Speechwriting Shortcuts by Marianne von Nordeck

By at December 4, 2014 | 3:24 pm | Print

Speechwriting Shortcuts by Marianne von Nordeck

Marianne von Nordeck

If you’re anything like me, the first time in your career anyone told you to prepare public remarks –- whether it was a speech for your boss or a field pitch you had to deliver to a crowd of potential volunteers –- you probably spent an unnecessary number of hours skimming the greatest hits of Bobby Kennedy for inspiration, and then staring at a blank computer screen all night in a cold sweat.

After way too many years of doing things the hard way, I finally asked a friend how he seemed to always manage to produce great remarks with such speed and apparent ease. He told me about a tried and true method that has made many writer’s lives a lot easier, including mine.

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence is a method developed way back in the 1930’s by John Monroe, a Purdue University professor. It establishes a helpful framework for outlining the structure of whatever you are writing.

  • Attention: A personal story, anecdote, or a dramatic fact that grabs your audience’s attention. This can be a great place to use your Story of Self.
  • Need: Describe the problem you’re seeking to solve or demonstrate why the status quo should be changed.
  • Satisfaction: Explain your proposed solution.
  • Visualization: What will the world look like if we win/achieve change/solve the problem?
  • Action: Make your ask.

I’ve found using this outline makes any writing task easier, regardless of the size of the project. What kinds of tricks do you have? Share in the comments!

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Marianne von Nordeck is Director of Communications at the New Organizing Institute (NOI).  NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

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