Persuasion Using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence

On March 30, 2010, in COMM 244L, by Barbara Nixon

In my Honors Speaking class, we’re discussing using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence as a way to persuade listeners. This tried-and-true process has five steps:

  1. Attention
  2. Need
  3. Satisfaction
  4. Visualization
  5. Action

I discovered this short video this morning which explains the process well:

This one-page handout offers additional details on Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.

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Key Learnings in Public Speaking Fall 2008

On December 1, 2008, in Nixon's Classes, by Barbara Nixon

As our fall semester is winding down in my Public Speaking class at Georgia Southern University, we had a fun way to wrap up the key learnings.

Each student chose a small character (ninja, pirate or rubber ducky) from a basket and named the character. Then they each came up with a word or phrase that started with each letter in the name. (Full directions to the assignment are at my Becoming Learner Centered blog.)

A few volunteers came to the front of the class and presented their key learnings to us by showing their list and character on the document projector.

One of the characters, Bocephus the Pirate, even had a crush on me. It said so in the speech bubble near his head. Cute!

You’ll see what the key learnings for my students were as comments to this blog post. By having them create their own mnemonics in class today, I’m hopeful that they’ll remember many of the key points of this class long after it is over.

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COMM 1110 Learning Journal

On November 6, 2008, in Nixon's Classes, by Barbara Nixon

Write a five- to eight-page typed (double-spaced) paper that addresses the following topics. Cite specific examples wherever possible. 

What are your three strongest points as a public communicator? (bullet point — no specific detail needed here)

What are three areas for improvement? (bullet point — no specific detail needed here)

Specifically, address the following on how, and how well, did you:

  • Introduce your speeches?
  • Clearly define and call out your central idea (thesis) statement for the audience?
  • Preview your speeches with a quick summary of the main points?
  • Organize your speeches? (methods, clarity)
  • Use transitions and signposts?
  • Establish and maintain eye contact with the audience?
  • Appear confident immediately before, during, and after speeches?
  • Use gestures effectively?
  • Avoid distracting mannerisms?
  • Use vocal variety?
  • Utilize PowerPoint and other AV?
  • Summarize your speeches at the end?
  • End speeches?
  • Adapt to the audience before and during the speeches?
  • Stick to the established time limits?
  • React as an audience member (listening to others’ speeches)?
  • Utilize library resources (including Galileo) while researching your speeches?

What did you learn about public speaking from your peers in this class? Make mention of at least three peers (by name) in your response. (Your peers will not see your responses, so you can feel free to use both positive and negative aspects of their speaking styles.)

Finally, include at least one well-developed paragraph on how you will take the skills you gained in this class and apply them to other college classes.

Include your outlines and speaking notes for each of your speeches this term. (Simply copy and paste them at the end of your paper.)

Want to listen to a Learning Journal from one of my students last spring?

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Powerful PowerPoint Presentations

On September 24, 2008, in Nixon's Classes, by Barbara Nixon

Creating Your Presentation

  • Always create an opening slide with the title of your presentation, and perhaps a relevant graphic, along with your full name.
  • Use a template that complements your subject.
  • SmartArt adds to the presentation when you want to show your words graphically.
  • As with any presentation, use the three-pronged rule
    • tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em
    • tell ’em
    • then tell ’em what you told ’em.
  • Always use an objectives or agenda slide (for a preview) and a summary or conclusion slide.
  • Remember the 6×6 Rule. . . six words per line, six lines per slide, never more than that.
  • Don’t use sounds in your presentation. They may sound cute when you are rehearsing it, but they are distracting to your audience.
  • Be consistent with the types of animation you use to introduce your bullet points. Or better yet, don’t use animation or fancy transitions.
  • Stick to one graphic style throughout your presentation.
  • Use Flickr as a source for photos to include. Look for ones with Creative Commons licenses.
  • Want to see the World’s Worst PowerPoint?

Delivering Your Presentation

  • Never let your audience see you navigate to your file. Have the projector’s picture muted until you are ready to show your slides.
  • Speak to your audience, not the screen or monitor.
  • Practice using the laser pointer (if you’re using one).
  • When you’re not using your presentation, press B to blacken (or W to whiten) the screen. This helps the audience to focus on you, not the screen.
  • If using YouTube video clips, pre-load them so that they are ready to go. Or use Tooble to download the videos, so there’s not a fear of the Internet lag.

Additionally, here are some general tips I share in my public speaking classes.

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: presentations speaking)


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If you’re looking to get a jumpstart on my classes at Georgia Southern University this fall, here are the books that I will be using. I’ve linked to many of them at, but of course you can purchase them from anywhere you like. I recommend you try the Facebook Marketplace first, so you can get a good deal AND help a fellow student.

For All of My Classes

A USB drive, at least 1G

Corporate Public Relations (PRCA 3331)

Doorley, J., & Garcia, H. F. (2007). Reputation management: The key to successful public relations and corporate communications. New York: Routledge.

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies
Boston, MA: Forrester Research, Inc.

Public Relations Publications (PRCA 3339)

Morton, L. P. (2006). Strategic publications: Designing for target publics. Greenwood, AR: Best Books Plus.

Recommended but not required: Botello, C., & Reding, E. E. (2007). Design collection revealed: Adobe InDesign CS3, Photoshop CS3 & Illustrator CS3
Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning.

Public Speaking (COMM 1110)

German, K. M., Gronbeck, B. E., Ehninger, D., & Monroe, A. H. (2007). Principles of public speaking (16th ed.). New York: Allyn & Bacon.

Making Connections: Facebook & Beyond (FYE 1220)

No textbook required, but occasional access to a digital camera needed

Photo Credit: bookshelf, originally uploaded to Flickr by chotda 

Tagged with: link for 2008-05-30

On May 29, 2008, in links, by Barbara Nixon
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