I got in to the world of magic over 20 years ago, I was attracted to the unexplainable with curiosity and skepticism, I have always been the kind of person who will go to extreme lengths to find an answer, and for me magic had lots of things that needed answering.
My journey in to this world of secrets and apparent wizardish (if that is even a word) abilities was fascinating, the more I explored, the more I discovered what lengths magicians will go to in order to fool an audience, the constant search for the miracle-performing-prop, or developing a routine with so many layers of deception, it makes it impossible to deconstruct and work out the solution.
Magicians will spend an obscene amount of money on training videos to learn card tricks, or how to cut a rope in half and magically restore it; they will watch promo trailers for the hot new magic tricks, where members of the public will be screaming in astonishment and running down the street, the magician eagerly places their order and a few days later a package arrives in the mail containing some weird gismo that will help achieve the impossible, and to honest the gismo is normally very disappointing and lacking the advertised magical power.
If you are ever fortunate enough to find yourself in the home of a magician sneak a peek in their cupboard of tricks, it is like looking into Pandora’s box, you will find plastic body parts, sponge balls, medieval looking goblets, rope, blindfolds and handcuffs; you would be forgiven for thinking that this person might be involved in some kinky after hours activity.
It is within this passion for the impossible and the desire to fool that most magicians make their biggest mistake....
They choose tricks for themselves and not the viewer.
Magicians get so wrapped up in the methodology or fancy prop that they don’t take a step back and think, ‘will the audience be engaged and enjoy watching this?’
Magicians fall in to the trap of thinking that because a technique is so clever the audience will have to love it. The audience doesn’t care which method is being used or what the gizmo does, all they care about is are they engaged and enjoying themselves.
The worlds greatest magicians will take the most simple of tricks and have an entire theatre captivated, they do this by thinking about the audience experience first.
As communicators we can learn a valuable lesson from my Harry Potter friends; to be effective we must deliver content based on the listeners experience and avoid the temptation of including material to serve our own ego.
You might be a data nerd and want to recite every stat,
You might be a slide junkie and feel every point needs to be on screen accompanied by a fancy animation,
Maybe you are someone who gets so wrapped up in the story you end up boring people to sleep.
My friend, please remember.... your audience doesn't care as much as you do, think carefully about how and what you share with the audience.
Thanks for reading I am off to organise my plastic body parts and buff my handcuffs ready for tonight’s soirée.
Anthony Laye - Take Action, Create Your Story
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