What I Hated About My TEDx Talk

“Don’t teach them anything.  Just hypnotize them.”

This was the message I got from the very worthy committee of volunteers who were organizing this year’s TEDx event.  But wait a second… I thought TED is all about “ideas worth spreading.”  I had spent three months developing the idea I had proposed—the idea that they accepted—and now I was being asked to NOT teach my idea.

There I was, with less than three weeks to go before my big debut, and they were telling me to change what I had worked on for three months.  I responded by doing what I know how to do: I took the lemons and made lemonade.  Actually, I scrapped everything I had prepared, completely cleared the board, and started from scratch.  I worked over night, and by dawn I had the whole thing sketched out entirely.  The music that you hear in the video is what I created that night using a synthesizer and drum sequencer.  All I needed at that point was refinement, and I used all of the remaining days and weeks to accomplish that.

It’s not that I hate being told what to do (maybe there’s a little of that); it’s that my idea is original, it’s worth spreading, and I really wanted to take it out for a spin and show it off to the world.  My idea is something that other hypnotists missed.  According to every professional hypnotist and entertainer I consulted, no one has done this before.  Let’s face it: I wanted to be impressive.  That is always the case, and I have no one to blame other than my own ego.

The thing that bothered me the most—and I acknowledged this immediately—is that I was unable to convince the committee that my idea is compelling just as I presented it.  My idea has complexity and is not for an average audience.  I would need to begin with simple information that is easy to grasp and then take them on a journey of thought, then circle back to the entirely familiar experience of listening to music and then demonstrate WHY music is hypnotic.  I wanted to teach my Idea Worth Spreading.

Therein lies the crux of my problem.  Most people in the world don’t understand Hypnosis and are not willing to sit through an explanation.  What most people are fascinated by are their own, preconceived notions, and they have a hard time reconciling new information with their ingrained ideas about “making” people do outlandish things.  People prefer to have the razzle-dazzle, instantly impressive, just-make-me-bark-like-a-chicken, laughing hypnosis.

I don’t know why I thought it would be different when I proposed my Idea Worth Spreading to a highly intelligent group of TED people.  Surely they would want to peek under the hood of Hypnosis to see how it works.  They are so sharp and so discerning, I thought I had finally found my audience.  Not.

The real problem is that humans are extremely limited in the way we understand things, and we become more limited as a result of more education and experience.  We get locked into seeing the world as we think it is, and less likely to see the world in an unlimited way, full of possibilities, which it truly is.  Hypnosis and magic and deception are fascinating, and we get fooled into thinking that the surface effects are the most interesting thing.  They’re not.  The interesting thing is the way the mind works—filtering, deciphering, and creating.  The most interesting thing is the way you create the world every day in your mind, and then you walk around thinking that what’s out there is the same thing you created in your mind.  The funny part is that you walk around every day without a thought of appreciation for the amazing structure and potential of your own brain.

The bottom line for me, and the thing that took almost a year for me to get clear about, is that I’m a scholar.  I won’t be happy as an entertainer who does nothing else in terms of work and energy.  I want to uncover as many secrets as I can, practice with them, and teach what I know.

I also learned that with my TEDx talk, I compromised my integrity.  I was so eager to get on that stage that I went along with their requests and I didn’t hold out for what would have been really great and revolutionary.  I failed in my attempt to explain my idea which is way more fascinating and entertaining than simple group hypnosis—and demonstrating the effects of hypnosis on a group is very, very simple. 

Oh, one more thing: I am entirely grateful to have appeared on that stage.  Everyone involved was wonderful, friendly, and supportive and it was a terrific experience.  And I now have my first TEDx talk under my belt.  I didn’t present what I set out to do, but I am very pleased with the result.

It’s on video, right here on YouTube:



On May 10 I’ll be on stage at the Two River Theater as a featured speaker in TEDx Navesink.  I’m very excited to be bringing a new idea worth spreading:  Music is Hypnotic.


