Neuro Linguistic and Hypnotic Techniques Used in Barack Obama’s Speeches?

“Is Barack Obama a brilliant orator, captivating millions through his eloquence? Or is he deliberately using the techniques of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), a covert form of hypnosis developed by Milton Erickson, M.D.?

A fundamental tool of “conversational hypnosis” is pacing and leading – a way for the hypnotist to bypass the listeners critical faculty by associating repeated statements that are unquestionably accurate with the message he wants to convey.
In his Denver acceptance speech, Obama used the phrases “thats why I stand here tonight,” “now is the time,” and “this moment” 14 times. Paces are connected to the lead by words such as “and,” “as,” “because,” or “that is why.” For example, “we need change” (who could disagree?)”and that is why I will be your next President.”

Techniques of trance induction include extra slow speech, rhythm, tonalities, vagueness, visual imagery, metaphor, and raising of emotion. Hypnotists often have patients count. In a speech after the primaries closed, Obama said: “Sixteen months have passed (paused) “Thousands” (pause) “of miles” (pause) “Millions of voices”.

Hypnotists call this a distraction technique: sending the dominant hemisphere on an assignment involving linguistic processes, thus opening the nondominant hemisphere to suggestion.”

Consider Hitler, Bush’s war on terror. The masses are more easily swayed with non-sequitirs than you’d imagine. While I find the inference of this short video a little kooky, the message – I feel – is strong and needs to be seriously considered by all. It is a simple fact that these methods are employed: ask any PR/oratory expert. Try asking Barack…


Filed under: Culture, Humanity, Journalism, Media, North America, Politics, Psychology, , ,

4 Responses

  1. J says:

    I found a whole PDF report on Obamas speech techniques. I guess if your in the know then youd see this going on in an instant. Im very positive he has been taught or learnt these techniques. Youd use everything you can to sway the people right ?

  2. As an NLP Master Practitioner, I am surprised that this particular tool (widely used in business and governments all over the World) is so demonized without mentioning the positive benefits of this powerful and multi-faceted technology. NLP did not develop these techniques- the communication skills and techniques found in NLP existed long before they were identified and gathered together under the umbrella of NLP.

    This sounds like the kind of propaganda that instills deep fear in the listener… like the kinds of things you see in movies made in the 1930s against the ‘enemy’. The tone of voice, the speed of delivery and other elements of this video can be identified as NLP. Using NLP techniques to create fear about NLP? Clever.

    NLP is very effective as a way to create powerful communication, and having an un-biased view of NLP gives the opportunity to learn how to recognize when NLP is being used. Like any tool, it can be used for good or for evil. My professional observation is that the few people who use NLP to control others are very short-sighted because people usually catch on quickly.

    Do you throw away all your knives because they can be used to stab someone instead of seeing them as the handy tools they were meant to be? Do you ban fire because it could burn your house down, losing the ability to cook your food?

    Balance in life with awareness is important. And, in case you were wondering, I was not an Obama supporter because of the lack of substantial and definitive information during his ‘Change message’ campaign. He makes me uneasy, but this video goes too far.

  3. Ed says:

    Thankyou both for your comments. I’d like to say two things in response.

    One, assault rifles can be used for good. Should we therefore condone their use worldwide?

    Two, if the public were generally aware of these techniques being used the content of these speeches would be drastically different. In what way, I couldn’t be certain.

    Should people be educated about this particular facet of political gameplay? Yes, without question.

    The general public, needless to say, are not generally aware of these techniques being used or of their use.

    My point is, what if they did…?

  4. Buzz Aldrin says:

    Assault rifles can be used for good? How exactly?

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About me

I'm a Media and Communications graduate from Goldsmiths College, London, a Project Manager and Web Developer (C#, PHP). In my spare time I like to write fiction, music, and read current affairs.

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