This article is part two of an interview with David Snyder, Hypnotist, NLP Master Practitioner, trainer, and one of the worlds leading experts on the art of Influence and Persuasion.
If you haven’t read part one: 25 Secrets of Influence and Persuasion
- Influence and persuasion in an attraction context
- The three magic questions
- Using humor and negs
- Dealing with someone who has poisoned the frame
- NLP for public speaking
Influence in an attraction context
Michael Frank: How might one influence another in an attraction context?
David Snyder: Give me a context? What stage are we at?
Michael Frank: Well let’s say you’re at a bar and you’re chatting to someone you’ve just met. What are some things that you could do to influence or persuade them? I mean, if they’re not attracted to you, maybe there’s nothing you can do, but if it is a winnable battle, what are some things that you might be able to do?
Make her laugh
David Snyder: First and foremost, I would absolutely make them laugh. I would find a way to lighten the situation. I would also put any sexual agenda or any romantic agenda out of my mind before approaching simply because you don’t want to go in there with a sexual agenda. You want to go in and find out if that person is cool to hang with.
When most women create their dating profiles, they’re lying. And I mean that in the nicest sense. They may believe that the things they’re writing down are all true. I want somebody who’s courteous, kind, loyal, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, must love dogs and red wine or something like that…
Get in the right state: fun and playful
…but none of that is actually true until they’re having fun with you. None of that stuff matters until they’re actually enjoying spending time with you. So that’s the first goal. You’ve got to be fun. You’ve got to be playful. You’ve got to have the right state. If you approach a couple of girls or a single person at a bar in the wrong state, that’s going to poison the frame, and you’re going to have to work harder to win that.
So the first thing is get your state right. If you come in a happy, fun, playful, nice to meet you kind of a vibe without a sexual agenda, you’re going to fly under her radar. She’s going to throw a few tests at you to see what you’re really about, but that’s later down the line. So that’s the first thing.
The three magic questions
We have something we call the three magic questions protocol. It’s not three questions. It’s three categories of questions:
The first level of question is what we call location/occasion, and it’s basically an opinion opener about something in the environment or why they’re there, to suck them out of their head and into the environment and interacting with you.
This gives you the ability to gauge their state, look at their physiology and echo their words, and then take them to level two, which is career and passion.
Let’s say you’re at a wedding reception and you’re seated at a table with some other people, you might say something as simple as:
“What do you think of the band?”
“What do you think of these flower arrangements?”
You try to ask questions that can’t be answered by yes or no. Now that does one very specific thing. It moves them from a state of internal dissociation, to a state of external association.
In other words, they’re out of their head, in the world, paying attention to you. But you’re doing it in a non-creepy, nonthreatening, nonsexual way that allows for conversation.
You want to create an environment where it’s cool to talk in a safe, nonthreatening way.
Use their words back to them
You also want to keep the conversation fluffy. You want to keep it light. You want to keep it interesting. And you want to use as many of their words as possible when you’re doing it. Because the moment a person gets their words back, they feel an internal ping.
Every human being on the planet is sending a little radar or sonar. They’re pinging out into the universe their internal map, their internal checklist of what’s desirable, what’s right, what they’re supposed to have, and every time they get a ping back that matches, their attraction meters go up, their attention meters go up, so you’ll get attention first because you’re using their words their way, it goes right into the most sensitive parts of their neurology. They feel heard, they feel understood, they get really curious, really quick.
Curiosity in a woman is a powerful thing.
Career and passion
Then you transition into career and passion, and ask questions like:
“So I’m curious, what is it you love about what you do?”
Not just: “What do you do?”
But I’m curious, just so I understand you:
“What is it you love about what you do?”
“What gets you up in the morning?”
“What made you decide that?”
“How did you do that?”
“I’ll bet there’s an origin story there…”
And let them talk.
