Why Your Language Isn’t Persuasive

persuasive hypnotic languageWords. They’re magic.

No really. It’s magical how I can write a few words here and you translate them into some meaning. When I write a different set of words, a different meaning pops into your head. And the words will change the way you think.

It’s magic. With a few words I can cast a spell and your thoughts will change…instantly (as I snap my fingers for effect).

It’s funny how we learn language. As a child, your mommy didn’t diagram sentences on a chalkboard (or iPad today). “Okay sweetie, this is the noun phrase and this is the verb phrase. Each have different parts that we can diagram out. Got it?”

Nope. Language just happens.

As Steven Pinker wrote in The Language Instinct:

“Language is not a cultural artifact that we learn the way we learn to tell time or how the federal government works. Instead, it is a distinct piece of the biological makeup of our brains. Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child spontaneously, without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process information or behave intelligently.” [emphasis mine]

The process of learning how you learn language is fascinating. You learn the correct way to speak without any formal instructions. We learn “I will do gooder” sounds funny, but “I will do better” is proper English..

But, you don’t learn how to influence effectively with your words. To me, this is the underlying logic how language works, as Pinker wrote.

Even in school you spent little time on how the words you use affect the your message. You learn about nouns, verbs, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, etc. But little more.

Kids complain about math asking, “but when am I ever going to use this in real life?” You should’ve been asking that during English class. Tell me, when was the last time you thought about the verbs and prepositions you use? C’mon. When? That’s what I thought.

Here’s why.

It’s boring.

You already understand how to speak well. You’ve been talking since you were a child. And, unless you’re playing Mad Libs, you don’t need to think about your adverbs, adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc.

What you want to learn is how using your words will change the meaning of a sentence. For example, if I say:

  • This product makes you more persuasive.

It doesn’t have the same impact as:

  • This inexpensive product gives you critical tools, almost instantly, making you more persuasive.

See the difference? More importantly, did you feel the difference?

Both convey the message, “this product makes you more persuasive.” The latter feels better. And, more importantly, if you disagreed with something in the statement, you can’t fully disagree with it. This means you’re agreeing with most of it. And, that’s the magical part.

Magic Spells and Magical Sells

When I first stumbled across these skills it changed my life. (Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. But this is the difference that changed everything for me.)

It didn’t change simply because I was able to sell more easily. It was because I was able to interact with everyone more easily. I can hear objections long before they’re voiced consciously. I can understand people more deeply and more quickly. I know when the words I’m using do more harm than good.

Forget the linguistic bullshit. You don’t need to know if your participle is dangling. You don’t need the technical gobbledygook. That’s not where you’ll find the magic.

I started learning this material almost 20 years ago. I read some books about Milton Erickson’s techniques (Erickson’s techniques are the foundation of conversational hypnosis) and by the founders of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). I knew there was something there, bought a few courses, and practiced. It was fun.

Then I stumbled across Kenrick Cleveland’s material and everything clicked into place. He didn’t teach about therapy. He taught about how to use language in sales. He didn’t call it NLP. It was about persuasion. Getting someone to change.

I still listen and watch his “old” courses (I bought equipment to convert his cassettes and VHS tapes to my computer). What he teaches is timeless. You can listen over and over and find finer and finer distinctions to become more persuasive. I’ve never regretted buying any of his courses or paying for live trainings.

I’ve arranged with Kenrick a limited time offer on his course The Persuasion Factor. It’s an incredible bargain for what you receive. I went through it a few years ago and, as I said about his other products, I still listen to it on a regular basis.

It will change the way you interact with everyone. It’s like the difference between a 2D movie and a 3D movie. Things jump out at you in ways you never expected and your ability to influence people will transform beyond what you can imagine.

Image by elleinad.

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