How to Make People Think in a Specific Direction

Rintu BasuPresentations4 Comments

This article is about a specific technique I use with groups to “inoculate” them from thinking in a particular way or to make sure that they do think the way I want them to.

Persuasion Skill Black Book Presentation Techniques Deconstructed

I am currently working on a new product. It is seven hours of video of a presentation skills course I delivered a while back. The audience was just six people with limited presenting experience and with no knowledge of my usual hypnotic persuasion skills.


Working with only six people gave me the opportunity to really delve right into the whole presentation thing. They went from hesitant, nervous presenters that had their heads down in their script ignoring their audience to working without a script, talking directly to their audience and even using trance effects.

As a product this is going to be great because not only do you get all the content that my audience got, you will also get to see me covertly installing stuff with them. You will get to see the structure of how I deal with their fears covertly. How I coach them in to installing a feedback model without them realising… and of course all my usual hypnosis and NLP patterns in live action as well as my case notes completely deconstructing what is happening.

Getting People in to a Train of Thought

I am currently watching the videos and writing up my notes and I thought I would share just one of the ideas from it. This technique is a great way to get a group or individual on board with a particular way of thinking. Here are my notes on just this one minute of video (I have modified it slightly to take out some personal stuff and the material relating to my nonverbal cues and how I was constructing the metaphors along with the pattern).

0:06:30 to 0:07:30

…I am also inoculating them against criticising my own presentation techniques. Sometimes on these types of courses students wake up to the fact that you are using the skills with them and if you don’t meet their criteria for their idea of excellence they may challenge you.

My response to that possibility is to inoculate against it right from the start. In this particular case I have told them I am not very good at presenting but what I am very good at it training and coaching presenters. From here they can’t really question my presentation skills.

One environment I do this a lot is when giving talks about NLP. For some reason I fine that groups of NLPers usually have at least one person that is there only to let you know how good they are with NLP.

With most NLP talks I give I start by letting the audience know that I don’t consider myself any sort of authority, don’t have any particular NLP skills beyond the norm and I just modelled the process of book writing to the point where I occidentally wrote an international best seller.

Yes, you are right, in that paragraph I have installed a bunch of internal representations of the exact opposite of what I am consciously telling them.

I then go round the room asking people about their NLP experience scanning for the guys that like waving their NLPness at people. Once I have found them I will point them out to the rest of the audience saying something like, “This guy is the real expert, he’s done this that and the other…he’s been trained by (blah blah insert whatever criteria they are using to show off) so we will refer all the difficult questions to him.”

This is a way of showing them respect, giving them the attention they want but in a most terrifying way. I usually have some really difficult questions stored in my back pocket to play with if they do start to become too vocal.

Now it’s your turn

Think of your last few presentations. What are the common objections? What would you like the audience to think about you? How can you tell them without actually telling them?

PS another way of doing this might be using a metaphor. Think about what this audience must think about my authority after I have just told them a story about accidentally encouraging the most senior politicians and civil servants along with the BBC to turn up to one of my presentations.

How Could You Use this in Other Situations?

If you were in sales you might start a sales meeting with something like.

“Thank you for meeting me. You know some people are as dumb as to see the prices and dismiss our service right out of hand before they have looked at the reasons why we can charge what we do. So thank you for being open minded enough to look through this opportunity. And before we can charge this much because we will get you a ten times return on your investment. Let me show you how…”

This is a bit clunky and obvious but I hope it is enough of a demonstration of how you can inoculate the client from thinking in particular directions and encourage them to thing in another.

How Can I Get Hold of Persuasion Skills Black Book Presentation Techniques Deconstructed?

I am working on it now and it will hopefully be read in the next couple of weeks. I am not going to release it to the general public for several reasons. The main one being that I only want this to go to an educated audience. So there will be a special price for anyone that already has one of my two higher level courses such as:



4 Comments on “How to Make People Think in a Specific Direction”

  1. Marty BoneIdol

    a metaphor I use, and I’m not sure if I read it somewhere or made it up on the spot, is to talk about buying something like a mobile phone and how the phone is useful, the packaging usually disposed of….. I state that it is the message in the presentation that useful. I’m the packaging along with my style which may or may not be attractive. look out for the message.

    1. Rintu Basu

      Marty, that is a brilliant metaphor. Like all the best ideas it is simple but powerful and certainly makes me think, “Wow, I wish I had thought of that.” Thanks you for sharing it.

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