Organizing Persuasive Presentations

Course(s) Used:

  • Public Speaking

Goals and Objectives:

  • Students can identify each of the common persuasive organization schemes.
  • Students understand common mistakes for each organization scheme.
  • Students can identify each of the stages in Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.
  • Students can create a presentation using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.

Rationale: Using a recognizable organization pattern through all of the main points in a presentation makes it easier for the audience to follow the presentation. Considering multiple organization patterns for a topic often highlights different and more compelling approaches to the presentation, and often more effective main points.

Materials Needed


  • Approximately 5 mundane objects that can be repurposed


  • None

Outline of the Lesson

  1. Review of previous session’s content
  2. Lesson opening
  3. Open classroom discussion about the need for organization patterns
  4. Common Persuasive Organization Patterns
    1. One-sided
    2. Two-sided
    3. Two-sided Refutative (avoid straw man arguments)
    4. Problem-Solution
    5. Problem-Cause-Solution (when how the solution impacts the problem is not clear)
    6. Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
      1. Attention (in the introduction)
      2. Need
      3. Satisfaction
      4. Visualization (your better life now)
      5. Call to Action (in the conclusion [usually the clincher])
    7. Video examples of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
      1. Tater Mitts
      2. EZ Cracker
  5. Choosing effective patterns
    1. Audience analysis (psychological profile)
    2. Environmental analysis (time available)
  6. Hands-on group work
    1. Students are divided into groups
    2. Groups are given a mundane object and asked to come up with an alternate use for this object
    3. Groups work together to prepare an impromptu presentation that uses Monroe’s Motivated Sequence to “sell” this object for the alternative use
    4. Individual students from each group present their presentation
    5. Debrief the activity
  7. Lesson closing


This lesson requires random mundane objects and student creativity. Displaying examples requires a classroom computer and a video projector.

Variations and Accommodations

Follow guidance from local accommodation authorities. You may ask students to identify and exchange their own random mundane objects that they brought with them rather than providing the objects.