Since I first got the idea a few years ago, I’ve been experimenting with compositions and arrangements and instrumentation, and crafting some new hypnotic verbal suggestions.  It’s a bit like songwriting, but with a different goal.  My music and “lyrics” are designed to facilitate trance.  The music is designed using principles of Hypnosis and the Power of Suggestion.  My exploration of this subject has been fascinating, and well, mesmerizing.  Each day in the studio passes quickly, with little effort and my concentration and focus have increased as a result of playing and listening and experiencing this new genre that I call Hyp+Note=Therapy.


I’ve been a musician most of my Life, and a hypnotist for years, now I get to combine the two.  As I began working on this project, I asked some prominent hypnotists if they had ever heard of such a thing.  According to what they told me, this is an original idea and has never been done before.


TEDx Navesink is a top-notch organization, and the team is providing the best of everything, including the technology and venue.  I am so pleased and impressed with everyone I’ve been working with over the past few months—there has been dedication at every level.  These people are among the brightest collaborators I’ve ever worked with in my career.


See you there?  I sure hope so!  If you weren’t able to score a ticket earlier, not to worry, I will keep you posted when the video appears later this year on www.TEDxNavesink.com.  You can also find this outstanding entity on Facebook, just click here.


What I Love About Being An Inspirationist

I have learned—and I have proven—that whatever the conscious mind thinks about just before sleep, is repeated all night long in the subconscious mind. Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. I teach my clients how to do it for themselves, for the best success they can have.

I first became interested in hypnotism as a child, thinking that the most valuable use for it would be to get people to do whatever I want them to do.  That seems to be a very appealing notion for a youngster—to have such power!

Later, as a teenager, I wanted to use it for myself in order to overcome shyness and become a fabulous success.

Some years after that, and after a few bumps in the road, I finally settled down to study Hypnotism and practice it as much as possible and really learn it for myself. The learning began when I was able to let go of wanting any material gain from hypnotism. Hypnotism is a fascinating natural gift that anyone can have.

Now that I am fully established in my practice, with much experience and strong ties to the community, I find that my self-hypnosis is stronger than ever, and it translates to the work I do with clients.

This year I had to get really honest with myself. I had gotten so busy in my practice that my personal habits were slipping. I do a lot of business networking—really, a lot of networking!—and everywhere I went there was another buffet, dessert, a bagel and some cookies. I put on about 20 pounds without noticing much, and I stopped working out.

Of course, there were many indications that my condition was changing, because I listen to my body.

At some point I realized that I stopped practicing the principles that I preach. No one is going to want to hire a fat hypnotist. And if I’m not willing to do the work to improve my Life, how could I ask anyone else to do it?  No. If I am to be a true Inspirationist, I must live the principles and have them alive in my Life.

These days I am practicing self-hypnosis every night, right before sleep. I have learned—and I have proven—that whatever the conscious mind thinks about just before sleep, is repeated all night long in the subconscious mind.  Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. I teach my clients how to do it for themselves, for the best success they can have.

I make sure that my learning and effort to improve myself has the most altruistic goal: to be of service.

So, how does altruism work for a businessman who is a professional hypnotist? Simple. The clients I serve must pay, because they must give something in return for the value they receive. That is true for everything in Life. To get love one must show love. To earn money, one must sell something of value. To get anything, there must be effort, willingness to trade—a transaction of some kind.

My time and effort have great value because of the effort I continue to expend to improve myself, my knowledge, and my expertise. 

I charge for my services because I am willing to apply every bit of knowledge and effort to every client who sees me.  I am working for them, I love what I do, and I am always eager to help them get what they need.  My goal, always, is to teach them how to use Hypnotism for themselves.  Once you receive the great gift of Hypnotism, you can never lose it or forget it, and no one can take it from you.

I have expanded my business to include group hypnosis sessions and workshops that I provide to the general public, and I’m thrilled to say that this foray into the community has been very well received! 

The next workshop will be held on December 15 in Red Bank, NJ, and I would love to see you there.