Monthly Archives: July 2021

The Gift of Listening

I believe there’s a big difference between hearing someone and actively listening to that person. You can physically “hear” sounds, but you have to actually pay attention and work to actively listening.

I’m not alone in thinking this. You can count me among the wise and wonderful who believe in the art of listening.

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Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Part 2: A tried and true method of persuasion

If you followed instructions and read Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Part 1: A tried and true method of persuasion, then you should recognize the mysterious Dr. Monroe. (Seriously, this is the only picture I can find of Monroe on-line!)

Monroe is the genius behind Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, used in business and professional communication to persuade audiences. While there’s no 100% guarantee, I think you can see how following this sequence can increase your chances of persuading others. While in the future you may or may not follow MMS step-by-step, you should identify persuasive elements or concepts you can use in your future speeches, pitches and presentations. (Note: You MUST follow the sequence for your persuasive speech. Failure to do so will cost you BIG points!)

BTW – I had a student who challenged me about Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. He said Winston Churchill did have to follow MMS to influence his English countrymen during World War II. Frankly, I didn’t know if Churchill used MMS or not but I took the student’s statement as a challenge. I analyzed a couple of Churchill’s speeches including his Iron Curtain speech.

While it didn’t follow MMS in lock step, I could identify the basic MMS structure, the use of pathos and logos examples, along with other MMS elements in Churchill’s words. So there, smarty pants student! (I thought about using a more descriptive way of describe my smarty pants student, but this is a PG rated blog!)

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Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (Part 1): A tried & true method of persuasion

At Purdue Polytechnic Institute an engineering professor wanted his students to become better presenters. . He wanted them to get better at pitching the project. He wanted his students to have the tools to persuade future clients to buy into their proposed projects. So, the engineering professor wandered over to the Communications Department and knocked on the door of Dr. Alan H. Monroe.

Monroe took on the challenge and developed Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. It’s basically a template where you plug in the right information and you end up designing a persuasive speech or argument.

The thing is, this happened back in the 1930s. Yet today at Purdue, all students who take freshman communication classes learn Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. Today, Purdue professors expect seniors to use MMS when presenting their senior projects.

Dr. Alan Monroe

“Students are expected to use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence heavily for their final project according to new curriculum in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.”

Yes, there are other persuasive techniques but I like how Monroe maps out his persuasive method. Also, a majority of the students in COM 345 come from electrical, engineering and safety related majors. I thought if it works for Purdue engineers, it’s good enough for CWU’s engineers!

A man of mystery

Take a look at a speech textbook. You’ll probably find Monroe’s name in there somewhere. Even though he died in 1975 he’s still listed as one of the authors of Principles of Public Speaking textbook. Purdue offers scholarships in his name. Mention Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to anyone who teaches rhetoric and they’ll immediately know what you’re talking about.

Continue reading Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (Part 1): A tried & true method of persuasion