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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Public Speaking Mentalists (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagicofDesperado
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Would people who do this recommend joing their local toastmasters group as starting down this road?

Dave
Scott Burton
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I recommend Toastmasters to anyone - even if you stick to entertainment. Communication is a skill that can help in all areas of life.

Just like joining a magic club won't make you a pro magician, toastmasters won't make you a pro speaker. However, you will improve your skills and that is one hell of a good start!
vinh.giang
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There's also a group called National Speakers Association, I am apart of the Australian one and it's fantastic Smile You get to meet professional speakers and learn from them direct. I agree that the content and delivery is probably the key value that people take away in a talk but the magic is a great engagement vehicle as well, I usually do 45 - 60 minute business keynotes. From my experience when I can tie in a little magic that is relevant, the engagement factor jumps up a few notches.

As Scott said training your communication skills is probably the most important thing you'll do! It has changed my life Smile
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MagicofDesperado
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Thanks for the advice:)

Dave
Ken Dyne
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Toastmasters is great. NSA and in the Uk PSA is more about the business of speaking. One frustration with TM is that they want you to do it their way, and there is much less room for character development. Although at my local club they really wanted me to be a member so I negotiated that I'd go along and be me Smile

Great to hear from you Scott. My concern with many Motivational speakers (and you are not in this category at all) is the speaking is part of their therapy. Which is think is wrong. E.g. there is a speaker here who had a tough time with the care system and being abused and such as a child. Terrible things happened to him. And now he speaks about it and shocks people. But what do they do when they leave? They think 'wow he had it rough...back to work'.
MR GOLDEN BALLS 2.0: https://mentalunderground.com/product/mr-golden-balls-2-0/" target="_blank"> https://mentalunderground.com/product/passed-out-deck/

BAIRN: Named 'Best Mentalism Product Of 2014 by Marketplace of the Mind is my collection of more than 40 mentalism routines in a beautiful paperback book: http://www.mentalunderground.com/product/bairn
Scott Burton
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Can't disagree at all! Mind you, I think about all the magicians and mentalists who are in the art to overcome personality and confidence issues (likely just as - or more - common as with motivational speakers). Even my own career came from a childhood of overcoming shyness, awkwardness, and self esteem issues to start into magic so I must include myself in this group. Regardless, just like there is an audience for magicians, mentalists, and side show acts, there is an audience for story tellers (speakers) for provide not much more than shock and awe. Sometimes a speaker's role is to be just a compelling story teller and the client is happy to pay for that. Other times it is to train on specific skills. The question is: what is the client and/or audience looking for and what can you do to meet those needs?

You have to watch with Toastmasters not to have your confidence inflated too much without a basis in reality. The group exists to encourage but I find the strong and exact criticism (which I would want) to be lacking. I see a lot of inflated self-esteem in long-time members and a lot of dreams of becoming "professional" that continue for years without much progress. I join up now and again but other times try to focus only on "real" audiences to get accurate feedback.
Ken Dyne
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Scott, you're dead on with your views on TM - went to get better and after each speech my feedback was 'you're amazing you can tell you perform as your job' and I was frustrated too as I was there seeking strong, critical, precise feedback to become better - not to have my ego stroked.

You are without a doubt spot-on about their being a market or audience for motivational speakers, the market place is HUGE and some of my closest friends are well paid motivational speakers too. Just because I don't personally see any value in it, I know I'm in the minority because conferences everywhere are hosting events with such speakers closing and opening them.
MR GOLDEN BALLS 2.0: https://mentalunderground.com/product/mr-golden-balls-2-0/" target="_blank"> https://mentalunderground.com/product/passed-out-deck/

BAIRN: Named 'Best Mentalism Product Of 2014 by Marketplace of the Mind is my collection of more than 40 mentalism routines in a beautiful paperback book: http://www.mentalunderground.com/product/bairn
Scott Burton
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I had the opportunity recently to speak at the conference of a local skeptical organization. Here is the video of the entire talk and Q&A that followed (from their youtube account): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla......XRUHzbr0

I talked about the power of the mind and being critical of self directed beliefs but used storytelling to bring my point across.
TonyBrand
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Scott,

I had a chance to view your presentation and thought it was excellent. My significant other and I have recently become interested in long-distance running, so the presentation actually hit close to home. I don't have much to add as I am not a professional speaker by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought you engaged your audience very well and got your message across nicely.

