Monroe’s motivated sequence

Monroe’s motivated sequence is a technique that is used to make presentations, speeches or sales pitches more effective. It was developed by Purdue University professor Alan Monroe in the 1930s and has five steps: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization and action. Let’s run through this tongue-in-cheek piece and see how it fits into Professor Monroe’s sequence:

Attention: Get the audience’s attention with something that really grabs them.

Would you believe that there are thousands of business people who give presentations that are ineffective, dull, boring, useless and an overall waste of everyone’s time? In fact, studies show that a large percentage of all presentations fall into this category. Noted presentation expert Professor I.M. Wordsworthy, Ph.D., describes the situation as “a pandemic of poorly produced presentations…a powerful pulsation of pathetic Powepoints.”

Need: Why should they care?

What’s more, I have it on good word from colleagues in the industry that you—yes, you—may be one of those well-meaning souls who have from time to time bored potential clients, C-suite brass and fellow team members to tears with your presentations. This problem deserves your utmost attention if you ever hope to land another sale or get one of the big boys or girls upstairs to sponsor your project.

Satisfaction: Show them how you are going to satisfy their needs.

Without help, this problem is only going to get worse. Fortunately, I have a solution! You may have read in a recent entry on this very blog that presentations suffer from too much text and not enough pictures. Remember, computer and Powerpoint presentations are audio-visual aids, not the presentation itself. You have a great personality, right? You’ve got to let it shine. You make the presentation and let the pretty pictures on the wall help make the point. Your audience can read, it’s true (well, most of them)—but they can hear and see, too. Tell them a great story with great pictures!

Visualization: What will happen if your audience does—or doesn’t—take your advice?

If you change the way you make presentations, you’ll double—no triple—your sales and become the darling of the northeast region. Bob Trumbowsky, the “Sandusky Slayer,” will have to turn over his salesperson of the year trophy to you at next spring’s big convention in Oklahoma City. Or, don’t change. I mean, if you don’t care about commissions, or promotions, or the look on Bob’s face as you stroll down the aisle in Salon C to accept your award, or even keeping your job, for that matter, than keep on doing the same thing. You’ll get the same old results and up end up in the gutter like Edgar Allen Poe, minus the potential for posthumous fame. People will say, “Old Fernsdale—there’s one that had talent but never could cut it in the big leagues” as they shake their heads and stare at their shoes.

Action: Tell the audience what they need to do.

But that’s not going to be your fate, because you’re going to sign up for my six-CD course entitled, “How to Make Better Presentations.” For a small one-time investment of $399, you’ll receive the complete six disc collection (that’s over 4.5 hours of instruction!) on how to improve your presentation skills, plus exclusive VIP access to the 24-hour online help desk on my website. Don’t delay—those presentations are getting worse by the minute. Call now!

Convinced? I am. The next time you need to persuade a client to try a new product or service, someone in the C-suite  to sponsor your project, or even your children to behave, give Professor Monroe’s steps a try.

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