Hypnosis and NLP

The Hypnosis Pre Talk

Consider the Pre-Talk like laying the foundation of a house. Without a good foundation, no matter how strong the framework of the house, the strength of the house is severely compromised and can be subject to weakening with a good push.” – Matt Sison

The pre-talk is one of the most important parts of a clinical hypnosis session. This is an education that we give someone, where we explain to them what hypnosis is, and what it isn’t, in a quick and effective manner. The main purpose of the hypnosis pre talk is to remove fear, and to build expectancy. The media for the most part has demonized hypnosis, and misconceptions thrive around the subject. The pre-talk is how we talk them out of that.

Some of the misconceptions include:

» Loss of consciousness
» Surrendering of the will and losing control
» That hypnosis is a sign of a weak mind
» Revealing secrets in hypnosis
» Getting “stuck” in hypnosis
» Getting addicted to hypnosis as you would to drugs
» Being hypnotized against their will, or
» Doing criminal or antisocial acts

No matter how illogical some of these misconceptions might seem, people may believe them when they come to see you for clinical sessions, which is why it’s important to do a pre-talk.

In addition to removing misconceptions, we also want to build positive expectation and anticipation in their mind of what is going to happen. Have your client feeling great about hypnosis, ready and excited about the changes they are about to go through. When you get people who very much want to be hypnotized, it’s easy to take them there.

I have different lengths of pre-talks. I have a very short one, a short one, a normal-length one, and then I have a very long pre-talk that can take sometimes as long as 30 minutes or more, for clients that I think might need it. Most people however get a 5-10 minute coaching on what hypnosis is, and they go along their way.

Do you have a great pre-talk that you use? Post it in the comments.


6 replies on “The Hypnosis Pre Talk”

Hi Taylor,

First off, I’m loving the new design of the blog. This one really stands out quite well. Secondly, you bring up a really great point with this post. People always ask me why they just don’t get the success they should when attempting to hypnotize someone. After a few probing questions the answer is revealed and it’s usually due to a lack of pre-talk or a very poor one to say the least.

Hypnotists are always looking for the newest techniques or the next great induction and the truth of the matter is that none of this matters without a proper pre-talk. So, just because you may think this part is boring I highly recommend not to skip this section during training. I actually recommend you take some time, refine and practice your pre-talk as it will serve you well during your hypnosis career.

Joshua Houghton

Wonderful ideas, it is very great to help them feel comfortable & your list has really helped me, thank you!


I do a pre-talk always when doing clinical hypnosis (ie in an office setting), and always when doing stage hypnosis, but only sometimes when I do street hypnosis.

The reason is that in street hypnosis you are often catching people who may have somewhere to be, and you don’t have much time to work with. If I think it is necessary then I will still give a quick one (30 seconds to 2 minutes) but nothing longer than that.

I also have a different lengths to my pre talks. Usually clients would ask many or few questions, which gaged the level of information they needed to hear in the pre talk.

Now that I am not seeing clients at the moment, I usually let questions about hypnosis be answered on my website, but when hypnotizing family members or friends that have never experienced hypnosis, I usually give them an almost 30-minute pre talk/discussion.

I found one of the misconceptions about hypnosis very strange, where you mentioned people fear that they would get addicted to hypnosis. I have never encountered anyone with questions like that, but I’ sure, one day, I might.

Great post Taylor.

You are right almost all clients that come to see us have misconceptions of what to expect from hypnosis. If what the feel and expect to happen does not, then they will see it as a negative experience, hence the need for a full pre talk.

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