Problem-solution Order is Most Appropriate for Organizing __________ Speeches

17.iii Organizing Persuasive Speeches

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand three mutual organizational patterns for persuasive speeches.
  2. Explain the steps utilized in Monroe’s motivated sequence.
  3. Explain the parts of a problem-cause-solution oral communication.
  4. Explain the procedure utilized in a comparative advantage persuasive speech.

Previously in this text we discussed full general guidelines for organizing speeches. In this section, nosotros are going to wait at three organizational patterns ideally suited for persuasive speeches: Monroe’s motivated sequence, problem-cause-solution, and comparative advantages.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

One of the most commonly cited and discussed organizational patterns for persuasive speeches is Alan H. Monroe’s motivated sequence. The purpose of Monroe’s motivated sequence is to aid speakers “sequence supporting materials and motivational appeals to form a useful organizational pattern for speeches equally a whole” (German et al., 2010).

While Monroe’south motivated sequence is commonly discussed in about public speaking textbooks, we practice want to provide i minor caution. Thus far, almost no inquiry has been conducted that has demonstrated that Monroe’southward motivated sequence is any more than persuasive than other structural patterns. In the only study conducted experimentally examining Monroe’s motivated sequence, the researchers did not discover the method more persuasive, but did note that audience members found the pattern more organized than other methods (Micciche, Pryor, & Butler, 2000). We wanted to add this sidenote because we don’t want yous to call back that Monroe’due south motivated sequence is a kind of magic persuasive bullet; the research simply doesn’t back up this notion. At the aforementioned time, enquiry does support that organized messages are perceived every bit more persuasive as a whole, so using Monroe’s motivated sequence to think through one’south persuasive argument could yet be very beneficial.

Table 17.1 “Monroe’s Motivated Sequence” lists the basic steps of Monroe’s motivated sequence and the subsequent reaction a speaker desires from his or her audience.

Table 17.1
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

Steps Audience Response
Attention—Getting Attention I desire to heed to the speaker.
Need—Showing the Need, Describing the Problem Something needs to be done almost the problem.
Satisfaction—Satisfying the Need, Presenting the Solution In order to satisfy the need or fix the problem this is what I need to do.
Visualization—Visualizing the Results I can see myself enjoying the benefits of taking action.
Action—Requesting Audience Activeness or Approval I will human action in a specific fashion or approve a conclusion or behavior.


The get-go stride in Monroe’due south motivated sequence is the
attention footstep, in which a speaker attempts to get the audience’southward attention. To proceeds an audience’s attending, we recommend that you think through three specific parts of the attention step. Starting time, yous demand to have a strong attention-getting device. As previously discussed in Chapter ix “Introductions Matter: How to Brainstorm a Oral communication Effectively”, a strong attention getter at the beginning of your spoken communication is very important. 2d, you demand to brand sure y’all introduce your topic conspicuously. If your audition doesn’t know what your topic is quickly, they are more likely to stop listening. Lastly, you need to explain to your audience why they should care about your topic.


In the
need step
of Monroe’south motivated sequence, the speaker establishes that in that location is a specific need or trouble. In Monroe’southward conceptualization of need, he talks nigh iv specific parts of the demand: statement, illustration, ramification, and pointing. Start, a speaker needs to requite a articulate and concise statement of the problem. This office of a speech should be crystal clear for an audience. 2d, the speaker needs to provide ane or more examples to illustrate the need. The illustration is an effort to brand the problem concrete for the audition. Side by side, a speaker needs to provide some kind of evidence (due east.m., statistics, examples, testimony) that shows the ramifications or consequences of the problem. Lastly, a speaker needs to bespeak to the audience and show exactly how the problem relates to them personally.

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In the third step of Monroe’southward motivated sequence, the
satisfaction footstep, the speaker sets out to satisfy the need or solve the problem. Within this step, Monroe (1935) proposed a 5-step plan for satisfying a need:

  1. Statement
  2. Explanation
  3. Theoretical sit-in
  4. Reference to practical experience
  5. Coming together objections

Kickoff, you need to conspicuously state the mental attitude, value, belief, or action you want your audience to have. The purpose of this statement is to conspicuously tell your audience what your ultimate goal is.

Second, you want to make sure that you clearly explain to your audience why they should take the attitude, value, belief, or action you proposed. Just telling your audience they should exercise something isn’t strong enough to actually go them to change. Instead, you actually need to provide a solid argument for why they should accept your proposed solution.

Tertiary, you lot need to testify how the solution you take proposed meets the need or problem. Monroe calls this link between your solution and the need a theoretical sit-in considering you cannot testify that your solution will piece of work. Instead, you theorize based on research and adept judgment that your solution will meet the need or solve the problem.

