The 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. When you listen to some hypnotherapists, what you hear could be 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. Also, some people are less focused on the type of voice than they are by what’s being said, whereas for others a hypnotic voice can ‘make or break’ the therapy session.
Whilst on the topic of different hypnotic 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 tend to have to really pay attention; the same will be true of hypnotherapy clients. So if you have an accent, embrace it!
Components of a good hypnotic voice
Voices are made up of various different components, but what key qualities should a good hypnotic voice have?
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.
Now, this one is much more important than speed of delivery. 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!
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 up on that on a subconscious level.
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 asking questions that is).
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.
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).
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!
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!
As a hypnotist, it’s a 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. Voice strain can be common amongst new hypnotists, so these ways to warm up your voice in this video with Dr Kate:
So, whatever your voice sounds like, it can probably be used effectively for hypnosis purposes, sometimes naturally, other times with evaluation, modification and practice (not everyone naturally has a ‘hypnotic’ sounding voice, but most people are able to learn to develop one). The best way to develop your voice is by recording it and listening back to yourself. By doing this, you can hear what works and what doesn’t.
We hope that this blog on the hypnotic voice has been helpful to you. If you have any more questions about this topic or anything else for that matter, do please get in touch, because we’re always happy to help!
– written by the HypnoTC team