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5 Tips to use NLP practitioner state elicitation & submodalities

State elicitation

NLP Practitioner training offers many tools and techniques, two of them being state elicitation and submodalities.

The challenge is that there are so many NLP practitioner techniques that one has to always be taught before the other. So as an NLP Trainer I always like to put things together. Here are 5 easy tips you could use.

What is state elicitation?

Intentionally using communication to make someone feel a specific emotional state.  Associating someone into an experience and/or using your voice, your/their body posture etc.

What is are submodalities?

Are fine distinctions or the subsets of the Modalities (Visual , Auditory , Kinesthetic, Olfactory , Gustatory) that are part of each representational system that encode and give meaning to our experiences. Examples are volume (auditory), brightness (visual), breathing rate (kinesthetic.)

Tips NLP practitioner state elicitation & submodalities

Tip 1

When eliciting a state, ask the person to bring the picture they are seeing in their minds eye closer, or make it brighter. Or asking them to turn up the volume of the sounds they hear when they recall or access an experience.

Example: “While you are remembering that event in your life that made you feel confident, I want you to make the sounds louder, and notice that you can easily make that image bigger, brighter, bring it closer.”

Tip 2

Intentionally also eliciting the state using your voice tonality, speed and volume while changing the submodalities of someones experience.

Example: speaking faster, sounding stronger, sounding super confident: “Ok now make that image bigger, brighter, larger. Turn up the volume, make it a little faster.”

Tip 3

Associating someone into an experience you create, and play with the submodalities.

Example: “I want you to hear the sound of the ocean, one moment softer, then louder. And notice you can easily, lower the volume while dimming the image. This allows you to relax even more.”

For the NLP Practitioner

The following two tips will only make sense to an NLP Practitioner:

Tip 4

In doing a SWISH pattern I always like to elicit a state at the same time using my voice, that it sounds like a normal thing to do. So I speak confidently.

Tip 5

In doing an circle of excellence, while you are eliciting states, play around with the submodalities of the circle itself. You can not only ask for the submodalities they see, you can also change them to augment them. This makes the experience even more “excellent.”


Study tool for NLP Practitioners

NLP Practitioner Language & Magic


Instant Influence and Charisma – Paul McKenna


NLP state elicitation

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