The article below is based on an extract from The Persuasion Skills Black Book.
NLP Anchoring Techniques for Persuasion
The following is a practical demonstration of an NLP technique in a training environment. I use chained states in a classroom environment, if it helps to understand possible covert anchor chain applications. This is an adaptation of something I have seen David Shepard do on many occasions.
Setting Up an NLP Anchor Chain
The chain is going from confusion to understanding, and I tend to use it in classes where I know there will be heavy duty content and potential for delegates to have difficulty getting it. I can set it up in about five minutes if necessary, but I prefer a longer elicitation process. Given the choice would spend fifteen minutes over this.
Here is the whole lot, you can go off and adapt as you see fit. This process uses stage anchors – these are the same as the spatial anchors you might use with your hands but are fired from particular locations on the stage.
In this context I prefer this marking out because it gives me the freedom to jump back and forward from any of the states as I want. The chain consists of three states, in order: confusion, on the edge, enlightenment / understanding. The specifics of each state will be clearer as you read through this.
Step 1- Pre and Reframes
I tell the group at some stage on this course that they will be confused and then say that they should be pleased about this. This usually gets some people confused, so I am standing where I want the confused state to be.
Walking towards the understanding spot, I explain confusion is about having all the pieces of the jigsaw but not having them in the right places yet, and they should be pleased to have the pieces.
I go on to say something like So confusion is about having the pieces and not yet fitting them together….but the exquisite thing is, you have the pieces. YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? And as you are thinking about that what sort of future possibilities does this give you? That is something you can GET REALLY EXCITED about….
If I am cooking it, I will elicit excitement from the group and anchor that to the understanding spot as well.
Step 2- Elicit States
I go back to my confusion spot starting a metaphor about being confused on a course accessing the state myself. Remember all you have to do is get them a little confused and then slide it up to something stronger. I anchor to the spot using my physiology…apparently my face shows confusion really easily.
On the edge – This is a state of almost there, I know I am going to get it soon. So the loop from the first story is open (I don’t tell them how I get out of the confusion) and I switch to metaphor two. I have several, but my favourite is about when I was learning to be a hang glider pilot (for those of you that have seen me recently I don’t fly much now but I bounce a great deal better).
It’s all about having all the pieces, knowing I’m ready and just waiting on the side of the hill for precisely the right moment to just leap out with the absolute confidence (yes I do elicit confidence and build the slide at this spot as well). I then go through the first few second of being in the air and all the pieces being all over the place while walking to the enlightenment spot.
Enlightenment – “…when you suddenly realise that YOU ARE FLYING. All the pieces have fitted together, you are in the flying seat, soaring and looking to the future possibilities and getting excited about it.” Feel free to hallucinate your sliding anchors for the excitement as well as the physiology around these spots as part of the commentary. Also, note I don’t give them any closure over this first flight thus keeping a second loop open. I just step away from the three spots and go into something else e.g. the course content.
Anchors switch emotional states. Used skillfully you can move your audience through a range of emotions just through body language and stage position. Click to tweet
Applications, Firing the Anchor Chain
The most obvious are when any or some of them are confused you walk them through the three spots to enlightenment.
On courses where I have over cooked the states, I can often do this without saying anything, and they still get it. If I want to help them along, I will start on the confused spot and say something like “you’re confused because you haven’t reviewed all the pieces you already know.” Walking towards state 2, I’ll ask them to come out with the information they already know. As they give me answers I will ask “So what have you learnt?” as I am walking towards the understanding spot letting them get excited about knowing all this stuff.
Other things you can do with this are if someone is objecting or heckling just throw them into confusion. Or if you want the whole class to get a massive and exciting light bulb moment keep them on the edge until you are ready for them to get excited about what they have suddenly realised.
Often with people that are really stuck with confusion, I will stretch the hang gliding metaphor. Starting in confusion, I will tell them that confidence (moving to on the edge) is a matter of pretending to be confident, firing the confidence anchor as I go.
Ramping it up, I tell them that on my first flight I was pushed off the edge by my instructor. And then ask them what kind of a push do they need. As they think of answers, I gently start towards understanding.
If you elicit pleasure / enjoyment states and stack them to the understanding spot, you can also reward good behaviour and start to condition the class to respond to you the way you want. In fact, on longer courses I will usually create a pain spot at a different stage location. By the nature of doing this, you have built a slide between the two, and it gives you the opportunity to totally train your audience in behaviour just through stage position.
There is a lot more I could say on the subject of stage and chained anchors, but I think this post is long enough already and there will be more soon.
For those of you that are still here, thanks for reading and I hope this might give some of you an idea of anchoring applications of your own.
If you want to know more about anchoring a great place to start is this article demonstrating spatial anchoring in training.
If you want more about how to use NLP Persuasion Skills a great place to look is Advanced Persuasion Patterns, the foremost hypnotic persuasion skills download course.