Michael Frank: What if that hate their job and it gives a negative feel to the conversation and they’re like “I hate my job bla bla bla”
David Snyder: “What would you rather be doing?”
“What do you love to do?”
Here’s one of the things that is really cool. People who just meet for the first time, they only follow one conversational thread at a time. People who’ve been to together who know each other for a long time, open and close multiple conversations simultaneously, so don’t be afraid to just transition.
“What do you really love to do then?”
“What would you rather be doing?”
And that’s because nobody’s ever asked them that, and if all you do is nod, listen, echo, nod, listen, echo, repeat, and ask your next question, you’ll be amazed at how much they just keep talking and talking and talking and they’re going to give you tremendous amounts of information.
Now one of the beautiful parts about this process is it doesn’t matter about gender. Gender doesn’t matter. It can be male to female, which is the common traditional dynamic, it can be female to female, it can be male to male, it does not matter.
The original three magic questions protocol was originally designed for women to use on men. I modified it a little bit, so that both genders can make equal use of it. Now I’ve got attorneys all over the country using this on juries in, during voir dire (“The process by which prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being chosen to sit on a jury.”) and stuff like that to make every juror love them.
You get people talking about things they’re passionate about, that they’re interested in, and just about every single human being on the planet, mostly men, but a lot of women nowadays have an idea for a book or a business. And when you get them talking about those things, or the career that they love, now you’re actually interacting with them at an identity level of consciousness. This is a part of them that is very very close to their heart.
Echo their words back to them
In fact, it’s the part of them that when you stroke those heartstrings in just the right way, they feel tremendous pleasure and they will simultaneously give you huge amounts of information about who they are, their model of the world, whether they see themselves as winners or losers, victims or go-getters, and at the same time they’ll become progressively more attracted to you because as you echo their words back to them, they feel heard, they feel validated, there’s no judgment.
And don’t believe me with this, just go out and start echoing people’s words and watch what they do. They don’t shut up. They just keep talking. The longer they talk, the better you look, and the more connected to you they become.
Now I need to make a distinction. Initially there’ll be attraction. Then there’ll be connection. Whether you keep attraction or not, will largely depend on what else you do throughout the three magic questions protocol. Most people need to get attraction, then connection and comfort, and then you can go into arousal.
But in the three magic questions protocol, you start with very superficial level questions. Things that are nonsexual, nonthreatening, non obvious questions about who they are, and why they’re there in the venue they’re in.
If you want to get past a woman’s defenses, you either have to disqualify yourself, or disqualify her as a potential romantic interest, because every woman you meet is immediately going to paint you with an agenda of wanting sex. So you have to find a way to circumvent that idea.
So when you start talking about things that are completely neutral, completely not attraction related, they don’t know what to do with that, but if they’re interested in you and your state is right, they’ll at least give you the opportunity to interact with them and that’s where it starts.
How to use humor
Michael Frank: When using humor, if you were to encounter someone with very high self-esteem, would you be more likely to neg and tease them a little bit, and if they have lower self-esteem then maybe make fun of yourself or someone else in the room? How would you use humor?
David Snyder: I usually avoid humor that’s directed at a particular person I’m interacting with until I know that person a little bit better. I’ll give you an exception to this rule in a minute, but it will not be directed necessarily at a person or a person’s self-esteem, but at a situation or an environment. I’ll reframe something that has been said or done in a funny way that doesn’t offend anyone.
You have to be careful with negs, because only certain types of people respond predictably to negging. Negs also have to be delivered in a cocky, funny, playful way, and most people are too stressed out when they try to neg, and so they come off as offensive and condescending rather than funny, playful and cocky.
Michael Frank: And a neg is simply a subtle tease to someone you like in a playful way.
David Snyder: It’s a covert attack on somebody’s self esteem. Like if you walk up to somebody who’s got really beautiful ornate nails where the vast majority of people’s fingernails out there are artificial, you might say something like:
“Oh those are gorgeous nails. Are they real?”
Now you’ve complimented her. But in the act of admitting that they’re not real, it’s actually lowered her perceived value because it actually kind of says, well, you’re not really being authentic. But you’re not saying that. That act of just suddenly asking that question in a way that lowers the value of what you’ve just given them creates a difference in perceived value.
Human beings are extremely compliant and suggestible to status. In the real world status and validation, to be perceived as being okay, acceptable, approved of, is a fundamental driver in most forms of human interaction. Human beings are status seeking creatures because they get access to more resources, or because people with status can guarantee survival and an improved quality of life.
So we are hardwired for status and whenever you get into a frame war, there’s going to be a status war too. Usually the person who controls the frame has the highest status. And because of your position and that status, you can take a lot more liberties than someone of lower status.
You can see this in dramatic detail on this YouTube video where a guy dressed up like a homeless guy tries to give people money as they walk by, and you see these people just go ballistic about this homeless guy trying to give them a dollar. It’s insulting.
Imbalance the status gap for attraction
So one of the things that has to happen is you have to become aware of whatever status gap is there, and either balance the status gap, or imbalance the status gap. Ideally for maximum influence, you want to unbalance the status gap. That’s where attraction is generated.
If you just use traditional techniques as they’re taught in NLP, you will get equal status with a person, that will generate connection, that may generate trust, but it probably won’t generate attraction. In order for there to be attraction, there must be a perceived status gap. Then they become attention seeking, validation seeking.
An exception to the rule
Michael Frank: You mentioned you wanted to give an exception a moment ago. Is there an exception you wanted to throw into the mix?
David Snyder: Yes. If you walk up to somebody and they neg you first, then it’s on. Because women do not pay attention to men they don’t like. So if they throw an insult and they try to neg you, that’s them testing you to see if you’ll play back. That’s them saying: “Oh, you’re interesting. Let’s see if you’ve got some balls”. So whenever you get that shot across the bow as I like to call it, she’s already interested. She’s just trying to see if you’re man enough, if you’ll man up, or run away. That’s when I’ll start to play. But you still have to be playful, you still have to control your state, and if you get pissed off or offensive, you’ve lost the frame.
What if someone poison’s the frame?
Michael Frank: What do you do if someone poisons the frame? Let’s say you’re out at a bar or a club and someone tries to dominate you and tries to paint themselves as the Alpha and you as the Beta. How would you reframe that?
David Snyder: Well let’s say you’re talking to some girls, and some guy comes into the group and tries to be the Alpha and you as the Beta, I’d look at him and say:
“Does that approach ever actually work for you?”
Instead of getting defensive like you can’t come into my set, I’ll just ask, “does that actually work?” It’s like all of a sudden he’s doing something pathetic. I don’t get angry. I don’t get upset. I just question his technique.
Michael Frank: What if he’s beat you to the punch though? For example, what if you enter a set of girls and he immediately tries to cockblock you and says: “Oh this guy looks creepy. I think this guy is a creep”. Because that can immediately poison the perception of you before you’ve even had a chance to say anything.
David Snyder: “You know creepy people often say that”. This is called apply to self. It’s also a reframe. And all of a sudden, boom, he just got burned out. He just got hoisted on his own petard.
NLP for public speaking
Michael Frank: Let’s finish this interview on public speaking. You’re a great speaker. What advice do you have for the average person to lift their public speaking game?
Love your audience
David Snyder: Love your audience. Care more about your audience getting value than whether you look stupid or not. Believe me, your audience will sense it and they will bond with you.
I screw up all the time on webinars and on stage, but because I love my audience, my audience feels that connection, what most presenters would think of as glaring stage mistakes or things that would undermine your credibility become endearing to your audience, it humanizes you to them, while at the same time keeping you at an elevated status level.
