Persuasive Communication using NLP

At our November meeting, Claire McKeown, a professional Intervention Specialist, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Certified NLP Practitioner spoke to us about Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and how it might help us communicate.

As Claire explained, NLP a very big subject but she gave us a useful definition:

NLP is a way of influencing brain behaviour (Neuro) through the use of language (Linguistic) and other types of communication to enable us to recode the way our brain responds to stimuli (Programming) to enable us to create new and better behaviour.

In other words, NLP is way of building up rapport. What you say and how you say it affects other people you can easily influence and or persuade them by how you communicate.

Claire’s Top Tips for Communicating more Effectively

Always Listen Very Carefully

If everyone could see things your way it would be easier but everyone has their own opinions as we naturally resist other ideas when they are different to ours. But if we use gentle persuasion techniques people will be more likely to go along with your thoughts.

Ask Questions

This is a very good subliminal technique and allows you to quickly understand someone’s thoughts. Ask someone to imagine what life would be like with … (some product or service you are offering which makes them feel safe, better, less stressed, with more time etc.) or without … (the security that this brings etc.). ‘Imagine’ is one of the best worlds you can use.

And & But – Two very Powerful Words

The ‘but’ erases everything that was said before it, put any bad news first, then follow it with the good – get rid of the negative.

‘And’ – allows you to add another idea to the good news and move attention to another point and enhances the good news.

Using ‘Because’

Our minds need to make sense of things we hear, if you put a ‘because’ in a phrase it makes it make sense to our brain even if it doesn’t. For example ‘I need you to buy this/listen to me because if you don’t ….’  Of course the reason you give shouldn’t be completely implausible.


If you want someone to accept something as a fact, start with a few phrases. ‘As you know….I’m sure you know….. everyone knows….clearly… obviously…..evidently….undoubtedly.’

Using these phrases starts things on the right foot – and what you are saying becomes powerful, it becomes a ‘fact’.


Everyone likes people to agree with them, when someone disagrees with you what they think is that you are say ‘that is wrong!’ What you are actually saying is that you have an alternative point of view. By agreeing to what they have said you can avoid their resistance.

The language pattern is important because people have conflicting views make sure when agreeing you use ‘and’ not ‘but’ (which as we learnt negates everything before it). For example, ‘I agree and this means….I agree and what’s more…’

It was a fascinating talk by Claire and she left us with these general tips – always agree, nod along look like you are interested, try active listening rather than working out what you are going to say next, use questions to steer the way you want the conversation to go and use the ‘and’ word not the but!.

As Claire said “You can’t learn anything by talking, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason!”

Claire can be contacted through

Blog by Kim Gilmour Connect Consultancy