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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Building Rapport And Getting To Know You (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ken Dyne
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Hi all,

Just wondering; what things do you do to build rapport with your audience when you are performing, to let them get to 'know' you - rather than just do 'tricks' at them?
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IAIN
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Sharing is caring...
insight
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I often build a story line into my performances that weaves togther the fabric of my life---

Regards,
Mike
mindpunisher
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I created a linguistic structure I teach sales and business people but also use in my motivational mentalism. I call it the hypnotic bullet. Its designed to get an audience or individual into the most receptive mental state to receive whats to come. It basically grabs them by the balls and doesn't let go. I use it in training and most types of presentations.
TonyB2009
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I spend the first few minutes chatting. I tell a few gags, a funny story, get a laugh. I don't have to establish my credentials by doing something quickly. My credentials are established by the fact I have been paid to be there.

Mentalism is a verbal art, and needs the audience to think if it is to work. So I am quite happy spending a few minutes breaking the ice. Laughter is the key. Even in a very serious psychic show I try to get plenty of laughs in the first ten minutes.

Bill Cosby said once that if you spend ten minutes getting an audience to like you, then they will laugh at everything. NEglect that ten minutes, and you have to work for every laugh. Same applies to us (even though it is hits rather than laughs we are going for).
insight
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In addition to what has been discussed, I think that mentalism at its core is about a creating a sensation, not necessarily a phyiscal one, that resonates with the spectator. As such, the performer MUST focus on how the routine captures the interest of the spectator.

Regards,
Mike
Shrubsole
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It really depends of the type of venue and what type of show I am doing.
If it's my full show with just me, then I have time to talk a lot first, but if I'm doing a slot in a whole evening of entertainment, then there isn't usually much time to do the routine leave alone a full blown 'Getting to know me' chat.

In those sorts of short time slots it's more of a light; who I am and what I'm going to be doing combined into a quick introduction, before getting on with the routine.
Winner of the Dumbringer Award for total incompetence. (All years)
Scott Soloff
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It's not what you do...

It's how you do it!

In any field you can find a person at the top of his game doing one thing
and another one at the same level doing exactly the opposite. Nonetheless,
both are successful.

I have seen some in our field, at the top, say some terribly stupid things
(i.e., I have just an ordinary deck of cards.) This, however, does not
prevent them from being successful.

My own personal belief is that a performer should be larger than life...

Therefore, I come out swinging! My experience is that it does more than
establish your credentials, it grabs the audience right from the get go.

I save the welcome speech for after the first demonstration.

Three-quarters of the way through I tell a very personal story about myself.

I end with (kind of) a Q & A (I ask a member of the audience near the beginning
to remind me of something if I forget. This ends up being the last bit).

This approach works very well but it suits my personality.

Every performer must find their own voice/persona.

Best wishes,

Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Shrubsole
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Quote:
On 2013-11-13 19:49, Scott Soloff wrote:

Therefore, I come out swinging!


:lol: would you care to elaborate that as "Swinging" has another meaning here in the UK at least.

What is it that you are swinging?
Winner of the Dumbringer Award for total incompetence. (All years)
mikelsc
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Jerome Finley has something called "instant rapport" in his emails he sent out. It was great.

Cheers,
M
Scott Soloff
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Shrubsole,

In the states, the phrase is a reference to swinging a baseball bat.

Regarding my performance, the first thing that I do is read the mind of
an audience member.

Once I have established my ability to 'deliver the goods' so to speak, the
welcome speech is presented...

"Ladies and gentlemen, good evening and welcome..." and proceed with the
show.

Hope that clears it up.

Best,

Scott
'Curiouser and curiouser."
Bard
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Jon Stetson once came to see me do a dinner club gig and at the end of the show he asked, "Why didn't you have someone introduce you?"

I fully understand his point but in looking back, I realized that most of my programs over the past 15 or so years have never used an intro; I would come out and start chatting with folks and getting to know them, slowly working my way up to the performance area where I'd tidy things up and introduce myself to one and all and casually move into the show. I literally do a meet & greet, offering a few short and simple demos along the way, generating some levity while finding the "right ones" to play with during the show. The exception to this being Theater gigs, which I very rarely do . . . then again, I've not done a formal show in over 4 years at this point, mostly home parties and Readings, the intimate atmosphere lending itself to my aforementioned casual lead-in.

This is an excellent question though, one that we should burn some brain cells over, in that there is more than one way to skin this particular kitty based on who we are and our natural sense of character, confidence, attitude, etc.
Ken Dyne
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Great ideas and thoughts guys so far!

One thought on the Crosby think where he talks about getting them to like you, one thing we must remember (and many overlook) is that he does this by telling jokes - the VERY thing he is being billed and paid to do. One thing that I hear a lot of producers, bookers, agents and clients talk about it mentalists and magicians who talk about 'their life, when no-one cares and we just want them to get on with it!' (the words of a recent client, not mine.

