Consciously Using NLP Language Patterns in Your Speech to Unite, Divide, or Motivate Your Audience
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Increases Your Awareness
One of the weaknesses of educational systems worldwide is that they tend to lull students (especially intelligent and ambitious ones) into a state of unquestioning acceptance which makes them vulnerable. TV, video, and screens in general are widely known to induce a state of trance. As a speaker you can use language both to increase awareness in your audience and to create an appropriate and beneficial response.
Your Language Creates Specific Responses
Since Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) studies the links between the neurology of your mind-body and the effect that words (linguistic patterns) have on those patterns, it will not surprise you to discover that language is an extremely powerful tool for creating agreement or division and for motivating action.
To some extent the impact of your words and phraseology depends on the background and associations of your target audience. Some words or phrases will almost universally evoke specific emotions. NLP courses teach students to be very conscious of the words they choose to and to select them carefully not only according to the audience to whom they are speaking but also according to the outcome that they desire.
Using Language to Create Agreement and Opposition
A speaker generally wants to open by creating buy-in and anticipation in their audience. This can be done with hypnotic language patterns and by focusing on larger concepts at which there is a greater level of agreement. This is an important point as an angry audience is rarely open to new ideas.
At the same time, whether you are making a sales presentation or presenting a concept, you need to speak to their critical faculty if you want them to take action. This requires using language that is deliberately (and constructively) oppositional. Oppositional language helps each member of the audience evaluate the logical and rational aspects of your presentation. As a result of using this process your audience is able to defend and explain their decision and, in a sales situation, avoid ‘buyer’s remorse.
Speaking with Integrity and Congruence
Some people are suspicious of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) because they believe it is a form of manipulation. Any tool can be used for good or for evil and it is your responsibility as a speaker to use this powerful tool with integrity. Your audience will consist of some people who genuinely need your product, service, or idea, and others who don’t. Your language should help each of these groups of people self-identify themselves and make a discerning decision.
Rapport, Negotiation, and Mediation for Speakers
At a basic level Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) teaches people how to create rapport with individuals by speaking to the primary representational systems (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, auditory digital) and matching and mirroring behavior along with exploring some core language patterns and their uses.
At a more sophisticated level, NLP teaches advanced skills of negotiation and mediation that can be useful in sales, in working with teams, in resolving conflicts between colleagues at work and even in resolving marital difficulties. NLP also teaches extremely useful and powerful techniques that can help you expand resistant minds and open them to the new ideas and concepts they need to empower them and enhance their success.
As a speaker, these same techniques can make the difference between having your ideas and solutions received with: –
- Stony faced opposition and resistance;
- Dubious approval;
- Careful consideration; or
- Enthusiastic support;
Whether you are leading an organization or a movement, selling a product or service, or simply inviting people to consider new perspectives and opportunities you need to be able to invite rational consideration of the merits of your proposal.
Sometimes, you need to create overt division so that people become aware of their disagreement and opposition. In a sale situation there comes a time when you want the prospect to say. “Yes, I’m in!” or “No, this is not for me.” As long as they continue to show interest out of politeness or uncertainty you will continue to waste your time and theirs trying to persuade them.
Motivation and Compulsion
Compulsion is often thought of as a dangerous concept and a dirty word. Obviously, no speaker stands in front of their audience with a gun saying, “Come along or else!”
You are simply providing them with the reasons to respond urgently and wholeheartedly for their own good. Your audience may decide that the offer is not appropriate, but your argument and offer should be phased in such a compelling fashion that, every person who needs your product and has the resources to invest in it will be wholeheartedly take the desired action.
Of course, this principle doesn’t just apply to sales situations. This is also useful when you are advocating a course of action (eg. stop sex slavery, abolish the use of plastics bags, destroy nuclear weapons, eliminate TB).
Anyone who has a big goal or cause should be interested in the power of language to motivate people to action.
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