When the Father of hypnosis, Milton Erickson used this technique, those who did not know what he was doing assume he was just a bit forgetful. However, that did not matter…he got results. He was highly effective at putting people into a trance. Here is one way he did just that.
That reminds me of a story about him that I heard Tad James tell, when Mr. Erickson was visiting some friends, he recalled getting out of his car and he heard loud noises from across the street. Being extremely curious he wandered over there to find out what all of the noise was about. He looked up, above the door it said “Boiler Factory.” Now he was really curious, he wanted to know what was going on. He pushed his body weight against the heavy door and the door slowly opened. It was very dark inside, he waited for his eyes to adjust. That is in contrast to a dentist’s office.
A colleague of mine is a dentist. In the NLP training he told the class that he only uses hypnosis for his clients who need dental work. I was so excited to talk with him about it! I had to wait until the next break. When we had the break, I walked over to him to find out more. I was captivated, I wanted to learn more.
Imagine being able to captivate your audience from the beginning of your meeting, your session or class. What would that mean for your effectiveness as a teacher, as a sales person, as their legal representative?
There is a very special technique, and it took Richard Bandler and John Grinder studying exactly what Milton Erickson was doing to get to what was really going on. This process of “unpacking” what an expert is doing is called Modeling, in NLP. As they took note of Mr. Erickson’s successful actions, they noticed he would start stories, and then just when he reached an interesting part, he would start another story. It seemed that at the end of the session, he would somehow wrap up these stories.
They called this process “Nested Loops.” Nested loops is where you have usually between one and five stories (of course you can have many more, that depends on your time). What you do is make a note of the best place to split your story. The place should be a “cliffhanger” and also leave the person with a good feeling, not a negative state.
Be very aware of the states into which you take your audience. They will anchor the states and stories to their idea of you!
The idea is to open up your “loops” as I did in the beginning of this article, with the story of Milton Erickson, then the one about the dentist, then deliver your content, your talk, etc. Once you have finished with your content, then close up the loops in reverse order. I will close this article with the end of the dentist story, then with Milton Erickson’s boiler factory story.
I spoke with the dentist and was amazed at the simply hypnotic technique he used to successfully anesthetize his clients. We have made such advances in the application of hypnosis since its beginning.
When Milton Erickson could finally focus in on the dark interior of the boiler factory, he noticed that there were workers going every which way, doing so many tasks. He wanted to talk with the manager and find out more.
You see, I left you hanging a bit at the end of the second story. You can do that too. It makes people want to learn more about your topic!
Once you give this a shot, you will be amazed at how people will be fascinated with what you are saying. It is like the curiosity about the “rest of the story” feeds over into your own material.