(Guest blogger: Michael Raugh)
Friday night at the annual NGH convention is always show night. Three stage hypnotists put on shows for the entertainment of the attendees and their guests. This year the performers were Tommy Vee, Nadeen the self-styled “Queen of Hypnosis,” and Dan LaRosa. Tommy Vee and Dan LaRosa were both well-known performers that I’d seen before, so my group (myself, Julie, and two of my sons) got tickets for Nadeen, the 8:30 show.
The show was interesting. Nadeen was clearly nervous, as I think anyone would be with people like Dr. Dwight Damon and Jerry Valley in the audience along with some 450 other hypnotists and their guests. Her format was something I’ve never seen done before: a tribute show. Nadeen borrowed routines from several famous stage performers past and present such as the late Ormond McGill, Tom Silver, and Jerry Valley (gutsy with Jerry in the audience), gave a short introduction to each discussing the original hypnotist, and then performed the routines in her own style with a nod to the originator. I won’t say that the performance lived up to the “Queen of Hypnosis” tag but it was certainly one of the more memorable shows I’ve seen lately.
After being up late socializing it was hard to get moving for an 8am session on Saturday, but somehow I managed it. And I was glad, because the session I’d chosen was Communicating Under Pressure by Faith Wood. Faith has a smooth, dynamic style that is easy to listen to and a great sense of humor. The session focused on communication skills when either you or the person you are seeking to communicate with is under emotional pressure. Real-life examples and Faith’s style made this a very pleasant and informative hour — just what I needed to start the day.
Next I moved on to another session I picked because I know, like, and respect the presenter: William Mitchell’s How to Make Posthypnotic Suggestions Stick. William gave lots of practical advice backed up with examples from his practice, including a recorded interview with a smoking cessation client in which she talked about being surprised by the effects of some of the posthypnotic suggestions he’d given her.
After that came a two-hour paid seminar that I’d chosen from Scott McFall called Inductions of the Masters. Scott comes off as something of a renegade and seems to enjoy it that way. His style is to throw out a statement intended to challenge the audience’s beliefs (for example: “People have all kinds of misconceptions about hypnosis. Don’t mess with that — we spent hundreds of years creating them!”) and then back it up with evidence or experiential stories to prove his point. It made for a fun and fascinating two hours, in which Scott called out specific qualities or statements of legendary hypnotists and discussed why they worked so well.
After a lunch break I had two more sessions to attend. Wil Horton’s Inside Secrets of Elite Trainers contained insights into making more memorable, interesting training presentations and was well worth the time to attend.
The highlight of the day, though, was my last session: Hypnotist, Hypnotize Thyself! with Gloria Constantas. I have a lot of admiration for Gloria because she always challenges me to think differently and to really examine what I believe and why. This session took the concepts from her Verbal Impact presentation that I’d attended in 2007 and advanced them a step farther into a discussion of how we as hypnotists can — and should — be helping ourselves through our own self-talk and the use of the basic principles of self-hypnosis. It was a pleasure to be in Gloria’s audience again.
Tonight most of the attendees will be taking part in the formal banquet and awards presentation. Not me; Julie and I are due for some together time. I’ll do a wrap-up installment tomorrow when the conference is over.