Many people get into learning about things like covert hypnosis, waking suggestion, NLP, etc. with the idea of creating virtually irresistable web sites and sales pitches. Most of them are doomed to disappointment. The techniques that they found extremely powerful in their classes and trainings don’t seem to work for them in written form.

For covert hypnosis, just as for overt hypnosis and waking suggestion, the best and most effective results come from using a combination of specific technique, verbal cues (such as pacing, breaks, inflection, etc.), and non-verbal cues. This multi-media approach adds rich layers of meaning and reinforcement to your suggestions, and often helps tie them in with the person’s experience. But sometimes such up close and personal use is not practical.

For a variety of reasons, people find it desirable to use the techniques in other media – or try to. In rough order of effectiveness (high to low), the most common media are video, audio, and print. In video, you can present some non-verbal cues such as posture and movement, but you are not able to respond to those of the other person. In audio, you can use variations in pitch, volume, pacing, etc. to good effect (as you can in video) but you lack both the ability to use the non-verbal cues and to respond to the other person. In print, you lose all of that richness.

In print, you are largely limited to an unpaced, linear presentation of word and image. Worse, there is nothing to keep the reader from skipping around the page. There is limited room for emphasis and pacing – severely limited.

Given all that, it seems almost impossible that any techniques would work in print. Surprisingly, many do. They may be somewhat less effective in print than in the other media or in person, but they do work.

One of the most commonly used – and effective – techniques is the Seven Yes approach (also called pacing and leading). Making the seven (or however many you choose) statements that the reader will unquestioningly agree with, then the suggestion, then more unquestioningly agreeable statements can be (and often is) done in print with great effect. The “trick” is to make sure there is nothing overt to mark the suggestion as different than the other statements.

Techniques that use elements like “close your eyes and imagine” or strong visualizations are obviously unworkable in print. So are those which require responding to feedback from the person. Techniques that require a timed or spaced sequence (such as the popular Rhino and Bird example) will only work if the reader follows the appropriate timing – an iffy matter at best.

In the end, a little common sense and a lot of experimentation can go a long way toward recognizing those techniques that are likely to work in print and those that aren’t.



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