Fourth, to assistance with this theoretical demonstration, you demand to reference practical experience, which should include examples demonstrating that your proposal has worked elsewhere. Research, statistics, and good testimony are all great ways of referencing practical experience.

Lastly, Monroe recommends that a speaker respond to possible objections. As a persuasive speaker, one of your jobs is to think through your speech and encounter what counterarguments could be made against your speech and then rebut those arguments within your speech. When you lot offer rebuttals for arguments against your oral communication, information technology shows your audience that you’ve washed your homework and educated yourself about multiple sides of the event.


The next step of Monroe’south motivated sequence is the
visualization step, in which y’all ask the audience to visualize a time to come where the need has been met or the trouble solved. In essence, the visualization stage is where a speaker can show the audience why accepting a specific attitude, value, belief, or behavior tin positively bear upon the time to come. When helping people to flick the future, the more concrete your visualization is, the easier it will be for your audience to see the possible future and be persuaded past information technology. You also need to brand sure that you clearly show how accepting your solution will directly benefit your audience.

Co-ordinate to Monroe, visualization tin can exist conducted in ane of three ways: positive, negative, or contrast (Monroe, 1935). The positive method of visualization is where a speaker shows how adopting a proposal leads to a better future (e.chiliad., recycle, and we’ll accept a cleaner and safer planet). Conversely, the negative method of visualization is where a speaker shows how not adopting the proposal will atomic number 82 to a worse future (e.g., don’t recycle, and our globe volition get polluted and uninhabitable). Monroe also acknowledged that visualization can include a combination of both positive and negative visualization. In essence, you show your audition both possible outcomes and have them decide which one they would rather have.


The final step in Monroe’s motivated sequence is the
activity pace, in which a speaker asks an audience to approve the speaker’southward proposal. For understanding purposes, we break action into ii singled-out parts: audition action and approving. Audition action refers to direct concrete behaviors a speaker wants from an audience (e.yard., flossing their teeth twice a day, signing a petition, wearing seat belts). Approval, on the other hand, involves an audience’south consent or agreement with a speaker’s proposed attitude, value, or belief.

When preparing an action step, it is important to make sure that the action, whether audience action or approval, is realistic for your audience. Asking your peers in a college classroom to donate one k dollars to charity isn’t realistic. Asking your peers to donate one dollar is considerably more than realistic. In a persuasive oral communication based on Monroe’southward motivated sequence, the activeness step will end with the speech’s terminal device. Every bit discussed elsewhere in this text, you need to brand sure that you conclude in a vivid way so that the speech ends on a high bespeak and the audience has a sense of energy every bit well as a sense of closure.

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At present that nosotros’ve walked through Monroe’s motivated sequence, let’due south look at how you could employ Monroe’s motivated sequence to outline a persuasive spoken communication:

Specific Purpose:
To persuade my classroom peers that the United States should have stronger laws governing the utilise of for-profit medical experiments.

Main Points:

  • Attention:
    Desire to make nine thou dollars for just three weeks of work lying around and non doing much? And so exist a human guinea pig. Admittedly, you’ll take to accept a tube down your throat near of those three weeks, only you’ll earn 3 thousand dollars a week.
  • Need:
    Every day many uneducated and lower socioeconomic-condition citizens are preyed on by medical and pharmaceutical companies for use in for-profit medical and drug experiments. Practise you want 1 of your family members to fall prey to this evil scheme?
  • Satisfaction:
    The U.s.a. should have stronger laws governing the use of for-profit medical experiments to ensure that uneducated and lower-socioeconomic-status citizens are protected.
  • Visualization:
    If nosotros enact tougher experiment oversight, we can ensure that medical and pharmaceutical research is conducted in a manner that adheres to basic values of American decency. If we do not enact tougher experiment oversight, nosotros could find ourselves in a world where the lines between research subject, republic of guinea pig, and patient become increasingly blurred.
  • Activity:
    In lodge to prevent the atrocities associated with for-profit medical and pharmaceutical experiments, please sign this petition asking the US Department of Health and Human Services to pass stricter regulations on this preying manufacture that is out of control.

This case shows how you can take a basic speech topic and use Monroe’south motivated sequence to clearly and easily outline your speech efficiently and effectively.

Table 17.2 “Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Checklist” too contains a unproblematic checklist to help you lot make sure yous striking all the important components of Monroe’s motivated sequence.

