SD #43 | In a Communication's Rut? Steal This Story Structure

#storytelling #structure May 15, 2023
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Read Time: 6.0 minutes 


This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard, and you put one word after another until it’s done. It's that easy and that hard.

—  Neil Gaiman


What’s the Tip?

If you have to create content on a consistent basis (and most of us do), having story structures at your fingertips helps tremendously. 

Today's tip comes in the form of a story structure that's relatively new to us and may be new to you, too. It's a method of persuasion called Monroe's Motivated Sequence, which was developed by Professor Alan H. Monroe at Purdue University in the mid-20th century.

Rrooted in psychology, Monroe's method consists of 5 key steps needed to motivate or persuade someone to do something. The steps are:

  • Attention
  • Need
  • Satisfaction
  • Visualization
  • Action

Let's see how it works.


How Do You Use It?

Whether you're making a presentation, crafting a sales pitch, or writing an important email, Monroe's Motivated Sequence can be used to grab your audience's attention, build a convincing argument, and ultimately, encourage them to act.

Here's how you use Monroe's Motivated Sequence:

  1. Attention: Grab the attention of your audience. This might involve using a compelling statistic, a thought-provoking question, or a relatable story.
  2. Need: Establish a need or problem that needs to be addressed. This step involves explaining the issue and why it's important, providing evidence and examples to make it real for your audience.

  3. Satisfaction: Present your solution to the problem. Explain how your idea, product, or policy can solve the problem you've identified. You can also provide proof or a testimonial to substantiate your claim.

  4. Visualization: Help your audience visualize the benefits of your solution. This might involve describing what the world would look like if your solution is implemented, or what might happen if it isn't.

  5. Action: Call your audience to action. This could involve asking them to purchase a product, vote for a policy, or simply change their mindset on an issue.


What are Some Examples? 

There are endless uses for a powerful structure like this. Let's choose the example of an email to your team. If you're a solopreneur, it could be a team of freelancers who are helping you on a key project. If you're working at a company or in an organization, it could be a team of direct reports.

Monroe's Motivated Sequence | An Email Example:

Hi all,


We live in a rapidly evolving business world. To stay ahead, we must match this pace.


Our recent slowdown in response times and day-to-day tasks could impact our goals and reputation.


Let's address this with better time management and prioritization. Let's use our resources wisely, set clear goals, and communicate openly about workloads.


By increasing our pace, we'll complete projects faster, delight clients, and create a dynamic, high-energy work culture.


Starting today, please bring a renewed sense of urgency to your tasks. Manage your time effectively, communicate openly, and let's discuss more in our team meeting next week.




What's the Benefit to You?

Like all the story structures we use and teach, Monroe's Motivated Sequence helps you produce better content faster. It helps you organize your thinking and your writing with a clear result driving both.

As the pace of the marketplace accelerates, having proven, reliable content creation structures is mission critical when it comes to increasing your productivity.



  1.  ๐Ÿงช Monroe's Motivated Sequence was developed by Professor Alan H. Monroe at Purdue University in the mid-20th century and is rooted in psychology.
  2. ๐Ÿš€ The sequence consists of five steps: Attention, Need, Satisfaction, Visualization, and Action, aiming to motivate or persuade someone to take action.
  3. ๐Ÿ“ฌ Monroe's Motivated Sequence can be effectively used in various contexts, including presentations, sales pitches, and emails.
  4. ๐ŸŽฏ The sequence helps to grab the audience's attention, build a convincing argument, visualize the benefits of a solution, and call to action.
  5. โฑ๏ธ Using proven content creation structures like Monroe's Motivated Sequence is crucial for success in the fast-paced marketplace.

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