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 listener’s 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 "that’s 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.