Table 17.2
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence Checklist

Pace in the Sequence Yes No
Attention Step
Gained audience’s attending
Introduced the topic conspicuously
Showed the importance of the topic to the audience
Need Footstep
Need is summarized in a clear argument
Demand is fairly illustrated
Need has articulate ramifications
Need conspicuously points the audience
Satisfaction Step
Plan is clearly stated
Plan is manifestly explained
Plan and solution are theoretically demonstrated
Plan has clear reference to practical experience
Plan can meet possible objections
Visualization Step
Practicality of plan shown
Benefits of plan are tangible
Benefits of plan relate to the audition
Specific type of visualization chosen (positive method, negative method, method of contrast)
Action Stride
Call of specific action by the audience
Activeness is realistic for the audience
Concluding device is vivid


Some other format for organizing a persuasive speech is the problem-cause-solution format. In this specific format, yous hash out what a problem is, what you believe is causing the problem, so what the solution should exist to right the problem.

Specific Purpose:
To persuade my classroom peers that our campus should adopt a zero-tolerance policy for hate spoken language.

Master Points:

  1. Demonstrate that there is distrust among different groups on campus that has led to unnecessary confrontations and violence.
  2. Testify that the confrontations and violence are a result of hate oral communication that occurred prior to the events.
  3. Explain how instituting a campus-wide zero-tolerance policy against hate speech could stop the unnecessary confrontations and violence.
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In this voice communication, you want to persuade people to support a new campus-wide policy calling for zip-tolerance of hate speech communication. Once you have shown the problem, you and then explain to your audience that the crusade of the unnecessary confrontations and violence is prior incidents of hate speech. Lastly, yous argue that a campus-wide goose egg-tolerance policy could help prevent future unnecessary confrontations and violence. Again, this method of organizing a speech is as elementary equally its proper name: trouble-cause-solution.

Comparative Advantages

The final method for organizing a persuasive spoken language is chosen the comparative advantages speech format. The goal of this speech is to compare items side-by-side and evidence why one of them is more advantageous than the other. For instance, let’s say that y’all’re giving a spoken communication on which e-book reader is better:’s Kindle or Barnes and Nobles’ Nook. Here’due south how y’all could organize this speech:

Specific Purpose:
To persuade my audience that the Nook is more advantageous than the Kindle.

Main Points:

  1. The Nook allows owners to trade and loan books to other owners or people who have downloaded the Nook software, while the Kindle does not.
  2. The Nook has a colour-touch on screen, while the Kindle’s screen is black and grey and noninteractive.
  3. The Nook’south memory tin be expanded through microSD, while the Kindle’s retention cannot exist upgraded.

As y’all can see from this speech’s organization, the simple goal of this speech is to show why one affair has more positives than something else. Evidently, when you are demonstrating comparative advantages, the items you are comparing demand to exist functional equivalents—or, every bit the saying goes, you cannot compare apples to oranges.

Cardinal Takeaways

  • There are 3 common patterns that persuaders can utilize to aid organize their speeches effectively: Monroe’s motivated sequence, trouble-cause-solution, and comparative advantage. Each of these patterns can effectively help a speaker call up through his or her thoughts and organize them in a manner that will exist more likely to persuade an audience.
  • Alan H. Monroe’s (1935) motivated sequence is a commonly used speech communication format that is used past many people to effectively organize persuasive letters. The pattern consists of v basic stages: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization, and action. In the first stage, a speaker gets an audition’s attention. In the 2d phase, the speaker shows an audience that a demand exists. In the third phase, the speaker shows how his or her persuasive proposal could satisfy the need. The fourth phase shows how the future could be if the persuasive proposal is or is not adopted. Lastly, the speaker urges the audience to take some kind of action to help enact the speaker’s persuasive proposal.
  • The trouble-cause-solution proposal is a three-pronged speech pattern. The speaker starts past explaining the trouble the speaker sees. The speaker then explains what he or she sees as the underlying causes of the problem. Lastly, the speaker proposes a solution to the trouble that corrects the underlying causes.
  • The comparative advantages speech format is utilized when a speaker is comparing two or more than things or ideas and shows why one of the things or ideas has more than advantages than the other(south).


  1. Create a speech using Monroe’s motivated sequence to persuade people to recycle.
  2. Create a speech using the trouble-crusade-solution method for a problem you see on your college or university campus.
  3. Create a comparative advantages voice communication comparing 2 brands of toothpaste.


German, K. M., Gronbeck, B. E., Ehninger, D., & Monroe, A. H. (2010).
Principles of public speaking
(17th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, p. 236.

Micciche, T., Pryor, B., & Butler, J. (2000). A exam of Monroe’s motivated sequence for its effects on ratings of message system and attitude modify.
Psychological Reports, 86, 1135–1138.

Monroe, A. H. (1935).
Principles and types of speech. Chicago, IL: Scott Foresman.

Problem-solution Order is Most Appropriate for Organizing __________ Speeches