Learning Objectives Covered
- LO 02.01 – Analyze and apply two common organizational patterns for persuasive speeches
Persuasive speaking happens often in professional settings. Knowing how to sway listeners to the ideas that you present will take you far in working with coworkers, superiors, and customers. This discussion covers strategies for organizing your persuasive speaking.
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Imagine that the company you work for is planning for its annual company celebration, and you have the opportunity to influence the decision on where the event is held. In the past, this event has been held as a picnic, but the company has also successfully hosted trips to theme parks and other attractions in your area. Some of your coworkers want to go to the local zoo, with a discounted rate being offered for all employee and family tickets. The other option is to spend the day at a local marina where there is a park, barbeque pits, and water-related activities available for purchase individually. You see the marina as the better option, but the company is split almost evenly on the matter. You decide to speak up and share why the marina option will serve the employees and their families better, but how do you do that? This is one example of how persuasive speaking strategies can work in your favor.
Opportunities such as the one above arise often in workplace settings. Perhaps that example falls more on the side of pleasure than business, but consider the many other workplace decisions that are heavily business related, such as:
- Deciding between two competing office supply companies for who your company’s paper supplier will be. Though both suppliers offer competitive prices, one company has faster delivery, while the other offers more of the products the office already uses.
- Deciding with a fellow manager which interview candidate is the best fit for a position
- Helping a patient see why it is best he/she comply with a professionally recommended medical regimen
- Deciding with a fellow manager whether or not to terminate an employee
Good persuasion is executed through properly organizing your speaking points to have the most effect. You can select the best organization style based on the purpose of your speech. Here are some popular methods:
As the name would suggest, in this style, the speaker presents a problem or challenge, and then proceeds to offer solutions. While this style may appear to be very simple, it is crucial that speakers appropriately highlight the problem; in other words, you must convince the listener(s) that the problem is actually a problem. Perhaps you are speaking at a city hall meeting in favor of building a dog park in your neighborhood. It would be best to highlight how not having a dog park impacts citizens, especially those who are not dog owners.
Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
Created by Alan H. Monroe around 1934, this method follows a standard of steps: Attention, Need, Satisfaction, Visualization, Action. The speaker first commands the attention of listeners and addresses a need they have. Then the speaker offers solutions to satisfy this need and paints a positive picture of the future with the solution provided. Finally, the speaker ends by leaving the audience with a call to action. This method is particularly effective for engaging the audience and moving listeners to action.
This method seeks to show the relationship between events and phenomena by demonstrating how the effects of the first element have contributed to the next element’s existence. This organizational pattern works best when trying to show a relationship between the cause and effect is controversial or unclear.
These are just a few of the organizational patterns you can choose from for structuring a persuasive speech. Your intended purpose for speaking will help you to decide which pattern would make your speech the most effective. A few other tips to keep in mind during persuasive speaking include properly gauging the audience and offering evidence to support your claims. If you are speaking to a department in a meeting or to a small group of coworkers during a training, and you find that your listeners are agreeing with the case you are making, it is appropriate to adjust your momentum to intensify their agreement with you, thus moving them to act. Similarly, if you see that your listeners are in opposition to what you are proposing, you can gain momentum again by emphasizing your credibility, building common ground with your listeners, or even refuting counter-arguments. The inclusion of evidence, statistics, and other factual pieces will add weight to your arguments as well as your credibility (UMN, 2016, para. 26).
UMN. (2016, September 29). Communication in the Real World: An Introduction to Communication Studies. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/11-2…
Select two organizational methods for persuasive speaking and identify one drawback to each that can come from utilizing this method. Perhaps you have witnessed a persuasive speech tactic’s failure and can comment from experience. How would you suggest working around the drawbacks that you identify?
Your initial and reply posts should work to develop a group understanding of this topic. Challenge each other. Build on each other. Always be respectful but discuss this and figure it out together.
Per the Due Dates and Participation Requirements for this course, you must submit 1 main post of 150+ words, 1 IWG citation, and reference, as well as 2 follow-up posts of 50+ words. Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be your own words (no copy and paste), each reply unique (no repeating something you already said), and substantial in nature. Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time (20%) and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. (20% per post).
Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.
When you are speaking publicly, whether in a professional or nonprofessional setting, you should organize your message. There are several strategies for doing so. Two such strategies from the organizational method are problem/solution order and cause and effect. Cause and effect is “whenever you look at the subject in terms of cause and effect. Problem-solution is similar to the cause-and-effect pattern, but typically is used when the speaker is trying to persuade the audience to take a particular viewpoint” (Brent, 2018).
However, draw backs may arise if they are not used correctly. I have witnessed this first hand whenever I attended a town meeting. The community had pleaded with officials for over a year to try and get a animal shelter for the town, as the closest one was over an hour away. The were hundreds of viable reasons that the town should receive a shelter, from the city earning millions in tourist revenue to the animals having nowhere to go.
It took the town another 3 months to receive the shelter as they failed to follow strategies for organizational speaking. There are drawbacks to using any method incorrectly, including cause and effect and problem/solution order. This could include not representing all the information needed or not being able to convince your audience. You must make the message clear and convince the audience that they need to address the problem.
Brent, M. (2018). What are the Five Organizational Patterns for Public Speaking Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-8540323-five-organizati…