Monroe’s motivated sequence is a great technique for delivering speeches, presentations that inspire a wide range of audiences to take action. Audiences such as those in committees, potential clients, community groups, conferences, and webinars will actively respond.
When preparing your material, work on the rule of thumb in your first draft that the length of your speech or presentation should be based on delivery of around 135 words per delivered minute. Therefore, a 20-minute speech should contain about 2,700 words. Obviously you would vary this according to your own speed of talking.
Get the attention of your audience to show where or how the audience is in trouble (low sales conversions, no visibility, low community support, etc, especially compared with competitors. Use a detailed story, shocking example, dramatic statistic, quotations, rhetorical question, etc, that will get them to sit up and take notice. Attention can be very brief, so once you have their attention and interest, you need to move on quickly. If you annoy them, you will struggle to recover the situation.
This step is part of your intro – it doesn’t replace it. In your opening you should establish your credibility as an expert or quote someone else who is an expert, state your purpose, and let the audience know what to expect.
Convince your audience there is a problem, a need, so they realize change needs to be made. Audience needs are what motivates action. Show that the need will not go away by itself. Go beyond establishing there is a significant problem. Many problems are not particularly relevant to your audience. Convince your audience that they each have a personal need to take action. A stimulated need leads to the person seeking a solution. This step includes:
This is the main part of your presentation. Introduce your solution. How will you solve the problem that your audience is ready to address? Provide specific and feasible solutions that individuals or communities can implement to solve the problem.
This step includes:
Tell the audience what the situation will look like if they do nothing. Ask the audience to imagine what the results could be if they act the way you want them to. Be visual and detailed to create the desire to do what you recommend. Ensure your vision is believable and realistic.
Finally, you need to prompt the audience into action, implementing the solution that you now know is the right thing to do. This step may include:
Tell the audience the specific action they can take personally now to solve the problem. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information or too many expectations, and be sure to give them options to increase their ownership of the solution. This can be as simple as inviting them to have some refreshments as you walk around and answer questions. For complex problems, the action step might be to get together again to review plans.
There are many descriptions of Monroe’s motivated sequence. Here is one simulation:
The advantage of this approach is that it emphasizes what the audience can do. It also helps the audience feel like you know the problem at hand. It invites a conversational feeling and helps them see that you truly care about them and understand them. In my view, Munroe’s motivated sequence is a great technique for delivering speeches and presentations.
In addition, this article outlines how you can successfully prepare internal presentations – they are vital to your career.
By Silvia Arto, Vice President of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, Chair of the European Regional
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