Five hypnotic techniques to enrapture your listeners
Right off the bat, any hypnosis trainer worth his salt will tell you that in order to hypnotize somebody, you’ll have to be confident. That’s so you can inspire a level of confidence in your subject and they will then feel free to relax with you. That’s also true that if you want to hypnotize your audience during a public speaking engagement. So, first you’ll need to inspire confidence speaking to them, and to do that you’ll need to be free of anxiety. Now when I talk about hypnotizing your audience, please forget the old clichés of the swinging watch , and the ‘cluck-like-a-chicken’ hucksters. What I’m talking about here is the hypnosis of life.
Help your audience leave the room
When you hypnotize someone you are, in effect getting them to “leave the room” as they “travel” along your speaking narrative within the theater of their own minds. You’ll be able to achieve this by focusing their
attention so intently that your words will begin to have a real effect on their experience – both consciously and unconsciously. An experienced and skilled hypnotist can help you change the workings of your immune system or blood flow with their words. If you had that kind of knowledge, think of the effect you could have on an audience that you are trying to influence. You might wonder why do I talk about “hypnosis” when describing the effect that a great presenter has? Hypnosis and the art of presenting involves:
- Narrowed Focus
Successful presenters will agree that you want to be compelling enough to focus your audience on what you are saying. You want to disassociated them from their environment and concerns in order for them to travel with you to other times, places and possibilities. And you want them to adopt, at least for a while, new ways of seeing reality. Hypnosis in therapy is so powerful because it helps people learn new ways of responding to life so that low confidence, phobias or addictions no longer trip them up. When you have a powerful presentation, you’ll focus your audience’s attention so narrowly that the nature of their learning becomes hypnotic rather than merely conscious. This kind of learning feels a lot more profound for people. It’s trance-like. But there are different kinds of audience trances.
Avoiding the boredom trance
If you come off as boring and uninspiring then your audience may psychologically “leave the room” not by following your ideas but by attempting to escape your talk. They might start to imagine what they’ll do later, what they’ll cook for dinner, or their upcoming social arrangements. They are disassociated but not in the way we want them to be. There are specific techniques to compel your audiences to ‘stay with you’ in just the right way.
Crowd hypnosis The best public presenters will captivate audiences by using a combination of words and gestures. They’ll incorporate expectation, language, story-telling and “future pacing” which is implanting ideas for their listeners to act upon in the future. All these techniques are hypnotic. Speakers that use these methods don’t just give the facts – they give their listeners an experience that changes the way they feel, think or behave. Presenting in a hypnotic way appeals to the part of the mind that the greatest works of poetry or music do. Actually, blood pumping public talks have a real and discernible rhythm.
The poetry of presenting
The greatest speeches like the best hypnotic inductions have a sort of trance rhyme to them that draws people into a focused state and makes them forget anything other than the speech. Listen to Sir Winston Churchill on YouTube Notice how he used repetition, emotional words, and paints a picture of a positive future beyond the current hard times. But at the same time he doesn’t lie to his audiences by pretending that things are going to be easy. He connects to the things that are important to his listeners; he evokes strong images. And in the same manner of storytelling or perhaps an epic myth, he speaks about avoiding an oncoming “Dark age” by fierce, proud, brave and collective struggle.
He paints a picture for the listener’s mind. In a few of Churchill’s speeches his language is actually a little confusing . Well spaced conflict is a powerful hypnotic technique as it “ties up the conscious mind” and appeals more directly to the unconscious which absorbs it often before the conscious mind has untangled it : “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.” He says when talking about the heavily outnumbered RAF men who fought the famous Battle of Britain. We know what he means without following the logical thread of the statement. If you want to be more hypnotic to captivate the attention of your audience then you might like to put these following tips into action (which are explained in detail in the new 10 steps to powerful public speaking course)
• Pepper your speech with words that appeal to feelings. Words that people have to “go inwards” to connect their personal meaning with are called nominalisations and they are hypnotic. These are words like: “Powerful, beautiful, love, wisdom, strength”…and so on. Make sure these kinds of words fit with what you are saying but they will produce more of a response than more “concrete” type words.
- Paint pictures in your listeners’ minds by overlapping their senses. When we hypnotize someone we are seeking to give them a dream-like experience. And of course we dream in pictures, but also sounds, sensations, tastes, and emotions. If you are telling a story in your speech about something that happened to you tell them what you saw, felt, heard, tasted and so forth. This makes it so much more evocative. “I went to the mall and saw a fight” doesn’t draw you as much as: “I was heaving a heavy shopping bag through the mall when I heard a sickening scream, I turned and saw two huge guys trying to mug an old lady who karate kicked them to kingdom come – you could almost smell their fear…!” Be descriptive. Which reminds me…
- Tell stories. Even if you are delivering a speech about molecular biology there are stories to be told – tell them engrossingly.
- Use your voice to fascinate. Sometimes speed up and sometimes slow…down… a bit. Not all the time or else you will annoy but think about the importance and relevance of your words. When it’s a point you feel is important, slow down a bit and occasionally you can even talk the calm, slow delivery of a real hypnotist.
- Use unexpectedness. We go into hypnotic trance when we relax but also when we are startled, surprised or even shocked. Great speakers use humor because it can be hypnotic. Humor surprises you – a punch line has a “punch” because it causes surprise. Hypnotists (especially of the stage show variety) will often use “shock “to fast track subjects into hypnotic trance, so be a little surprising here and there to keep your audience focused, then refocused. This technique when presenting is startlingly powerful.
It always ends up being about the emotion
Study the effect communication has on people. Just the bits of sound we call “words.” It can make them angry, weep, be prepared to go into battle and change their life infinitely for the better. Words don’t have to be “just words.” Hypnotise your audience to help them feel something real when you speak.