Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Remember the 5 stages of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence (MMS)? In a nutshell:

  1. Get the audience’s attention
  2. Establish the audience’s need
  3. Your product/solution satisfies that need
  4. Visualize positive effects of using your solution/product*
  5. Call the audience to act

*You may also show the audience what will happen if they DON’T use your product/solution. This negative (or fear-based) visualization is used a lot, as well.

When we get the audience’s attention, we may use any sort of means: speaking directly to the audience, giving them an unusual visual or auditory grip, or one of the attention-grabbing devices outlined in your textbook. The basic premise is to get them to pay attention to you.

From this, we determine and state what the audience needs. Consider how many commercials use this very idea. In insurance commercials, they help us see why we need insurance. Food commercials are great at this, as well (think Snickers commercials, especially).

Once we have told the audience what they need, we give them a solution (our product or idea). That’s the entirety of this stage.

Then, we show the audience why our product/solution is best. Maybe in those Snickers commercials, it’s the peanuts, caramel, and nougat, wrapped in chocolate. That combination provides a sweet dessert or snack, which can calm our hunger. For insurance commercials, it’s the better pricing option of bundling services or the agent’s willingness to confirm our discounts.

Finally, we ask the audience to act; that is, we want them to adopt our solution or buy our product.

Easy way to see this in action? Take your book, then go to YouTube and search Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. HUNDREDS of videos will come up.

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