So one thing that's important, at least to me, is that we build the rapport WHILE doing some mind reading, not while standing telling a story that has nothing to do with reading someone's mind. We must absolutely stay on purpose. The mind reading HAS to happen, it MUST, it is a given - but it's all of this 'other' stuff like rapport, humour, story telling etc that ADDS to the mind reading, and (unless you're billed as a story teller and happen to do a little mind reading to spice it up or something) must not delay, interfere or tread on the mind reading.
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TonyB2009
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Quote:
On 2013-11-14 08:09, Ken Dyne wrote:
One thought on the Crosby think where he talks about getting them to like you, one thing we must remember (and many overlook) is that he does this by telling jokes - the VERY thing he is being billed and paid to do.

No - he doesn't open with jokes. He gets a few laughs all right, but his opening is a chat with the audience, getting to know each other. It is a feeling out process, and the gags don't start until that is out of the way.

If you are going to entertain for ten minutes you need to begin fast. But if you want to hold an audience for two hours, speed is of less importance.
mindpunisher
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Quote:
On 2013-11-14 08:09, Ken Dyne wrote:
Great ideas and thoughts guys so far!

One thought on the Crosby think where he talks about getting them to like you, one thing we must remember (and many overlook) is that he does this by telling jokes - the VERY thing he is being billed and paid to do. One thing that I hear a lot of producers, bookers, agents and clients talk about it mentalists and magicians who talk about 'their life, when no-one cares and we just want them to get on with it!' (the words of a recent client, not mine.

So one thing that's important, at least to me, is that we build the rapport WHILE doing some mind reading, not while standing telling a story that has nothing to do with reading someone's mind. We must absolutely stay on purpose. The mind reading HAS to happen, it MUST, it is a given - but it's all of this 'other' stuff like rapport, humour, story telling etc that ADDS to the mind reading, and (unless you're billed as a story teller and happen to do a little mind reading to spice it up or something) must not delay, interfere or tread on the mind reading.



The way to get rapport with an audience in my view is to talk about THEM. general short but concise insights on how the mind works. get them ALL involved in the opening effect.

People are fascinated by motivation how the mind works etc. I can hold a whole room on the edge of their seats talking about this for hours if not days with no mentalism. However for a platform for mentalism there is nothing better.

However you need to spend time and money becoming genuinely proficient in this area.

I agree nobody really cares about you or needs to know you in an indepth way. Unless you have a background that is of interest to a specific group. If its just for entertainment no one cares. How many other acts do you see telling their life story before they start? I think this "character" thing is over worked and pretty pointless in most cases.
cpbartak
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Pacing their reality, building commonalities, genuine complements, teasing, etc.
Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
John C
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Perform the old Michael weber hypno disk.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
insight
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According to Derren Brown, in his "Absolute Magic" book, he specifically states that you can establish rapport with a "relaxed and easy-going tone." This sounds simple, but is very important!

Regards,
Mike
C.J.
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Rapport is linked to charisma.

Charisma = Power + Presence + Warmth (not my equation - I leeern it from a booook).

In the opening moments of any encounter, we assess these three qualities. Presence: What is this person's status? Power: Could this person move mountains for me? Warmth: Would they be willing to do so? (again, stolen words...The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane)

For me, the best way of building this sort of rapport is strong - but not confronting - body language, and careful use of silence, smiles and staring. Well, not staring - I mean eye contact, but I liked the idea of the alliteration. Thinking a positive comment to each person as you make eye contact (eg "I like you", or "I hope you have a really great time tonight") helps those attitudes show in your body language, providing warmth without having to say anything.

As Mr Cosby seems to have already pointed out, the first impressions matter more than anything. It's very hard to try and build rapport with an audience that you've already lost.

And as for Mr Cassidy and his Thirty second rule, I shall leave that for him to discuss. Or you can read his thoughts on the matter on pages 16ff of Fundamentals.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
Be fondly remembered.
saysold1
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In the sales part of what I do, I always begin the rapport with asking the the client about themselves, their goals, their past experiences. This is similar to what mindpaunisher said I believe - people do like to talk about themselves and feel a great connection with you if you allow them to share and then tailor your presentation a bit to them.

We are all in sales of course, and it is all about people.

Ken's comments about interlacing these aspects with the actual mind reading routines seems right on the money.

The #1 mistake bad performers (and salespeople) make is talking too much about themselves - which makes the spectators (customers) care about the performer far less.

The performer should be in control of course, but the spectator needs to be engaged.
Creator of The SvenPad Supreme- "One of the most versatile and well made utility devices I have ever used. Highly recommended." Bob Cassidy www.SvenPads.com
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