There is a tremendous lack of leadership today. The primary reason is no one is listening to anyone else. While one person is talking the other is thinking how to rebut. Then they have the audacity to think the other person will listen to them when they have not tried to listen first. Speaking to someone does not mean they listen to you. Because people are sitting in front of you when you speak does not mean they are listening to you or care about what you are saying. If they do not care they simply tune you out.
Magicians have that problem in spades. What does a magician do? They trick you or fool you. But here is the rub, no one likes being fooled. But they love being entertained. If you are fooled, you feel like an idiot. People do not like feeling stupid.
So the magician must learn a how to entertain rather than fool. As an entertainer he must make audience care. They must feel they are not watching a trick but rather they are experiencing something magical. Something that is just for them. The magician knows the audience probably does not believe in magic. Therefore, he must create a world where magic exists and a world the audience wants to explore with him.
How a magician accomplishes this, can be used by leaders, speakers, sales people, and managers. How can a business leader get people to care about what you are doing and listen to your message? Here are 5 tricks magicians use to perform real magic.
1. Listen to make them care. Unlike an actor who is saying lines in a play a magician breaks the 4th wall and interacts with the audience. He is listening for reactions. Does he need to speed up or slow down? What are the volunteer on stage saying or doing? Interaction by listening to what the audience is saying is the first key in making audiences realize the magician actually cares about them. He listens and adjusts the show based on what he hears. He may add or removing routines based on what the audience is telling him.
Leaders too need to listen. Appreciate the other person’s point of view, even if you don’t agree with it. People can sense when you are not open to what they are saying. If you do not care about them they don’t care about you.
2. Build an emotional connection. There is a famous story about Harry Blackstone, a celebrated magician about the time of Houdini. Before each show Blackstone would peak out from behind the curtain and look at each person in the audience. From behind the curtain, he would whisper, “I like you,” to each and every person in the audience. He cared. Because he cared about his audience they felt it. When magician walks out on stage he has about 15 seconds before the audience decides rather or not they are going to like him. He must build an emotional connection quickly. Once it has been built then it can be strengthened.
Leaders must connect with their audience emotionally. Why should the audience care about what you are going to say? What’s in it for them? Buy-in is never occurs intellectually. It occurs only at an emotional level. You must speak to a pain or problem.
3. Know your audience’s style. Different venues and different audiences require different style. A children’s magician needs to be colorful and full of energy. A magician performing at a senior center must be aware of the audience’s physical limitations. A magician performing for college crowd should be more edgy than if one performing for a corporate meeting.
To be continued….
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