Neuro-Linguistic Programming: A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis of Motivational Speeches


NLP strategies, persuasion strategies, neuro-linguistic programming


Persuasion is a symbolic process in which speakers try to convince people to change their attitudes or beliefs. It has been studied at the psychological and philosophical level in different times of history as it prevails in every domain of life. Motivational speeches are an emerging genre in the domain of persuasion that needs to be explored and investigated. The present study used Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) approach as a framework for the exploration of persuasion strategies in motivational speeches put forward by Bandler and Grinder (1975). They gave a set of patterns to guide people for effective communication in their daily lives or public speaking. This research attempted to examine the motivational speeches of Anthony Robbins keeping in mind NLP strategies. The recurrent patterns employed by the speaker were identified using Ant Conc. The results of the study showed that the most frequent patterns include cause and effect, universal quantifiers, nominalizations, tag questions, auditory, kinesthetic, and auditory-digital predicates and story-telling techniques. The speaker tried to convince his audience by logical as well as emotional appeal created through these patterns. He focused more on how the audience  “feel” and “think” at the abstract level. After studying the results, it is stated that persuasive messages are not confined to any specific strategy providing logos, pathos or ethos – it is always an inclusive idea. A persuasive message is always a combination of rationale and narrative, an integrated perspective regardless of any dualistic approach. The data used in this research is limited, however, the research provides a methodological basis for further studies which can add more motivation speeches and a number of speakers to compare and contrast their speeches from the perspective of NLP strategies and their impact on the audience



How to Cite

Neuro-Linguistic Programming: A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis of Motivational Speeches. Corporum [Internet]. 2022Sep.6 [cited 2023Jun.5];4(1):45-59. Available from: