Monthly Archives: June, 2016

magic of the mind

The Real Magic of the Mind

June 4th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Real Magic of the Mind”

mindset-743167_1920Never Forget Another Name Again,

Step 1 of 3

The Real Magic of the Mind

As a magician I often perform feats where I appear to read people’s thoughts. This has lead me to a fascination with how the mind works, how memories are formed, and to train my own mind to appear to be super human.

Why You Should Learn This

In the last few years I have watched Alzheimer’s disease and dementia take the minds of both of my Grandmothers. It was incredibly tough to watch as their minds were taken from them. There have been scientific studies that have showed that brain training activities do work to help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia and ones that have shown the exercises don’t help. But one thing is for sure, they don’t hurt! You can read what the National Institutes of Health have to say about the subject at http://bit.ly/activebrain

Also, forgetting a person’s name can be embarrassing and remembering their name can help close more sales, make you more memorable, and improve your social standing.

Why We Forget Names

I think the number 1 reason we forget other people’s names is that we never truly knew them in the first place. When we meet someone new the introduction go by so quickly that we never actually file the information away. This brings us to Step 1 of how to Never Forget Another Name Again.

Slow it Down

The average introduction goes like this, “Edd this is Deb. Deb this is Edd.” That’s less than two seconds and half of the information was your own name. There is very little chance that you are going to retain that information for any length of time. I have a few little tricks or bits I use to slow this section down.

  1. Repeat her name.
  2. Ask about a variation of her name.
  3. Ask for the spelling of her name.

Not each of these will work for each name but this is how I would handle the example above. “Hello Deb. Are you a Deborah?” She will probably say, “Yes.” “But you prefer Deb? I wasn’t sure because (person who introduced us) is a friend and I didn’t want to seem overly friendly.” Had she been introduced to me as “Deborah.” I would say, “Hello Deborah. Is that D-e-b-o-r-a-h? I ask, because I am Edd but it is spelled E-d-d.”  Here is a list of names that are spelled differently http://bit.ly/namespellings. It’s amazing at the number of names that have variations. It can be a great tool to slow down the introduction phase.

If your name does not have a variation or unusual spelling like mine, you can tell a little white lie. It would go like this, “Deborah? Is that D-e-b-o-r-a-h? I had friend who was a ‘Debra’ D-e-b-r-a.” This also may be entirely true, who knows.

The Problem with Name Tags

Name tags are great for the very first time you meet someone but very quickly become a crutch. I look at the tag one time during the very initial introduction and try not to use it again because the next time you meet that person, they may not be wearing that name tag!

The Next Step

Stay tuned for Step two in how to remember names of the people you meet.

chicago magic style

The Chicago Magic Style

June 4th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Chicago Magic Style”

menu-chicago-schuliens-restaurant-2100-irving-park-road-c1960

Starting Out

I grew up in Western Pennsylvania which most people in the Midwest consider to be the East Coast; even though my home was over 300 miles from the ocean. But I grew up there doing a style of magic that I have been told is an East Coast style of magic.

Who knew?

Coming to Chicago

When I came to Chicago in 2003 I was introduced to the Chicago magic style. It has two defining features that make it different than what I was used to. First, If you are working at a bar you work behind the bar. In Pennsylvania liquor laws are so arcane and odd that no one is allowed behind the bar with out certain certifications and licenses. The second thing, if you working in a restaurant or banquet setting, you sit down with the people at the tables.

I’m a familiar person. I have no problem talking to strangers. Part of being a comedian is to break social conventions, but to sit with a strange family or group violates a physical space that took me some time to get used to.

And then comes the fact that when doing magic, I have to hide somethings. I know, I’ve broken your heart. But I learned to hide all the necessary things and point out all the things that I need audiences to pay attention to while standing and while others were sitting. I had to essentially relearn my entire show. The only thing I can compare it to would be learning to play a sport with one’s other hand.

It all Changes, Again

It seemed to me as soon as I had relearned to do my tricks while seated, it all changed again. The old guard of Chicago magic were retiring or sadly passing away and the newer generation weren’t seating down with strangers to perform their magic. They, like I had done years before, Were standing next to the table where the audience was seated. I am torn about the closing of this chapter in magic. I am much more comfortable standing but to see that “friendly” style go away makes me a bit sad. You can still see table side magic at restaurants in Chicago but if a strange magician sitting at your table freaks you out, you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

trade show trends

2016 Trade Show Trends

June 4th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “2016 Trade Show Trends”

trade-show-stock-sign

2016 will be a year of contradictions as we continue to see the Trade Show trends that move in two very different directions at the same time.

1. Big Shows get bigger:

The largest shows, especially those in construction and agricultural will continue to trend larger for 2016 in exhibitor space. Though they may not grow in attendance. With the US economy very well into recovery and continued steady growth in China, exhibitors will be looking to make big presentations at this year’s shows. With the continued fracturing of audiences into smaller and more tightly focused groups, attendance numbers will not increase with the same (or possibly any) rate as the net square footage.

