Five Steps to Motivating your Audience


Using the right motivational techniques can captivate your audience

You’ve an audience in front of you and your role is to motivate them. Here’s a simple 5 piece structure to help you do just that.

We know Mickey Mouse and M&Ms have shaped American culture, but what about Alan H. Monroe?

I’ll give you a few clues. He invented something in the 1930s. You’ll know his work. It might have brought a lump to your throat. It made you care. It made you want to take action.

Any ideas?

Monroe, a professor at Purdue University, Indiana, created a classic structure for the motivational speech now known as Monroe’s Motivational Sequence. And you’ll have heard many politicians, public figures and leaders use this.

This is how it works.

1. Make a Song and Dance (get attention)

Like any good marketer will tell you, you need to engage your audience and pretty quickly, too, for this isn’t 1930 anymore and your audience can choose to disappear down the rabbit hole of their smart phone rather than listen to you.

So open your performance with something that gets their attention. A bold image. A controversial statement. A winning move from Fred Astaire or Footloose. You get the idea. And make sure your fanfare ties in to the theme of your topic.

2. Poke the Bear (identify need)

At this point you get to turn up the heat and make the audience feel uncomfortable by describing a situation that’s currently not working. Describe this great big mess and what it means to them. This is also the bit where you can include some hard hitting statistics as measurable evidence of this mess.

3. Be the Hero (solution)

After telling your audience what the problem is, it’s hero time. Sweep in wearing your super hero cape with the solution to the problem. And tell them why your solution will work and describe how it will remove the pain and bring harmony and happiness.

4. Devil’s Advocate (visualise)

This part involves some story telling. Go into detail about the sunny situation your solution will provide and contrast that with the continued ugly and bumpy road if things remain the same. Weave back and forth between these two scenarios to create some friction and emphasise why your solution is such a shining star.

5. Save the Day (call to action)

It’s wrap up time but not before the audience is coming on a journey with you. Give them a call to action, something they can do to be part of the solution. This way they feel a sense of connection and ownership and they get the buzz and reward of being able to contribute to fixing that problem themselves.

So, there you have it. Five steps to help motivate your audience. And the next time you hear a political speech or a CEO rallying the company’s troops, you’ll know exactly how they’re doing it.

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