“In a moment I am going to count from 1 to 3. When I say the number “3″ you are going to open your eyes. The moment I say the number “3″ and you open your eyes you are going to dance like a chicken every time you hear the phrase ‘Oh Cluck!’…ONE, TWO, THREE!!!”
The subject opens their eyes and to the amazement of the audience, the subject dances like a chicken at every prompt. Magic? Nope…just the power of suggestion and the power of “Yes.”
Undeniable Truths and Linking
The above example is missing a very important segment of the performance. At the beginning of a stage hypnosis performance, the hypnotist is very specific in the set up. They demystify the “magic” aspects and explain that hypnosis is simply a learning process and only a moron can’t learn how to breathe and relax. They guarantee that the participants on stage will have more fun during the performance than the audience.
Almost everyone can agree that “only a moron can’t learn to breathe and relax.” This is an undeniable truth. We can get on board immediately. By then saying that “hypnosis is simply learning to relax” our mind believes the following to be true: Hypnosis is simple, fun, easy and if I can’t be hypnotized, I might be a moron. This is the first suggestion of the hypnotist, and now the audience is primed and the hypnotist can find the best subjects.
The Power of Yes
Hypnotists know something that every public speaker should know: Small “Yeses” Lead to Larger “Yeses.” Before the hypnotist asks the subject to dance like a chicken, they ask a series of other questions or requests to get the subject into a “Yes” state of mind. It begins with asking subjects to take the stage. Those who say “Yes” just made their first agreement. The hypnotist goes on to make a number of moves that are easy to agree with in any social situation. “Please sit here.” “What is your name?” “Take a deep breath.” “Close your eyes.” Once the subject has agreed to come up on a stage, receives reaffirming applause and says “yes” to each request, they are far more likely to say “yes” to the more difficult requests.
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and thoughts are the same. Thoughts that flow in the direction of “no” tend to continue to want to say “no.” Thoughts that flow in the direction of “yes” tend to continue to want to say “yes.” Hypnotists know this. Sales people should know this. Public speakers rarely do. You can completely shift audience perspective with the opening of a presentation by taking advantage of undeniable truths, links and the power of yes!
Stay tuned for post with more specific examples of how I use these techniques in my own presentations, and how it can work for you!