2. Consolidation/ Co-location:

One of the ways the big shows are going to continue to trend larger this year is via consolidating smaller shows or co-locating with smaller shows. It’s in smaller show’s interest to try to grab onto any of the positive momentum the larger shows have by being near them at the same time. But with the fracturing of the audience into smaller and more narrowly focused groups, audience overlap might not be what the smaller shows hope it is.

3. Small Shows get smaller:

Call it more focused or how ever they want to spin it, the smaller shows are going to have smaller audiences. Trends indicate that in 2016 audience density may reach a low of 2 people per 100 ft2.. This does not have to be a major problem. Trends also indicate that the people who are attending shows have more buying power and are higher level decision makers than in the past. Companies are not spending the money to send lower level employees. Companies are more interested in maximizing their travel dollars.

4. Tech Overload:

Tech toys in booths can be fun and the newest of the new tech can catch attendees’ eyes but unless companies plan on spending thousands of dollars every few months to update to the newest wiz bang gizmo, they will never keep up with the curve. In 2016, the industry is going to see a trend toward low tech and even “no tech” booths. Companies will begin moving back to what has always made the sale; face to face time between two human beings. At the dawn of the internet, marketers would have you believe that the trade show industry was going to be wholly replaced by the internet. This didn’t happen and will not happen because people like to buy from other people. In 2015, the the beginning of a trend to booths feature wood, bare metal, and more “stripped down” look began. This will continue as companies move back to what is important; face to face interaction.

5. More Focus:

Everything that goes into a trade show exhibit is going to become more and more focused on narrower and more vertical markets. The days of the “one stop shop” are over. Also, over are the days of the “just a pretty face” booth model that doesn’t know the product or services. A few decades ago, the trade show booth was where some companies dumped their least experienced sales people for the day. Now, everyone in the booth must be an expert, including any third party brand ambassadors.

man behind curtain

4 Magician Life Hacks to Use Everyday

June 4th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “4 Magician Life Hacks to Use Everyday”

Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

When you need something to be done make sure you are talking to the person who can actually do it.

Magicians would like you to believe that the beautiful assistant is just there to do menial tasks and look pretty. But much of the time she is doing more of the work of creating the illusion than he is.

If you are getting answers you do not like or don’t think are true, make sure you are talking to the man behind the curtain. You know, the person who is really in charge.

Don’t Let Delays put you off your Task

Magicians will often introduce something and then “get away from it” for awhile so it leaves your mind. Let’s say there is a box on stage. It’s introduced and then a bunch of other things happen. By the time your attention goes back to the box it could have been replaced by an elephant!

Some people will try this on you in your everyday life. Parent’s do it to kids all the time (usually for good reason) but if another adult is trying in on you, don’t let it happen! Keep your goal in mind.

Don’t Blindly Follow

Everything from “trust but verify” to “don’t rush in” warn us not to blindly follow the leader but many times we still do and magicians use that AGAINST US!

Do you want to know exactly where NOT to look during a magic trick? That would be where the magician is looking. Any magician worth his wand is not going to look at the hidden object or look at his hands while he does the secret move.

We do it in our everyday life too. How many of us signed up for Ello? There are 1 million plus ello accounts. Why? It can’t be the site. Frankly, the site stinks. But even I fell for it. I signed up because… well… because everyone else was. Nothing terrible has happened because I signed up for Ello but what if it was something more sinister?

Don’t Assume

If your mother was anything like mine she would say, “Don’t assume, it makes an ass out of you and me.” Many people do assume. They fill in information on their own that doesn’t exist.

Do you see a triangle between the three pie pieces to the left? But there is no triangle. Your brain is adding it. Magicians count on this. A lady will go into a box with an outline of person drawn on it. Then the box is rearranged in some impossible way. Your brain fills in that the woman inside is similarly situated. But she’s not. She could be doing anything in that box!

If you had a contract with a company and received good service don’t assume that you will get it a second time when they say, “Oh, don’t worry about a contract.”

Fun on stage but not day to day

Sure being fooled by a magician using these techniques is fun when you know you are watching a show but don’t let people fool you with these tricks in your day to day life. If you learn this life hacks and learn to think like a magician you can still have fun but not get taken!

If you enjoyed…

If you enjoyed the post and you like being fooled by a magician (during a show!) make sure you check out the rest of my page.

trade show booth

Increase ROI for Your Trade Show Booth!

June 4th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Increase ROI for Your Trade Show Booth!”

How much longer do you think a visitor to your booth would hold on to your giveaway if something magical happened with it? How much would that increase your trade show booth’s ROI?

Are you giving away items “just to have something to give away?”

  • Is what you’re giving away have ANYTHING to do with your company?
  • What is special about what you are giving away?
  • Is it just a throw away?

I can make it so your trade show give away gets kept for YEARS! And shown to other people long after the show is over.

Imagine your own custom magic trick featuring your business card!

Featured image of this blog post is Copyright: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Titanfall_at_Gamescom_2013_(9591148650).jpg

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