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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Transitioning From Magician To Professional Public Speaker (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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The first question I always ask performers who want to transition to speakers is - why? Many seem to do it for reasons that ultimately work against them. Very few do it because they have a sincere desire to communicate something special, unique, or as Danny said experience.

After that, the problem I have with many I've trained and work with is the magic. I think magicians see speaking as another way to perform their magic. Speaking is about communicating and sharing a message or specified content. It should always be about the message first and foremost - the benefits or takeaways to the audience - not the magic.

If there is any magic at all it should be the final element to include only after the message or specialized content is in place and communicated.

Far too often I see magicians that try to create their content around their magic. I work a great deal in the education market and I can't tell you how many magicians try to position themselves as speakers but simply perform their magic and think that if they produce silks in their presentation that say "Stay In School," "Say NO To Bullying," or "Say No To Drugs" that they are somehow being a "motivational speaker."
They're not. At best, they MIGHT be doing message-based magic. Any trick-based presentation will likely be weak on content, message or true applicable takeaways.

I love working with speakers that A. truly have experience and something to say, and B. understand the proper use of outside disciplines such as magic as an enhancement to their message. When done right it can work well, but again the magic must not be front and center but rather an accompaniment used sparingly and effectively.

Also, there are many different types of speaking, and the specific type of speaker should be understood and identified first. It's like someone saying I want to be a performer. Okay, what type of performer? There are so many to choose from - magician, comedian, DJ, actor, juggler, singer, musician, dancer, etc., it is a general term that needs some clarification in order to pursue.

Also important is the market you are choosing to work. Some markets would welcome a touch of magic if properly done while others may find it unacceptable or an annoyance. Like entertaining, know your market and know your audience.

Speaking is not just another performance venue, it is a different discipline with a different set of structures, guidelines and expectations.

I don't know that I agree with Ray's sentiments that many magicians could make good speakers because "as they are hopefully good performers." Many magicians are not good performers unfortunately because they put so much emphasis on their tricks. Their tricks and the execution of the tricks is most of their performance. Communication, rapport, connection, and of course having a message is not what many magicians are used to. Many simply learn their tricks, create a presentation around it (often times taken from someone else's) and that then becomes the bulk of their performance. They can hide behind the tricks or the "magic." This is not true for speaking, in fact often it is the opposite.
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Mar 25, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
I don't know that I agree with Ray's sentiments that many magicians could make good speakers because "as they are hopefully good performers." Many magicians are not good performers unfortunately because they put so much emphasis on their tricks. Their tricks and the execution of the tricks is most of their performance. Communication, rapport, connection, and of course having a message is not what many magicians are used to. Many simply learn their tricks, create a presentation around it (often times taken from someone else's) and that then becomes the bulk of their performance. They can hide behind the tricks or the "magic." This is not true for speaking, in fact often it is the opposite.


So many great points and I agree 100%. In fact, I should have said "Good Magicians..." which as we know is a small percentage as they're the ones who realize all of the above.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
MikeClay
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I made the transition to Trainer / Speaker a few years back and have enjoyed where it has brought me.
After being forced to stop taking gigs as an entertainer, and being forced back into computers just to pay bills, I was broken and bitter. Speaking has allowed me to entertain again, and with a type of audience I would have never been infront of any other way.

I did want to add a note about using powerpoint... DON'T unless it truly ads to the lecture / class / speech..
And for the love of all things holy don't just add text to it and read it.... I got to watch that happen last week at an event.

Next week I am in FL teaching a group of business owners how to use a ManyChat Bot. In this case the visuals are needed.

So I would suggest, use it like Carolina Reapers. Sometimes ya need the heat, but not in every dish.
Decomposed
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That is great to hear Mike. I too have entered the speaker market. This time around I have received training and do attend toastmasters although this is just a piece of the pie so to speak. So much more then converting over to speaking and just winging it.
MikeClay
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Yeah,
I didn't make the transition without mentorship.

I have a few friends who have been keynote speakers and a few who have been corporate trainers.
I got them to mentor me and help me get going.

The transition was only smooth because I had those who have already been successful guide me through it all.
Decomposed
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I hear ya Mike. A Tony Robbins protege, Benji Bruce, now a millionaire came from being a magician to a speaker and high rise in Las Vegas. He is pretty generous giving back now. He has a huge following and can be found on Speakerlifestyle.com. Has a daily podcast free.
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