All too often, people use "covert hypnosis" and "covert suggestion" interchangably. That is unfortunate, because there are very important differences between the two.
Fundamentally, Covert Hypnosis involves the hypnotic state - inducing it, managing it, utilizing it, and ending it. Covert suggestions can be used in each of those processes, and within the hypnotic state many of those suggestions can become more effective. The techniques and patterns that rely on the hypnotic state can be less effective or even completely ineffective outside of that state.
Covert Suggestion does not require the hypnotic state, but can be used in conjunction with it. Unlike the techniques and patterns that rely on the hypnotic state, some of these patterns and techniques (such as limited forms of embedded commands, negation, pacing and leading, and the like) can even be used in written form to greater or lesser effect.
That is not to say that Covert Suggestion is in any way inferior to Covert Hypnosis. There is a reason that more than 2/3 of the patterns and techniques often described as Covert Hypnosis are actually Covert Suggestion. They work, and they work well, with or without the hypnotic state. Some require a good working rapport to be effective, but many can simply be slipped into seemingly normal conversations. They often distract the conscious mind while feeding the desired suggestions to the subconscious mind.
Here are a few tips for more effectively learning and using Covert Hypnosis and Covert Suggestion:
Tip # 1
Take a course in conventional hypnosis and concentrate on learning to recognize and manage the hypnotic state. A live class is preferable.
Tip # 2
Get together a group of friends, family members, or fellow students on a regular basis to practice the techniques and "patterns" as you learn them.
Tip # 3
When trying to make a significant change covertly, it is often better to break it into smaller pieces. The subject is far less lately to notice several small shifts than a large personal change.