Hypnotic Persuasion and Politicians

Rintu BasuModelling4 Comments

This article deconstructs a political speech from Tony Blair in parliament. There are some very powerful language patterns throughout the speech that are easy to transplant to other situations and contexts. This article is the first of two showing you how to model persuasion patterns and move them to another context.

Do Politicians and their speech writers use NLP Techniques?

A graduate of the Advanced Persuasion Patterns course sent me their deconstruction of a political speech and I think it is brilliant so I thought I would share it with you. Also when I was going through the speech I saw it as a great way of demonstrating one of the ways that I model persuasion patterns and create new patterns.

Safety Warnings

This is an article about creating and using hypnotic language. That means we need to let go of our personal values and feeling about the subject of the speech and the person that is making it. I am not suggesting that you should not have an opinion, what I am suggesting is that you leave it aside and enter into this purely to see the impact of these patterns in the way that they are used.

I fully accept that most people will have a view and often an emotional one about the content of this video. To let that filter your analysis of the patterns would mean not getting the best learning that you could from this whole experience. How sad is it that some people will watch the video and get trapped in the content when there is so much great learning to be taken from it. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

There is a choice you can make. Either fall into the trap of watching the content or take the chance now of dramatically increasing your persuasion skills simply by noticing the patterns being used and then develop different ways you can use that for yourself. How much more do you benefit from walking that road?

Here is the video and JKC’s quite brilliant email and deconstruction of the patterns. And then I will show you something around how I create new patterns from modelling others.

From: JKC
To: Rintu Basu
Subject: With reference to Hannity here’s Blair proposing war in Iraq
Date: Thu, 5 Jan  11:18:08 +0000

My quick analysis, first viewing.

1. He says, I accept fully that those opposed to this course of action, embedded suggestion, share my detestation of Saddam. In other words, those who are with me are with me and those who are against me are with me because they share my detestation. (22sec) (Agreement Frame?)

2. Setting the frame, talking of how poor Iraq is compared to before Saddam, children dying needlessly etc.

3. Embedded suggestions, brutality, death, barbaric, routine, well documented (49sec approx)

4. Talking of an Iraqi having his tongue cut out and later linking this to free speech and being able to speak (1.19, 1.36)

5. Emotional plea. Embedded suggestion, live in perpetual fear. (1.29) Building the case for war by causing fear of WMD.

6. Embedded suggestion, see friends and family suffer.

7. Embedded suggestion, support the course I’m advocating and anchors with right hand. (2.08 approx)

8. Linking opposing the motion to strengthening Saddam.

9. Suggesting that Saddam will celebrate and the Iraqi people will weep if troops are withdrawn but this is inferred not stated directly. Who will celebrate, who will weep. Linking back to earlier references.

10. The house wanted this discussion before conflict. Presupposition that there will be conflict. (3.58)

11. The house has the discussion and these are the choices. Embedded commands, no choice, no choice. (4.07) 12.

Embedded suggestion, summon the strength (4.19)

13. Embedded suggestion, Brave men and women, purpose clear (4.30-4.37)

14. Embedded suggestion, proud (4.32)

15. Embedded suggestion, turn the united nations (4.50)

16. Embedded suggestion, all power, anchor (5.03)

17. At the very moment when they need our determination (they? unspecified referential index, does he mean the U.S., the U.N or the Iraqi people?) He has mentioned all of them in his speech. (5.13)

18. I will not be party to such a course, this is not the time to falter, this is the time for this house, (anchor PM’s podium, linking the house to the prime minister, anchoring this prime minister whilst pointing to self (in other words, this house, is this prime minister) 5.22

19. Embedded suggestion, give a lead (5.25)

Note also that at the beginning of the speech he uses BUT to separate his reference to regime change and acting with a clear conscience. In other words, I have not advocated regime change BUT we can act on a clear conscience. The speaker interrupts Blair during his speech in order to allow a question but he does not allow this because he does not want to give up his frame of control and risk losing the states he is building. He also links acting with strength and not acting with weakness.

Second viewing.

1. Support the course I’m advocating, anchor (2.08)

2. Linking strengthening Saddam and other regimes to not acting, linking Saddam to terrorism. (3.02)

What do you think? Could this make an interesting blog entry for deconstruction?

I am sure there is far more here than I have noticed but a while ago I couldn’t hear embedded commands at all. I have left out a few things for brevity.



Embedded Commands

JKC says a while ago he couldn’t hear embedded commands. I would say he has got pretty damn good at it now! I think he has done a great job in his analysis. There is probably more to pick up on and I think JKC has done a great job at showing us what to look for. Please feel free to comment on anything else you might discover.

In the Advanced Persuasion Patterns Programme you will discover how you can actually use the same persuasion techniques. Not just in presentations and speeches but in normal conversations. Click through and find out more here.

Have a watch of the video again because tomorrow’s article will show you how I model and create new patterns. When I first saw this video that JKC sent me I blown away by one overall pattern that I think is really powerful and has multiple uses. Tomorrow I will deconstruct that pattern and use it as a vehicle to demonstrate how I create new patterns.


4 Comments on “Hypnotic Persuasion and Politicians”

  1. Rintu Basu

    That is interesting. I’ve been so focused on Blair that I have not really looked at what Straw and Prescott might be doing to help or hinder the process. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Rintu Basu

    Hi K,
          To be accurate the elements you are highlighting are not embedded commands. Where this is coming from is the way that I teach embedded commands. My focus is to get the internal representations or the sequence of images for the audience right for what you want to “embed”. And what is happening at this point is our Tony want to plunge his audience into the pain of the old regime. So you are quite correct in saying that these are not embedded commands.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *