Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, or in islands, or in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. There were no princesses or islands in his father’s domain, and no sign of God. The young prince believed his father. One day, the prince ran away from his palace to the next country. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore. “Are those real islands?” asked the young prince. “Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress. “And those strange and troubling creatures?” “They are all genuine and authentic princesses.” “Then God must also exist!” cried the prince. “I am God,” replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow. The young prince returned home as quickly as he could. “So you are back,” said his father, the king. “I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully. The king was unmoved. “Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God, exist.” “I saw them!” “Tell me how God was dressed.” “God was in full evening dress.” “Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?” The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled. “That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.” At this the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress. “My father, the king, has told me who you are,” said the young prince indignantly. “You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.” The man on the shore smiled. “It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father’s kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father’s spell, so you cannot see them.” The prince returned pensively home and when he saw his father he looked him in the eyes. “Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?” The King smiled and rolled back his sleeves. “Yes my son, I am only a magician.” “I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.” “There is no truth beyond magic,” said the king. The prince was full of sadness. He said, “I will kill myself.” The king, by magic, caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the real prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses. “Very well,” he said. “I can bear it.” “You see, my son,” said the king, “you too now begin to be a magician.”
In the late 1960’s my wife was walking along Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill, London dressed in an outfit that could best be described as very colourful, although not untypical for the time. An old lady stopped her and said “My dear, I just wanted to tell you how lovely you look, you are brightening up the street”.She still remembers that compliment almost 40 years on. It shows the power our words have. Think back to an early compliment you were paid and remember how you felt. Then recall an early unfair criticism and the effect that had.
You could say something to someone today that will be a positive memory for them in 40 years time.
Why not take a slight risk and do it?
A woman wrote me asking for therapy … I wrote back and told her I’d see her, why doesn’t she call on the phone? She wrote back, “I’m too ashamed to call on the phone. I don’t think you could stand the sight of me. I don’t think you’d stand hearing what I have to say.” Then she wrote she’d like an appointment but would please give her an appointment well after dark and would I make certain that nobody saw her enter the office, or see her leave. I wrote back that I’d meet her wishes. I was really curious about a patient that fearful of seeing a doctor and so insistent. It took her about six months for her to get up enough courage to come after dark, and very reluctantly she told me her story. She was in college at ASU. She was writing on the blackboard and she passed flatus loudly, and she was so embarrassed she ran out of the room, went to her apartment, locked the door, drew down the blinds, and thereafter ordered her groceries by phone, and had her groceries dropped at a certain place where she could pick them up after dark. And she remained in her apartment six long months with the blinds drawn. I asked her her religion and she said she’d recently been converted to the Catholic faith. I asked her what she knew about passing flatus or breaking wind. She said, “It’s a HORRIBLE, AWFUL thing to do … AND TO DO IT PUBLICLY! Other people hear it. It’s just too awful!!” And she stays in her apartment for six months, ordering her food by phone and picked up after dark. I saw her a few times, always questioning her about her religious faith. And she was really a converted Catholic. People who convert to Catholicism are usually very, very devout. I questioned her extensively about her devotion to the Catholic Church and she avowed herself to be a TRUE Catholic . . . “It’s the only true Christian faith.” Then I asked her, “Who made man?” “God did.” “How did He fashion man?” “After Himself.” “And woman?” “He fashioned her from man’s rib.” “Do you ordinarily expect God to do sloppy work?” She said, “How can you speak so disrespectfully?” I said, “YOU’RE THE ONE that’s disrespectful!!” She said, “I am not.” I said, “I can PROVE you are.” I hauled out my anatomy book, showed her the cross section of the human body at the pelvic level. I said, “You say God fashioned man after His own image. These illustrations show you in detail some of God’s handiwork. I think the rectal sphincter is the most marvelous piece of engineering and I don’t know any human engineer who can fashion a valve that holds solids, liquids and air and can emit downward just air. I think you ought to respect God’s handiwork. And I want you to show some respect for God’s handiwork. I want you to go back to your apartment and bake some beans flavored with garlic and onion. And get into the nude. Beans are called whistle berries in the Navy and I want you to eat plenty of whistle berries… I want you to make LOUD ones, soft ones, BIG ones, small ones. I want you to prance around the apartment admiring God’s handiwork.” She obeyed orders and went back to school after first eating whistle berries.
A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to get rid of them. Still they plagued him.
Finally he wrote to the Department of Agriculture. He enumerated all the things he had tried and closed his letter with the question: “What shall I do now?”
In due course, the reply came: “We suggest you learn to love them.”
The Trainer’s Collection
I have written previously about my admiration for Tad James’ ability to chunk NLP concepts appropriately to match the knowledge and experience of his readers/audience. He achieves the same result in this series of Audio programs which are based on his NLP Trainers Training program.
Tad James is probably the most influential trainer in NLP today apart from the original group of NLP people such as Grinder, Bandler, Dilts, Delozier etc. A search on the Internet for NLP processes will turn up many sites which present a process in the exact way that it is presented in Tad James’ training manuals. Much of this influence can be attributed to the long-term consistency and usefulness of his trainers’ training program, and allowing the trainers from his school to re-use his training materials. Of course, much of his wide-spread influence on thinking in NLP can also be attributed to his selling and marketing skills. He has a good product and he uses all of his knowledge and expertise in NLP and hypnosis to sell it effectively.
In this lengthy audio set, James covers a wide range of highly useful material including use of group trances, choosing demonstration subjects, making demonstrations, marketing of programs, using embedded multiple metaphors to engage the unconscious mind, and much much more. He teaches all of these concepts to both the conscious mind (through well-organized sequence of materials) and to the unconscious mind through trance, embedded suggestions, and embedded metaphors.
The series is recommended for anyone training NLP or thinking of doing so in the future. It is a long long listen that you will probably come back to more than once. It is available from this website.
When talking about hills and valleys,
most people speak of descending into the valley as a negative thing
as in “entering the valley of despair after a mountaintop experience.”
But as I walked down the last hill before I approached my apartment,
I realized that I expended less energy and was cooler that when I was walking at a higher elevation just a few minutes earlier.
I felt refreshed and renewed by my brief valley respite.
And as I got mentally prepared to climb the final hill
I realized that valleys have two types of transition
descending and ascending.
The time spent in the valley determines the nature of the transition into the next phase.
How do you spend your time in the valley?
Do you squander your time of rest?
Do you complain about the slower pace?
Or do you use the time to prepare, reflect, refine, retro fit, and retread?
The valley does not have to be a resting place for victims, it can be a place of preparation of victory.
Will you be ready to ascend?
I was working with my students today to help them develop better presentations and came up with the PRESENT model which incorporates a lot of important NLP ideas and presentation tips in an easy-to-remember mnemonic. Below, I have given a simple initial description of this model. Later, I hope to develop it in more detail and to use it as the basis for helping students and other people to make more effective presentations.
As you practice and carry out the presentation, think of it as you see the audience and room out of your own eyes (first position). Also, think of how your audience perceives you (second position). Finally, imagine that you are standing at the side of the room watching both yourself and the audience (third position). Notice what you learn from each position that can help you to make a better presentation.
Rapport with the audience
Create strong rapport with your audience right from the beginning. Creating rapport with a group can be done in several ways. You could mingle with the group members and do an activity with the group in which you are taking part as a participant. Or if this is not feasible, try to identify the rapport leaders in each section of the audience and mirror/match their behaviour. All groups have natural rapport leaders that other people unconsciously follow. If you can create rapport with these rapport leaders, then the whole audience will come into rapport with you. You can test whether you have created solid rapport by trying to lead the audience in some way. For some example, when you nod your head, do they all nod along with you?
Express in VAK
This is the biggest item in the list. Of course, the words that you use should appeal to people in the audience no matter what their representational system is. So, you can use visual language such as ‘picture’, auditory language such as ‘listen’, and kinesthetic language such as ‘feel’.
You should also consider all representational systems in the non-verbal behaviours of your presentation. For visual, be sure that you are suitably dressed and that you are using clear pictures or graphs or similar. For auditory, talk in a clear loud voice at an appropriate speed. Vary your voice to match and enhance the content of your talk. For Kinesthetic, use gestures to organize the space around your body in ways that match your content. For example, you could anchor concept 1 on your left hand and anchor concept 2 on your right hand. You can also set up spatial anchors in the room to anchor states such as curiosity, agreement, etc.
You may also like to use the charisma pattern (starting in K, moving to A, and then moving to V) which will ensure that you reach all of the audience effectively.
Stories are a great way to liven up a presentation. People are interested in your personal stories and it can be a great way to get their attention right from the beginning. You can use metaphors to support or exemplify the content of your presentation or to induce appropriate states in the audience. You can also use split stories (embedded metaphors) to embed your content within a story or to create a trance state in the listeners if that is appropriate.
As you walk onto the stage, the audience is already watching you. Be sure that you have your eyes up and are watching the audience from the moment they can see you. Then walk confidently out onto the stage, take a pause, look around at the audience, ensure you have their attention, and only then say your initial greeting. Unless you are specifically trying to get another effect by using your eyes, keeping your eyes up throughout the presentation can be the most effective.
Too many presenters read from a script or even from their own slides on the screen. Make sure that you have made simple notes that you can speak from to reproduce your presentation. Practice with these notes until your presentation is perfect. This will make your presentation far more natural and spontaneous, and you will also feel much more confident.
Your notes don’t have to actually be ‘notes’ in the traditional sense. While keywords or a list of phrases might be most appropriate for one presenter, another presenter ‘notes’ could also perhaps mean physical anchors used as memory aides or perhaps visual anchors in the form of pictures, graphs, a mindmap, and so on. One advantage of visual notes is that a lot of complex information or relationships or large amounts of information can be shown more concisely than using words. Try different kinds of notes to learn what is best for you.
Make sure that your presentation fits into the allotted time period by practicing with a stopwatch or timer in advance. If there is a questions and answers section after your presentation, be sure to have included that in your timing.
This is just a brief introduction to the PRESENT model. Feedback is welcome! And here it is again:
Express in VAK
©Copyright by Dr. Brian Cullen 2011
In a television interview the son of the author Maya Angelou was asked “What was it like growing up in your mother’s shadow?” He replied, “That’s funny, I always thought I was growing up in her light”.
Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”
The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”
After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water… Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”
What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘peace of mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.
The Wild Days: NLP 1972-1981
What a fun little book and a great read for anyone who has taken NLP training and wonders where it all came from. McClendon was there right from the beginning days of NLP when Bandler and Grinder were carrying out all that crazy stuff in Santa Cruz. This is the best historical account of that period and although it is relatively brief (about 130 pages), it contains a huge amount of interesting and useful information about the development of the concepts of NLP and the interaction between the developers.
Each chapter takes us forward chronologically from 1972 when it began up to 1981 when Grinder and Bandler went separate ways and NLP broke into numerous strands. McClendon describes the beginnings in Gestalt Therapy, the initial classes and workshops by Bandler at the University of California in Santa Cruz, the beginning of the collaboration with Grinder, and the long crazy party-like workshops that went on through the night usually involving deep trance. From these beginnings, NLP moved onto modelling Virginia Satir’s work in Family Therapy and Milton Erickson’s work in hypnosis. There is much much more here that will be of interest and entertainment value for people involved in NLP today.
This is a short read, presented in simple straightforward prose. I read it from cover to cover in about 90 minutes. The illustrations by the author are rough sketches of various scenes from the history of NLP and they add to the intimate feeling of the text.