The 10 Best NLP Books To Learn More About It (2018 Update)

The following list offers the top 10 NLP books I recommend you read. Once you're done, you will have a VERY solid grasp on the field.

This list contains beginner level material that can serve as an introduction to Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It also contains more advanced material that offers important distinctions to make a serious difference in your business career. 

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4 Tony Robbins NLP Secrets You Shouldn’t Overlook

The Tony Robbins NLP style has introduced more people to Neurolinguistic Programming than any other NLP teacher I can think of.

While many practitioners frequently dismiss him as being no more than a showman, a businessman or a “disco” NLPer, we can still learn much from him. I for one have participated in almost all of his trainings, for reasons I’ll explain in greater details in this article.

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Do as I do, not as I say

Every expert in the world, especially teachers and public speakers, should have that tattooed on their forehead when they step up to give a speech.

Therapists tried to figure out what Milton Erickson was doing for years before Bandler and Grinder came along.

Milton lectured! Milton taught!

People heard it from the horse’s mouth. But for some reason, they didn’t get it.

That’s the way it goes for most areas.

If you listen to someone talk ABOUT it, you’ll seldom get it.

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The Joker’s Self Confidence Formula

The Dark Knight was on TV yesterday in my neck of the woods.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been five years…

Time flies.

Needless to say, the Joker is the main character of that movie. That’s probably the way it ought to be for any superhero action movie.


Some people criticized the Batman movies for that. They said that Batman was a supporting role for the villains.

Well, of course.

Stop and think for a second. What do superheroes do?

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The Most Uncanny Way To Keep A Suicidal Person Alive

How do you keep a suicidal person alive without them even knowing what you’re doing? I’ll tell you in a second.

Dan Brown recently released his latest novel, titled Inferno. It’s been out for a little while. Maybe you’ve read it already. I need a good weekend when I can sit down, tune out the world and just immerse myself in that world.

From what my friends tell me, Dan Brown continues to deliver his highly addictive, cocaine-soaked writing style in this one. History, art, codes, symbols, futuristic science, secret passages, riddles… It’s all there.

Of course, it’s a NY Times bestseller. “Ça va de soi.”

One of the questions I’ve been asking myself is: how these guys pull it off?

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Chris got it. Do you get it?

When I started dailyNLP 6 years ago, I envisioned the day I would receive this email.

dailyNLP came later, but the mission was the exact same.

Well, this day has arrived. And I must celebrate it with you.

Chris has authorized me to share his message with you.

Enter Chris:

Hi Martin,

I want to thank you again for your various NLP sites.

Although I think I’ve read everything at “” before, something clicked today when I re-visited.

It now seems obvious to me that a lot of the confusion about NLP results from associating “work product” from an NLP mapping project with NLP itself.

I posted an analogy on one of your blog entries about how I might use NLP to map out the process necessary to make the same amazing hamburger that a famous chef is known to make. In the end, I have a repeatable process for making that amazing burger. The burger is not NLP. Making the burger is not NLP. NLP was used to map that process. The making of the burger is simply a codified process.

If this is true, then it follows that “The Swish Pattern” and similar techniques also are not NLP, but instead therapy techniques that were famously mapped by NLP. They show up alongside NLP perhaps as a demonstration, creating (for me, at least) a bit of confusion in terms of what NLP is. You explain it very clearly in your “What is NLP” page, but I couldn’t accept it at the time.

This makes things a lot clearer for me unless I’m completely mistaken about this.

On the other hand, it presents a crossroads for me- do I follow the path of learning to map using NLP or do I follow the path of using techniques that were mapped by NLP. Perhaps its not a choice that has to be made.

Thank you for your effort in making NLP accessible to anyone.


Back to Martin:

Well done, Chris! Congratulations!

In his message, Chris refers to a comment he posted on the [masterNLP] website.

You can read his comment here:

It complements nicely the observation he makes in the message.

Bottom line: Chris now gets it.

The real question is: do you?

Because once you understand this distinction, you get wings. Confusion ends. The fog of NLP lifts. And you’re able to do anything you please from that point forward.

You’ve made the distinction between NLP and changework/therapy/coaching.

I desperately hope that you either have reached or will reach the same understanding Chris has.

His journey has only just begun.

Covert Influence Part Deux

Yesterday I just whet your appetite.

Today I want to go a little deeper inside the notion of influence and persuasion.

More specifically, I want you to feel how persuasion actually happens much less in the words that you use than you might think.

You have been persuaded countless times in your life without understanding how it happened.

You also have been persuaded countless times by people who weren’t trained in persuasion.


Pause for a second and make sense out of the last two sentences you just read.

Especially the last one.

“[…] weren’t trained in persuasion.”

They were not trained.

As such, they were not using a technique.

How could they?

However, they used, albeit intuitively, a particular pattern that persuaded you.

This is critically important in understanding modeling in NLP.

You’re not looking for techniques. You’re always looking for patterns.

You always asking: “What just happened here?”

More importantly: “What just happened (naturally) here?”

You want to know what’s going on without people being aware of it, and without people really “intending” it.

Of course, if someone persuaded you without knowing what they were doing, they definitely intended to get compliance from you.

But they probably didn’t intend to use a specific technique to elicit a specific reaction.

What they did was not the product of design.

Keep that in mind. Always.

————- / SIDEBAR / ————-

Getting back to our ducks…

If persuasion doesn’t happen so much in words, where does it happen primarily?

In intonation.

Intonation conveys the emotion that, when in rapport, elicits the right state in which the gateway of influence pops open.

Watch this 3:45 bit by George Carlin.

Between 2:30 and 3:00, pay attention to the intonation he brings into the communication.

Try saying those exact same words with a flat voice.

No effect whatsoever.

The intonation leans the message towards a particular meaning, which in turn elicits a specific state.

Without that intonation, forget the state.

In our next message, more on that.

The Most Covert Kind Of Influence

Every Saturday afternoon, I lay in bed and watch Real Time with Bill Maher.

It’s pretty much a scheduled, religious event.

I tell everyone to forget I exist Saturday afternoon.

Totally focused and dedicated me time. Relax is the order of the moment.

That hour is spent laughing.

Not that I’m a big fan of Bill Maher or that I agree with what he has to say.

But I always find it hilarious to see an intellectual fencing match between smart opponents. Extreme views always welcome.

And that brings me to comedy and how incredible it is as an art.

I’m talking clever, intelligent, crafted comedy.

While I sometimes enjoy “stupid,” I generally prefer the kind of comedy that makes me laugh because of the comedian’s observation/slant of something that we experience every day.

Perception is what it’s all about.

How many different ways can you look at something and then have the balls to say what you’re thinking?

How about taking it even more to the edge?

George Carlin still remains my all-time favorite. He’s the king of the hill and will be tough to unthrone.

Master of the craft. Fine, fine, fine comedy developed and distilled over hours of editing and shaping perception. Then twisting it into a new angle.

Want to know which part of your body is most ticklish?

Your brain.

Ideas and situations can keep you laughing for hours, sometimes days.

And when you’re laughing, you’re engaged. Big time.

It’s the most covert kind of influence you could ever exert.

When you get someone to laugh, they become open.

Everything is then possible.

If you have the bandwidth this week, watch this:

Pure intelligence and design. And craft.

Get better at generating laughter. You’ll be surprised at what happens.

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