How to Teach a Child to Inspire People: the Monroe Method

In the 1930s, Alan Monroe, a professor at a prestigious American university, in his book Principles and Types of Speech, described the ideal formula for successful public speaking. This strategy, known as the Monroe Motivational Sequence, is found in all modern rhetoric and public speaking textbooks. In this material, we will tell you what it is and why it is important for your child to know this.

Why study motivation

The ability to confidently and convincingly prove your position will come in handy in life more than once. At school, it will help to make spectacular reports and presentations, and in adulthood – to succeed:

  • in management activities to motivate employees to work more efficiently;
  • in business, in order to present your product to investors and buyers in the best light;
  • in politics, to get as many votes as possible;
  • in social activities, in order to attract as many people as possible to their work.

Even if your child does not plan to connect his life with one of these areas, it will still be useful for him to know how motivation mechanisms work. Why – we will tell at the end of the article. Now let’s give the floor to Professor Monroe.

Step 1: Get Attention

From how bright the introduction will be, it directly depends on whether people will listen to your report. You can start your speech with an unexpected question, tell an interesting story, or just joke. And then you need to let the audience understand why you are here, what idea you want to convey. So far, only in general terms.

Step 2. Describe the urgency of the topic

Now you have captured the attention and identified the problem, it is important to prove its importance. Facts will help best of all: eloquent statistics, descriptions of real incidents. Each listener should feel that the problem does not just exist, it affects or will soon affect him personally.

The main task at this stage is to excite the audience, to make it feel uncomfortable. Exaggerate, but not to the point of absurdity, be emotional, but do not overplay – then you will be taken seriously.

Step 3: Propose a Solution

  • It’s time to move on to the main thing – to talk about your idea, which will help change everything.
  • Discuss the facts: start with the ones you can’t disagree with. This will help the listeners feel that you are on the same side.
  • Clearly formulate your idea and try to convince the audience of its effectiveness. Rely on statistics, research results, experience in dealing with similar situations.
  • Summarize after each argument to give your listeners a complete picture.
  • Think about possible objections in advance and prepare counterarguments. If you answer the unasked questions of skeptics, your speech will be even more convincing.

Step 4. Describe the future

Tell the audience in detail how the situation will improve if you act according to your plan, or how bad it will be if you reject it. You can play in contrast: first describe the sad outcome, and then tell in positive tones what will happen after the embodiment of what? It seems there was “your idea”.

The main thing is that the pictures of the future, both bad and good, look realistic.

Step 5: Call to Action

The ending should be short and bright. Let the audience know what they can do right now. At this stage, you no longer need to agitate and convince: if you did everything right earlier, the public realized the importance of the problem and how you can influence it. Now it is necessary for each listener to feel that the decision is his. Therefore, the finale should be open: give the public the freedom to choose whether to act according to your plan or leave everything as it is.


There was nothing innovative in the Monroe method: speakers used these techniques as far back as ancient Greece and Rome. The merit of the American professor is that he combined them into a sequence that, with proper preparation, works almost flawlessly.

90 years have passed since the invention of the Monroe motivational technique, and it has already become a classic. This does not prevent politicians, businessmen and public figures from successfully using it. After all, the mechanisms of influence on human minds are unchanged – only the form of presentation changes. Because the main thing in the art of motivation is unobtrusiveness: not to let a person feel that they are trying to motivate him.

Here is the answer to the question at the beginning of the article: it is useful for each person to know how motivational techniques work in order to be able to recognize them, perceive them consciously and not allow themselves to be misled.

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