So the fastest hack for everything else I could teach you, the fastest hack is to love your audience, and everything else will take care of itself. As weird as that sounds, you’re going to find that the vast majority of things that people rely on techniques for, are actually much easier to access if you’re just in the right state. That’s why it’s the first piece of everything we teach. If your state is right, it’s hard to get anything wrong.
Dealing with nerves
Michael Frank: What do you do to reduce nerves and get yourself into a positive state?
David Snyder: Well, first of all, don’t try to reduce the nerves. The nerves are there to tell you that something cool is about to happen. Your body is generating energy for you to use. Now, take that energy and direct it to your audience. Direct it to your presentation. Don’t sit there and try and battle it, acknowledged that you’re excited, acknowledged that your system is going into what some people might perceive of as fight or flight.
The meaning you assign to those symptoms will dramatically change how it expresses itself. Technically, I get terrified every time I go out on stage. It doesn’t go away. It just becomes a natural part of the process. And when you realize it’s a natural part of the process, you just know to do the next step.
One of the things I recommend you do is Power Poses. The superman pose. The wonder woman pose. The work by Amy Cuddy. There are certain physiologies that you can attain that will generate a state break. The first one is we call the victory pose, it’s like the Rocky statue pose.
What researcher Amy Cuddy discovered in her research was that if you held these poses for as little as two minutes, reliably and consistently your psychoemotional state would change so much so that would actually show up in your bloodstream. You would actually get up to a 20 percent bump in your testosterone and a corresponding drop in cortisol.
…and if women say: “Well I don’t want more testosterone”. Yes you do. Testosterone is the achievement hormone. It’s the hormone that makes you more willing to take chances, to be more assertive, to be more aggressive, to say what’s on your mind, to withstand confrontation, there’s no place where that is not a useful thing.
Simultaneously, it drops your cortisol level, which is your stress hormone, so you become more assertive, more dominant, more charismatic, and more relaxed at the same time.
So power posing is a great way to break whatever state you’re in and then go do your thing.
Your physiology controls your psychology. Remember that everything human beings do is in response to a feeling. A feeling they either want more of, or a feeling they want less of. If all human behavior begins and ends with a feeling, why not start there? Generate the feeling and your body will automatically assume the right posture. It’ll assume the right breathing pattern, the tonality will be right.
How to get the audiences attention
Michael Frank: Once you’re in the right state, you’ve done your power poses, you know your material, you’re excited to present it, are there any other kind of advanced public speaking tips that the average person may not know that you would recommend?
David Snyder: There’s lots of them. I don’t know where to begin. We need to narrow it down. Gimme a more specific context.
Michael Frank: Well, let’s say that you were doing your first seminars, say in personal development for example. How would you then go about influencing and persuading an audience, those either relatively familiar with your work or those unfamiliar?
David Snyder: The first thing you want to do is get their attention by talking about the things that are most important to them. If you’re speaking on a specific topic, there are certain generalizations that you can make.
My particular approach to presenting and public speaking is to be as interactive as humanly possible, as early on as possible. So I’m going to get them doing things together that changes them from an individual mind to a group mind, which is going to happen anyway, I change that group of individuals into one person, and then I connect with that one person, but I get them all doing the same things. It’s going to happen anyway, but I do it in a way that establishes commonality.
I might say:
“How many people here have something they want more of?”
“How many people here have something they would like to get rid of?”
Get their hands going up. Get them acknowledging it.
Ask them what they want to learn
A lot of times with smaller groups, you can’t do this with larger groups, but for smaller groups, a lot of times before the start of the event actually starts, I’ll actually sit in front of the room and I’ll ask people:
“What do you want to learn tonight?”
And I’ll ask them and I’ll echo and repeat it back to them.
“What do you wanna learn tonight?”
And I’ll write their answers on the board.
Just that level of human interaction lets you target your presentation, even though it’s a set presentation, it lets you start to customize it. You get a feel for that audience. And when you connect with an audience that way, there’s an intimacy that’s developed that’s very compelling and you have to be careful with that aspect because you can get away from you really quick, especially if there’s a big group.