Bravo,

Tony
Scott Burton
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Thanks Tony. I'm glad you enjoyed it and good luck with your adventures!
jamiesalinas
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When I received my feedback from my last public speaking job, I was the second highest rated speaker of the entire conference (36 presenters) including the key note speakers. I did two effects, one at the very beginning and one at the very end after the Q and A session. I agree that most speakers are re-hashing what is already been published or what has already been in print. What makes a great speaker to me is one that is passionate about what they are talking about, are great communicators, and they provide me with useful tools and or information that I can use. I attended many of the presentations and the ones that stood out for me met my criteria. A few were entertaining but they did not have any "meat" in their presentations while others seemed to just re-hash typical information.

I think a great speaker should have real world experience in what they are talking about. I provided examples of what I did to take an organization from the worst customer service rating ever to the best ever. Many of the techniques I used are not new but I gave a fresh approach to how and why I did what I did in real world situations. I also provided a framework for providing excellent customer service from a sales point of view. I would suggest that you speak about what you are an expert in. I do believe there is a place to add magic and or mentalism to enhance your presentation and make it stand out from the crowd but do remember, public speaking is NOT a magic or mentalism show with some re-hashed material added. Please provide SUBSTANCE!

My 3 cents...

Jamie
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Waters
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When I worked for a large(r) corporation, all of the speakers at the annual national meeting had written books, so as Bob said it obviously helps. Also, some performers often equate energy with inspiration. They are not the same thing. It is a boon if the entertainers/speakers/educators also have accomplished these sorts of things in their own rights. Nothing inspires like a person whom the audience can relate to, who has done it. In other words, sincerity and authenticity. Information or entertainment doesn't typically inspire on it's own, people who have a compelling story do. Most companies hiring for this type of event (as opposed to entertainment) are looking for a return on their investment in the hearts and minds of their employees. Tell your story and find areas that co-relate with your performing material. All of these should be relevant, interesting and appropriate or they will be off-putting, as Kennedy mentioned.

Scott's example of shyness is a great example and Jamies' story of change is another. The more personal is it, I think the more persuasive and compelling. I love hearing stories like these and listen to them quite often. I can listen for hours (while traveling) and not get tired. You can tell the difference between those who are engaged and those who are not.
Scott Burton
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Agreed that speaking is a different ball game. Honestly, it's taken me years to market myself, understand the business side, and inch my way into this market. I'm still no expert - in fact far from it!
Decomposed
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I am revisiting this topic since I have a speaking gig coming up and wanted to see if their are any more thoughts on this.
Mindpro
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Be prepared (don't wing it as many performers tend to do when trying to speak), work on connection and rapport, hooks, and know the exact points and takeaways you are leaving the audience with before you go in. Remember it is not about your effects. Remember to the audience, it is not about you, it's about your content or message. If you have a solid and clear message, coupled with your personality and connection, you will be in a good position. Operate strongly from your audiences position and perception. Smile. Best of luck!
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Dec 20, 2011, DrTodd wrote:
Yes. I think maybe he means a public speech on a particular subject or theme that uses mentalism.

Like this:

http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-and-p......adership

Cheers

Dr Todd


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DrTodd
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Yes it looks as though the RSA has updated its website.

I have recently done two of these for NBC Universal in London and Amsterdam, as well as leadership and alumni events.

Best wishes

Todd
ringmaster
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Dr Bob Cassidy Talks about this in Vol II of "The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy".
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funsway
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I would point to the Scott Burton line above: "The question is: what is the client and/or audience looking for and what can you do to meet those needs?"

In the 7 years since that statement a lot has changed as to the ability of any performer to "know the audience."

Many of the "audience"may not be able to relate to "real life experience" with manly only having vicarious ones.

also, the trend for a a modern audience to project their own bias onto a speaker is greater today,
and if they are into false persona and posting embellished junk on social media they may not believe a word you say.

A third problem is "the terrorism of the single right answer." With modern eduction focusing on true/false and multiple choice tests,
there is less openness to ideas that require idea integration or complex decisions. Most people today operate from convictions based on "believed things"
rather than discernment based on knowledge.

Using magic effects as allegory can be great but is "fraught with peril"if the audience only has experience with YouTube or TV magic.
The result could be diminished trust and you viewed as an clown entertainer rather than a professional with a message.

My views come from multiple advanced degrees in Organizational Communication and Educational Technology,
plus decades or work as a sales trainer and business consultant with a small group dynamic speaking focus (and classroom teaching at all grade levels)

What worked before 2010 cannot be assumed to be effective today. Not sure where to direct a person today to "be in touch" - just a thought of caution.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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eSamuels
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3 words for the successful speaker to live by:
Relevant, compelling, storyteller.

Same was true 100 years ago. Same will be true 100 years from now.
What makes the presentation relevant might change, but the other two factors remain a constant.
Have been since the dawn of human communication.

e
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