a sobering statistic. Whether you are speaking interpersonally, facilitating a meeting, or keynoting a convention, don’t begin unless you…begin.
2. Need- One of my favorite sales and marketing sayings is, “Give ‘em what they want so that you can give ‘em what they need.” When persuading, nothing could be truer. Once you and your topic are firmly rooted in your audience’s consciousness dashboard, it’s vital that you establish a reason for them to care. Establish a problem or a possibility. Make it clear that change won’t happen on its own. Connect what you are proposing to your audience’s values, motivators, interests, and concerns.
3. Satisfaction- Solve the problem. Deliver your bright idea. Period.
4. Visualization- This is where you go all bed bug outbreak on your audience. You get inside their skin any way you can and communicate exactly what will happen if they take your proposed action (think bunnies, rainbows, and unicorns) and what will happen if they don’t (think December 21, 2012).
5. Action- Ask for their commitment to your solution and remind them exactly how they can take action. Don’t make assumptions based on eye contact, head nods, or applause that you’ve gotten through. Don’t end until you…make your ask and ascertain intentions.
I’ll be talking more about Monroe’s Motivated Sequence and its importance for senior leaders who want to persuade in a live video training for Women in the Boardroom, ‘Step Into Your Moxie’ in the C-Suite and Boardroom, this Friday, November 16th at 9AM Pacific time. Advanced registration and payment is required. See you there!