I often get emails asking me to give some example scripts using suggestion and influence, so I thought I would give you some real magic words!

These words will create a magical effect when you simply say them! Ask your volunteer(s), -I find it best to perform this for small groups at dinner parties- to hold their hands out as described below and then say the words. That’s it, its that simple, I use it as a fun way to start my show, also I get to see who the best people to use as volunteers are!

The Balloon and Heavy book suggestibility test

Instruct your volunteer to place both arms out in front of them not supported by resting their elbows on a chair or table but directly out in front of them. Then have them turn their right hand so it is palm facing downwards and their left hand so that the palm is facing upwards.

Next you instruct them to close their eyes and to imagine tied to the wrist of their right hand is an enormous helium filled balloon. In the palm of their left-hand you have them imagine holding a big heavy leather bound book. In order to engage the volunteer’s imagination to a deeper degree I would suggest adding a few details such as; the size of the balloon or indeed its colour, the colour of the cord tied around it, along with the cover of the large book and other details of its appearance.

Script (magic words)


Underlined Use a falling inflection in tonality

Bold Analogue mark (give more emphasis)

[Square bracket and italic]  Use a second tonality and talk faster

“So as you imagine the book now in your left hand [and really picture it], and the more you picture the details [and as you listen to me] the more real you make in your mind and as you picture it vividly in your ‘minds eye’ and imagine the feel of the cover and the weight of this large, heavy book pushing down and imagine it, feel the weight of the book pushing your hand down, further and further as you begin to imagine the other wrist and the large colourful helium balloon [pulling upwards] tied to the wrist, [rising upwards] a really large amount of helium in that balloon, pulling upwards and upwards and as that arm rises more and more the other arm continues to sink lower and lower [opposite movements] now one goes one way… and the other… the other… now that heavy book pulls downwards, lower the more you think about it and the more you think about it the faster it moves, while the rising hand lifts higher and higher now in a moment I’m going to ask you to open your eyes, not yet and when I do I want you to keep your arms where they are now [and look around the room amazed], open your eyes and look around the room now. Surprising eh?”

Now this is just one of a multitude of ways you can say these kind of words. Learning ‘scripts’ will enable you to perform certain suggestibility tests (like this one, its so easy) and then other suggestion and influence effects, but ultimately the idea is to learn how and why they work so you can talk in that way and become more persuasive when you want to.

So did you notice the presuppositions, embedded commands, types of ambiguities etc?

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