How to Give Free Hypnosis Demonstrations to Increase Your Business
Marilyn Gordon, CHt, CIIn the early stages of my business, I gave free hypnosis demonstrations every Friday night. I rented a small workshop room, and I advertised the demos in a small classified ad in a local newspaper. The ads read: "Free Hypnosis Demonstration" - and the rest dealt with the time and place we'd be meeting. Sometimes I'd have ten or more people, and sometimes, only one. If there was only one person, it was an opportunity for me to experience "Oneness" (that's how I reframed it!). And the truth is, that no matter how many people came, every demo was an opportunity to increase my business. These demonstrations became a primary tool for educating people about hypnotherapy, and they proved to be invaluable.
The demonstrations, which I later also used as presentations to groups, consisted of several parts:
? Brief talk about hypnosis
? Arm rising and falling test
? Hypnosis demo
? Group induction and guided visualization
? Invitation to our offerings
? Selling tapes and books; giving brochures
Introductions and Talk
This is an opportunity for everyone to say hello, to state their name and a few brief facts about themselves. They might also talk briefly about what interests them about hypnosis.
When it was my turn, I introduced myself and then talked about hypnosis. In this brief talk, here are some possible areas you can cover:
The uses of hypnosis: Here you can talk about the various areas of life that can be helped by hypnosis. You can mention sports hypnosis, in which visualization plays an important part. You can mention medical hypnosis, for pre- and post-surgery, for various illnesses, for prevention. Then, hypnosis for inner healing that looks at the deeper aspects of life experience, such as handling anger and fear and grief, childhood issues and traumas. Hypnosis is also used to assist in business and career, and here visualization and stress management play a significant role. There is forensic hypnosis for legal issues. You can mention the Chowchilla kidnapping case, in which children were abducted from their school bus, and in which the driver of the bus was hypnotized to remember the license plate number of the kidnapper, and the children were also relaxed to reduce the levels of their stress. You can talk about hypnosis as a tool for spiritual development, as it opens up and reveals the highest dimensions within. There are many more ways in which hypnotherapy can be expressed, and you can choose some from your own experience. Remember not to go on too long, as you have a lot more to do in this presentation.
Trance and what it is: You may have your own way of describing this. You may want to call it a relaxed, focused, altered level of consciousness. You can mention here that various cultures regularly use varying levels of trance. Hindus, Native Americans and others use chanting and drumming. Sufi Dervishes twirl. Americans often use television. If you wave your hand in front of most twelve-year olds, you'll notice that there may not even be any blinking of the eyes. We use trance in hypnotherapy to relax people enough to allow them to reach the deep inner material inside and to, in many cases, make them more open to suggestion.
The importance of the power of suggestion: Not all the work we do in hypnotherapy is about suggestion, but some of it works with this natural quality that is a part of our lives. Here you can do a brief demonstration. You imagine that you have a lemon in your hands, and as you pretend to pick it up, you say, "I'm going to take this lemon, put it on a plate, and I'm going to cut it in half." This is, of course, pantomimed, and you can tell your audience not to worry, that you won't be getting the juice all over your lap or the table, as the plate is underneath. Then you proceed to imagine yourself sucking on the lemon, making appropriate puckering faces, experiencing the tart, sour juices. Then you might ask them how many of them salivated. Most of them do, and this, you can tell them, is the power of suggestion.
Arm Rising and Falling Test
Next, you can tell them that you'd like to do an experiment with them. You may already know this test, as it is a classic in the annals of hypnosis and is included in most courses. It involves having them close their eyes and putting their arms straight out in front of them. They then imagine that there is a heavy weight attached to a cord on their right wrist, and this weight is pulling their arm down. It is "verrry, verry heavy." Then a phone book is placed on top of their right arm, making it even heavier. Next, on the other side, cords are attached to their left wrist, and a helium-filled balloon is floating their arm up in the air, as it becomes "verry, verry light." There may even be a bird helping their arm to float upward. You can go back and forth several times, intensifying the experience, and then you can ask them to notice where their arms are. This is good because it gives you a good idea of which person might be a good subject for the demonstrational portion of your program. It also helps some people see the potentials of their inner powers.
You may want to ask for someone to come up to the front, someone who has an easy time with deep relaxation and who'd like to do a gentle demonstration. This, along with the previous exercise, will give you a good idea of an appropriate person. You can tell them that it's not a stage show and that it's very safe. You first create rapport with eye contact and verbal greetings. You then do an induction. Do your best to do an induction that is both rapid and deep. We use a form of rapid induction (which you can read about in Extraordinary Healing). After the induction, we do several processes:
Arm Catalepsy: This consists of extending the person's arm and suggesting that it won't bend. Then you can do Finger Catalepsy. This is about lacing the fingers together and having the person tug on them the more they tug, the tighter they lock together. Use the ending of this and the previous process to deepen the hypnosis. "Now just let your hand relax, and go more deeply." Then you can have the person smell an imaginary flower or find something very funny. Keep things positive and light.
The last demo you can do in the program is called "A Happy Day in Childhood." This is a form of regression that takes the person to a happy day and vivifies it, exploring what's happening, who's there, what this feeling of happiness is like, and whatever else may be going on. You may also want to have the person become the child and feel the experience vividly. Then you can anchor in the happiness, asking the person to fill up with it from head to toe, and asking for a word that might symbolize this feeling. You suggest that whenever they put their thumb together with their index finger and say this word, they will be able to re-experience this happiness. You then bring the person back and let him or her return to the audience.
Group Deep Relaxation
You can then ask the audience if they'd like to go into deep relaxation or hypnosis also, and they will be very happy to do this by now. I used a ten-minute guided visualization tape that I made. It has a relaxing induction and various images, such as swinging in a hammock and more. I used a tape rather than did a "live" version for a very good reason. When they were finished, I told them that if they liked that relaxation, they could listen to it every day - and I just happened to have some copies of it that they could purchase. These "back of the room" sales are very important in any presentation that you do.
A Word From Our Sponsor
I told them that now was the time for a brief word from "our sponsor" and that they could have private sessions with me. I described what areas of their lives they might want to bring to a session. I told them how long the sessions were and what they cost. I told them they could call for an appointment, and I gave them cards and brochures. I told them about workshops, and I sold a few other tapes and booklets. In other words, I invited them to take part in a wonderful process of healing.
To this day, I still have contact with some of the people who came to these demonstrations. The demos proved to be of great value. I presented them to other groups that had speakers at their meetings, and I nurtured my business this way. The hypnosis demonstrations are not stage shows or talks. They're experiences, and they provide a good way for you to make important connections in your work.
Marilyn Gordon, CHt, CI