Position yourself and your audience
You also always want to position:
- The audience
- Your talk
- Your offer
One of the things I want to do with upfront is position:
- Who I am
- Who the audience is
“This talk is for you if…”
- You’ve ever wanted to get more dates…
- You’ve ever been passed over for a job interview that you thought you were a shoe in for…
- The love of your life ran off with your best friend…
Whatever it is.
But you want to globalize it. You don’t want to get so specific that it can disqualify people. You want to get general enough that the vast majority of people in your audience can relate and plug their own experience into what you’re saying.
That causes people to say, “Oh, he understands”. They fill in all their own details and assume you know them too. That’s the best part. These are what we call empty words or hollow words. Not that they’re empty in terms of meaning, but in that they’re like clear glass vessels that take on the color of whatever fluid you put them in. A person will fill in their own meaning to those words and act like you knew it all along.
So we want to start by entering their world, positioning the talk, we talk about who we are, and we need to create connection and vulnerability.
We do that by talking about a personal experience that is similar to theirs, analogous to theirs, that led me to be there and why I’m qualified to stand up in front of you. I had this problem and this is what I did and what you’re gonna learn today. Today we’re going to talk about X and Y and Z. Then I’m going to show you how to take it further.
Give people an experience
You can’t just talk about it either, you’ve got to get them up, you got to get them doing things, interacting.
It makes our lectures and our approaches much more intimate and I think that’s something that people are missing. Because of social media, YouTube, and all of these different forms of virtual connection, we have an illusion of intimacy, but we don’t really have true intimacy. And that’s something that only interacting with somebody can do.
I see all of my students as family, even if I’ve never met them before, and I try to convey that as much as I can. And I think if you come from that place first, regardless of your level of technical ability in terms of public speaking, you will connect with your audience and they will be transported by whatever words you speak, and it will be very, very difficult to say the wrong thing.
So start with your state. Then it goes to technique. Get the people connected with you. Find those affinity points, those moments of sameness. Step into their world. Talk about those experiences. Tell them about your version of their experience and what you did to change it and how you’re going to help them get there too, and be as interactive as humanly possible. Get them doing things. Affirming.
“How many people have ever had this?”
“How many people have ever had that?”
Crack a joke every now and then.
Entertain, don’t just educate
I’m opening them up in a fun, playful way because you’ve got to get them playful. If you just try to educate without entertaining.
Who makes more money: entertainers or educators?
You have to have a mix. You can be lighter on the education if you’re entertaining. If you’re too heavy on the education, people will get overwhelmed.
So if you don’t have the gift of the gab or the outrageousness that some of us have, then your education must be punctuated by breakouts, drills, things that break up and get them interacting. Otherwise they go into a trance, unless you’re a really dynamic presenter.
So if I’m just doing a a service delivery where I’m teaching things, then it’s going to be a lot of drills, a lot of breakouts, things like that. If I’m in a what we call a signature talk where I’m presenting good information, but there’s an offer connected to it, then I’m going to elicit interaction, not so much through drills, but through getting people to raise their hands:
“How many of you have ever done this?”
“How many of you have ever done that?”
Those kinds of things, but it’s all coming from a place of loving them and wanting to be connected to them and understand them and giving them what they came for.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
David Snyder is recognized as one of the worlds leading experts on Specialized Human Influence Technologies and Has Personally Trained members of the Legal Profession, Law Enforcement, Medical, Entertainment, Martial Artists and Hypnosis communities, teaching advanced mind/body technologies for peak performance and persuasion, rapid healing, relationships advanced social dynamics, covert influence techniques and more.
A Licensed and Certified Hypnosis Trainer, Master Practitioner and Trainer In Neuro Linguistic Programming and the Society of Experiential Trance; David tirelessly works to develop training and educational opportunities designed to powerfully raise the skill level and professional status of hypnotists all over the world.