Hypnotic Language Patterns and Metaphor Deconstructed

Rintu BasuConversational Hypnosis1 Comment

In yesterday’s article we looked at a political speech and the amount of Covert Hypnotic Persuasion being used. In this article I will show you one way of modelling these patterns and how to transplant them to more useful situations.

Analysis of Covert Persuasion Techniques

Yesterday we looked at a speech by Tony Blair in parliament and a great persuasion artist JKC gave us a run down of the huge amount of hypnotic patterns being used. You can read the article and watch the video here.

The Importance of Internal Representations

When I am analysing language patterns one of the things I do it pay close attention to the sequences of internal representations that go through my mind. If you are not an NLP Jargon Junkie then what I am really saying is I am paying close attention to the pictures I am making in my head in order to make sense of the speaker.

Naturally when I was looking through JKC’s analysis I would watch the speech looking at the sequences of internal representations.

The Importance of Frame Control

One of the things I think is vital in any persuasion context is setting the expectations, making sure that I frame the conversation to keep in all the things that I want and to exclude all the things that I don’t want. This is something that starts right at the beginning of a conversation, or in this case a speech. So I usually pay close attention to the beginning of a speech.

So whilst I played this Tony Blair speech I played close attention to the sequence of internal representations at the beginning of the speech and I noticed something quite interesting.

Generalising the Patterns

Listen to the first 25 second of the speech. Here is a generalised paraphrase of what he said. I suggest you watch the video whilst reading this as it can be a bit confusing when generalised like this.

“I never suggested we should do (x) for this reason (y), we have to do (x) for this other reason. But (y) is the reason that we should do this with a clear conscience and a strong heart. I accept fully that those opposed to (x) share my detestation of (y). Who could not?”

In the first 25 seconds Tony tells you that the invasion was done legally, that there is also another reason for doing it and here is the best bit, even those that don’t agree with it still share the reasons why it is a good thing to do. And then he turns the whole thing into a question that is completely meaningless but keeps reinforcing the internal representation. How could anyone not see this as brilliant?

Verbal Bullet Points

He then punches out a whole raft of reasons why you should detest the regime. Remember he has already preframed the idea that everyone will agree with him (even if they don’t…can you guess I love that first pattern?).

Right the way through this he uses:

  • Contrast frames (before and after the regime)
  • Anecdotal metaphors which he then generalises
  • Fully associating the listener into the story (imagine if this is were to happen here)

Decision Time

He then offers an either or choice whilst ramping up the negative consequences for the “wrong” choice.

“In this decision no choice is perfect and hangs the weight of many things…” Leading to a personal stand based on values that is then generalised to the population, “this is not the time to falter, it is the time for not just this government nor indeed this prime minister, but it is the time for this house to give a lead…”

Here is the video again. Have a watch and see if you don’t see this sequence in play.

How can I use this?

As you may have noticed I have deliberately been trying to generalise each point as we have been discussing the various elements. My usual way of looking at these things is once I have seen the pattern I take it apart in the way that I have just demonstrated and then I immediately look to another context to use it in.

Now you need to be aware I am unlikely to say these things in the raw form below in a given situation. It is just my way of seeing how these various elements fit together. Here are a couple in context that I have thought of:


I don’t think you should to buy the cheapest on the market. You should buy because it is the best solution to the problem. You should be clear that it is the right choice for you. I fully accept that some people simply buy on price but even they would need to be sure that the product gives you the results you want.

List all the problems a “bad” choice could give you. Follow through with an either or choice, ramping up the negative consequences and leading to this is a time to make a stand on fulfilling personal values. “It isn’t an easy decision and now is the time to consider how much you want (all the personal values of the prospect that you have elicited) and make a stand to get what you deserve.


I don’t think you should do your homework now because I want you to. I think you should do your homework now because it means you will have the whole evening free to do the things that you want. I fully accept it is not fun and you might not enjoy it, but with a clear conscience and good heart you can get it done it time for tea and then you have the whole evening to (insert favourite activities).

Closing the Open Loop

Hopefully you can see various parts and elements deconstructed from Tony’s speech. Have a look at the original article and spot where I use the pattern. You can read the article here.

Instead of reading about hypnotic language patterns do you want to explore, play and use these patterns to get what you want out of life? If you do then you will want to have a look at Advanced Persuasion Patterns a comprehensive download course on covert persuasion skills.


One Comment on “Hypnotic Language Patterns and Metaphor Deconstructed”

  1. kevon

    my mind has been blown. I never really explored what NLP was but these breakdowns have me wanting more. research time!

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