Today, I lectured on the Bournemouth University and Royal Society of Medicine Masters degree (MSc) programme Hypnosis in Research, Medicine and Clinical Practice. I presented my research, and spoke on a couple of my areas of expertise. I really enjoyed it and got to lecture in a really incredible building at the university – the Fusion building, looks like this from the outside:

And on the inside, the lecture theatres all have glass walls and look down over wooden walkways and the restaurant beneath:

The balcony areas around each level in front of the seminar rooms and lecture theatres are really cool:

Heck, I even loved the glass lifts that go up through the building:

It cost the University £22m to construct and it is a beautiful architectural delight in my opinion, I loved being in and around it today. I must admit, the main image is an official Bournemouth University picture, and not one I took!

This year, I have lectured in a couple of really wonderful lecture theatres and this was a great experience. It was a year ago that I was asked to do this and today it happened. I mentioned online that it was going to happen, at the time I also mentioned to friends and family that I was going to be meeting a major academic hero of mine, and that I had been invited to lecture at the Royal Society of Medicine. After each of those events, I wrote about the experience and reflected upon what I had learned and how I had developed as a result of the experience – plus as a hypnotherapy teacher who runs this college, it makes sense for me to mention these things as a means of wanting to establish my credibility as a teacher and lecturer.

So this is why I have a peculiar blog title today referring to being “all mouth” which refers to someone talking themselves up a great deal but perhaps not delivering on that talk.

Let me explain why I’m mentioning this today. I read a tweet a couple of weeks back, following Donald Trump’s self-statement that he was a “Very Stable Genius” – someone tweeted that you do not, and should not need to state what you are; how you are speaks volumes. Some people might suggest that anyone needing to assert that they are a “stable genius” might indicate that they are not so, though this is necessarily the truth with everyone who makes claims about who and how they are (Muhammed Ali often asserted he was the best and I agreed with him!) – I think the other behaviours demonstrate the a “very stable genius” is questionable in the eyes of some.

Rich people do not need to state they are rich, they just are rich. Wise people do not tell everyone they are wise, they just are. Famous people do not need to state they are famous. And so on.

And that brings me on to something that I see happen in the hypnotherapy field. Hypnotherapists announcing on forums how many clients they are seeing, and telling other hypnotherapists that they are seeing 40-50 clients a week. Firstly, I am not always convinced that these people are doing so, the number of posts on the groups they make such claims might make some wonder if they genuinely are, but my point is more about why they’d want to say so, who are they impressing? Who do they think is interested? What are they trying to prove?

Similarly, trainers announcing online how much they pay for their facilities, how much they earn or how they are so successful. I don’t understand this. For example, I saw a well-known hypnotherapy trainer of a fairly popular training company making claims about upcoming TV appearances and joint ventures with famous academics that simply never materialised and people seem to have forgotten about. In fact, I spent time with the academic mentioned last Summer and asked him “how did that project go with XXXX?” To which he replied, “who?”

This strikes me as strange. Why spend so much energy just shouting about how great you are, or what you are going to do, and why not just demonstrate it? Ok, announce it when it is happening, be proud of what you are doing, but why make brazen claims and try to sell yourself so strongly if it is not 100% going to happen, or are you just making it up? If so, why? Surely this speaks much more loudly than the online “shouting” and you get measured by such things never materialising.

Three things I set out to do with my career in the last year and that came to fruition and I wrote about afterwards to chart them, and I shared online while they were going on, for example; meeting Professor Irving Kirsch and presenting my research to him (and he’s featuring on my podcast very soon), lecturing at the Royal Society of Medicine (second time coming up next month), and lecturing on Bournemouth University’s MSc programme, which I did today.

One of the things I talk to my students about often, when it comes to elements of their business, when it comes to the way they conceptualise hypnosis, and when it comes to demonstrating who and how they are, is a big ethos of mine and this college…..

Under-sell and over-deliver.

Not the other way around. People overselling themselves and their potential achievements inflate the perceived disappointment when those things do not occur. Raising expectation and then not living up to those expectations destroys credibility.

Undersell, be sober about it, then over-deliver – POW! You make an impact, you develop credibility, you live up to your word, you are walking your talk.

My message today is absolutely a commercial one. Train with me, train with my college. We are not all mouth. We are not just shouting about things that we may do and making out they are happening, we are not selling fantasy. I’ve got the pictures, I’ve got the evidence, we’re doing what say we’re doing. We’re making waves in this field, we are scaling the heights and raising the bar as far as hypnotherapy training is concerned, and tonight I’m going to enjoy my gin and tonic with a sense of (earned, in my opinion) smugness about me, before I get back in the office tomorrow and set about our next projects with humility, professionalism and sobriety.

Back soon.