Different types of hypnotic voice
There are many different types of voice out there, loud and soft voices, fast and slow voices, high pitched and deep voices, confident and un-confident voices… In the same way, there are many ‘hypnotic voices’ out there. Some are different to what you might expect a hypnotic voice to sound like, but that’s not to say that the voice in question is not effective at delivering hypnotic suggestions. Many people have preferences for their favourite type of hypnotic voice and the way your voice sounds can influence the rapport that you have with your clients. For example, if you hate fast, nasal-sounding voices, you’d probably prefer to see a hypnotherapist who has a slow, deep, rich voice, as you’d likely be able to connect to it better. However, this is entirely subjective. Some people are less focused on the type of voice than by what is being said, whereas for others a hypnotic voice can make or break the hypnotherapy session.
The hypnotic voice and accents
Whilst on the topic of different voice-types, it’s also worth taking into account that some people have accents, which on the face of it may seem to be unhelpful if the people you’re hypnotising do not have the same accent. However, it can actually work in your favour. Think about it, if you’re in a conversation with someone who has an accent, you generally have to listen to them even more intently in order to focus on what’s being said, right? I love being hypnotised by people with different accents, because I have to really pay attention. The same will be true of hypnotherapy clients. So if you have an accent, embrace it!
Hypnotherapy vs. stage hypnosis
This blog is geared more towards a hypnotherapist’s hypnotic voice. The reason is, during a hypnotherapy session, the hypnotic voice is used throughout the entire hypnosis process. In contrast, with stage hypnosis (and street hypnosis), the hypnotic voice is often only used during the induction and deepening process. After that, a stage hypnotist will often use a more energetic and emotive voice, to bring to life the suggestions that are being delivered during the performance.
Components of a good hypnotic voice
Voices are made up of various different components, but what qualities should a good hypnotic voice have? Well, here are some of the key factors when developing your own hypnotic voice:
Hypnotic voices do not need to be slow! However, a slow voice can often be relaxing and easier to understand, this is why a slower pace can be beneficial for hypnotherapists, but remember, it’s not mandatory. Also, it is good to have flexibility with the speed in which you talk, because you can then ensure you have time to fit everything into your hypnotherapy sessions without overrunning or missing anything out!
Now, this one is much more important than speed of delivery. When performing hypnosis, you must ensure that when you talk, you are able to be understood. It would be pretty pointless doing a hypnotherapy session with a client if they couldn’t actually understand what you were saying! Also, if someone can only hear and understand some of your suggestions, those suggestions may take on a different meaning, and could even end up being dangerous or harmful!
Convery your hypnotic intention
It helps if you can convey your ‘intention’ using your voice. Whether it’s hypnotic intention or your intention to help someone, making your voice congruent with your message works wonders and your client will pick it up on a subconscious level. So, even on days where you aren’t 100% feeling it, you need to make sure that your voice conveys the message that your client needs to hear!
Generally, ‘commands’ are given with a downwards inflection, whereas questions have an upwards inflection. Aim to keep your inflection either level (think more monotonous) or with a downwards inflection, rather than having upwards inflections that may make you sound unsure or like you’re questioning what you’re saying, unless you are asking questions that is! Being in control of your vocal pitch can add to the overall intention and clarity of your message.
Your natural voice is your voice, so you’re going to have to kind of play to your strengths with how your voice actually sounds. That said, there’s nothing stopping you from learning how to develop the richness of your voice. A voice coach may help, if you feel this is an area of concern. If your hypnotic voice ends up sounding drastically different from your regular speaking voice, it is a good idea to transition into your hypnotic voice gradually at the start of the hypnosis process, otherwise it can seem strange and even funny to a client, which isn’t exactly what you want when you’re hypnotising them!
Breathing is an integral part of your hypnotic voice. Your breath needs to be able to support what you’re saying, so ensuring that you can breathe sufficiently well is important. If you struggle breathing, exercise and dietary changes may help. If you struggle with not having enough breath, there are exercises you can do to expand your lung capacity and exert control over the amount of breath you use whilst talking (check out Google for more of these).
As a hypnotherapist, you don’t need to be talking all the time! Sometimes pausing is very helpful, especially when you’re giving the client a lot to think about. If you ask someone to visualise a scene, then you carry on talking about something different, they haven’t necessarily had enough time to engage with the scene you suggested before. So, allow yourself time to pause. It’s also a great opportunity for you to arrange your thoughts so you know what to say next.
Ensure that your volume reflects the environment you’re in. Don’t be too loud or too quiet. You need to be heard, but you don’t want to make someone cringe by shouting relaxing suggestions at them! It can be a good idea to check with the client just before you start to hypnotise them, that they can hear you OK. If they can’t, then you have the option to alter the volume of your voice to ensure that you are fully heard and understood!
Above all, your voice must convey confidence in yourself and what you’re saying. People can pick up on confidence (or the lack of it) in the way a voice sounds. So, strive to be confident. Mean what you say. Be sure of yourself. Commit to what you’re saying. Omit ‘uh’s’ and ‘um’s’ from your vocabulary, and ensure that your voice sounds as confident as it possibly can!
Your hypnotic voice is a powerful tool
Whatever your voice sounds like, it can likely be used effectively for hypnosis purposes. Some people need to make very few changes to their natural voice to make it more hypnotic, others will need to evaluate the points mentioned above, modify those elements, and then practice. Not everyone naturally has a hypnotic sounding voice, but most people are able to learn to develop one. As a hypnotist or hypnotherapist, it is also a very good idea to take care of your voice, because your voice is your tool. Without a voice, you’re not going to be doing any hypnosis. So, before a hypnosis session, warm up your voice, and do everything you can to avoid voice strain.
Finally, a great way to check whether your voice sounds hypnotic and confident, is to record yourself speaking and listen back to it. Then, if you are doing anything with your voice that you weren’t consciously aware of, you can work to modify it. Though you might not necessarily like hearing the sound of your voice on a recording, it is honestly one of the best ways to develop a fantastic, mesmerising hypnotic voice!