There is a powerful set of language patterns that are almost unknown, even to the most persuasive salespeople out there. When you harness the ability to use these patterns conversationally, you will skyrocket your persuasion abilities to levels almost unheard of.
Used incorrectly, these patterns can be horribly manipulative, and can almost force people do knowingly do things against their will, as if they feel they have no choice but to comply. When used incorrectly, you can literally people to imagine that not doing what you want will be more painful, emotionally, that doing what you want, despite how much emotional discomfort it either choice may bring.
Like any tool, the ethics depends on your intentions. With an intention to serve somebody’s needs or help them to achieve more happiness and pleasure, these simple tools can be a powerful delivery method to introduce new ideas that people would otherwise be resistant to.
So what are these powerful tools? They are called linguistic presuppositions. They are a way to phrase a sentence, or a series of sentences to deliver truths to people (or ideas you would like accepted as truth) without any conscious resistance whatsoever.
You likely use these without even knowing it. Unfortunately, when people use these naturally, they come across as manipulative and hurtful, because they are used defensively, and not with much integrity. Quite often we use them to make ourselves feel good, by intentionally putting others at a disadvantage.
What they are is a specific sentence structure that literally forces the listener, or reader to assume certain things being true in order to make sense of the sentence.
For example, if I say, “Yesterday I saw a red car.” You have to assume that cars exist, and that they can be read. The main point of my sentence is to convey the idea of me seeing one yesterday. Simple enough.
But if I say “yesterday, I saw a roklov,” you would likely assume I was telling the truth, and focus on the idea that I did indeed see something called a “roklov,” you wouldn’t likely question the existence of something called a ‘roklov.’ So far so good.
But what if I immediately followed up that sentence by saying “and the interesting thing about roklovs is that they are becoming really popular, and people are starting to discover how quickly they can help you make money.”
Now, take a look at all the implied “truths” in that one-punch:
Â· Something called a “roklov” exists.
Â· I saw one yesterday.
Â· They are becoming really popular.
Â· Many people are getting them.
Â· People use them to make money.
Â· People use them to make money quickly.
In just two sentences, I’ve not only introduced some made up word, but I may have persuaded you to at least become curious about what one is, and how you might be able to use one to make money, just like many other people have been doing.
Now that is a completely made up word. What if I introduce something that you already agree exists?
“Yesterday I saw a jar of lemon extract at the supermarket. I was surprised they still had them, because more and more people are starting to discover that lemon extract is the likely the easiest and quickest way to lose weight.”
So what are the assumptions in these two sentences?
Â· There is something called lemon extract. (Which you have to agree with if you are from planet Earth).
Â· I saw some at the supermarket (see above)
Â· It is a scarce item
Â· That it is scarce is a new phenomenon
Â· It has secret weight losing properties
Â· It is very popular for losing weight
Now, what is your reaction when you read that? You’d likely have a strong desire to at least have a look at the lemon extract next time you went to the supermarket. Or you may Google “lemon extract weight loss”
Now truthfully, I just pulled that example out of the air. But just now I checked, and there are not only sixty thousand results for that search, but there are plenty of advertisers selling information on that. Now how does that make you feel? Maybe even more about getting some lemon extract? (Honestly, this is just a made up example.)
So what is the structure of presuppositions? In the famous groundbreaking book “The Structure Of Magic,” by Bandler and Grinder, they identified twenty-eight specific linguistic structures that be used to covertly delivery information, either helpful or unhelpful.
Let’s look at the structure of the above. We’ll use “truth1” as the thing we want to persuade others.
More and more people are starting to discover that “truth1.”
People are starting to discover that “truth1.”
This is powerful because it implies social proof, or that many people have already discovered what you are trying to persuade your listener, or reader.
You can also use an authority figure instead of social proof:
“Leading scientists have learned that “truth1.”
Now, this sounds like you have solid evidence, but you really don’t. What leading scientists? How did they learn? Did they learn correctly? Who do they lead? How exactly do they know? Has their learnings come through rigorous scientific testing, or were they persuaded in a debate?
Are they professional scientists, or amateur hobbyists?
You could have two or three weekend hacks that are the captains of their respective bowling leads, and could truthfully refer to them as “leading scientists.”
Here’s a real world example of this exact structure was used recently to lead a nation into a war. A war that is still going on:
President George Bush: (State of the Union, 2003)
“The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
Take note of the structure:
“Authority” has learned that “truth1.”
I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that was an honest mistake, or a deliberate manipulation of the facts.
This is just one of the twenty-eight linguistic presuppositions that are being used every day by politicians, manipulators, and sales people.
Of course, you don’t have to use this for evil purposes.
Many leading sociologists are starting to realize that simply by reading posts like this on the Internet, you are vastly improving your resourcefulness. And most scientists agree that by tapping into your resources, you naturally skyrocket your potential to achieve almost anything you want in life. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that simply by acknowledging your own personal power, you open the doors to almost certain achievement and success in your life.
Now get on with it.