One powerful tool that you can use in your toolkit of persuasion and influence is the embedded command. An embedded command is likely the most popular, easiest to learn, hardest to detect (and therefore one of the most powerful) ways to influence others.
They do take some time to learn, but once you have them down, you’ll notice that you are using them in your everyday speech. When you combine an unconscious skill of embedded commands with a strong win/win intention or outcome, you can be a powerfully unstoppable and charismatic force.
It’s no secret that most people would rather rally around a strong, charismatic leader than step up the plate themselves. Humans are designed to follow on leader for every group of people. Many studies of psychology and sociology have been done that illustrate this simple point. If you’ve every been in a business meeting, you know that most people would happily submit to a powerful, authoritative leader than take responsibility for themselves.
When you develop the use of embedded commands, you will be tapping into peoples deep evolutionarily based need to follow directions, and become incredibly influential. And the great thing is that they are very simple to use and apply.
First, take a short sentence, which is in the imperative form. A short command. Some examples.
Eat sushi. Drink CC Lemon. Watch Television Add water. Buy my product. The structure is the first word is a verb in its basic present tense form. Then you have two or three words after it, that go along with the verb.
Next, you need to say them with the right tonality. Pretend you have your own personal robot. They will do everything you ask, and their feelings won’t get hurt. Say each of the above sentences with a slight downward tonality.
Ok? Ok. Next, take the above small snippets of speech, and put them into a larger sentence. This is where it gets tricky. You’ll need to say the command part a little bit different from the rest of the sentence. But make sure not to linger too long when you say the command, otherwise the people you are talking to will know that something is up. Pause just a little bit before the command, and a little bit afterwards, and then continue on with your sentence as if nothing happened.
This way, even if the person you are speaking with suspects something is up, by continuing on as if nothing happened, they’ll quickly forget their suspicions. Even if they notice something is up, they likely won’t know exactly what it is (other than maybe, you are talking funny, but this rarely happens.)
For example, let say you want to convince your girlfriend to eat sushi. You could try looking at her like Rasputin, and say EAT SUSHI! But she’ll likely think you are a nutcase. Or you could say something like this:
The other day, I was listening to this doctor on a radio talk show. He was discussing a study about people who eat sushi, and how they are healthier. He says that when you eat sushi, you get lots of good monounsaturated fats, and people that eat sushi on a regular basis tend to live longer. Hey, I’m getting kind of hungry by the way; do you want to get something to eat?
I remember when I was a kid; I went to some amusement park. In the amusement park they had this animal show, where they had a dog and a cat do a bunch of tricks. They had a sort of joke trick, where they would pull a kid out of the audience, and the trainer would tell him to whisper an article of clothing in the dog’s ear, and then he would go and get it.
Every time they kid would whisper women’s underwear, and the dog would come back with a bra, and you could hear a woman scream from backstage. They called me up on stage, and sure enough, I chose to whisper in the dog’s ear a woman’s bra. I thought it was my own choice to choose a woman’s bra, but my brother later explained what was up.
He would describe all the things I could choose, but he always used embedded commands (although at the time I had no idea what they were) when he mentioned to “choose a woman’s bra,” so inevitable, all the kids that went up on stage would choose that. And that was the only thing the dog was trained to go and get from back stage. It was a pretty good way to set up an easy trick.
These are great to use over the phone if you are in sales, or are talking to your girlfriend or boyfriend. They are particularly powerful if you start with a command that is easy to accept, and slowly lead to a more powerful command that you’d like your listener to perform.
Become interested. Get curious. Get excited about this. Want this. Make a decision Get this. Buy this. Do this. Choose now. Be happy. Share with your friends.
Whatever it is you are talking about, if you start slow, and work your way up to a big finish, this can be very powerful. At first you’ll have to think these through before you deliver them, but after a while (with practice) you’ll be able to choose a destination and then automatically give people easy steps to get there by following your commands.
Of course, like any other powerful persuasion techniques, these should be used with caution. The quickest way to make a bad name for yourself is to convince somebody to commit money or emotions to something that isn’t in their best interests. The reasons powerful leaders are so powerful, and that people trust them is because they truly have the people’s interest at heart. You don’t have to look back through history to find reviled, hated and despised dictator that took advantage of their leadership.
When you use these ethically, they can be a lot of fun, and make a lot of people (including yourself) very happy.