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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Profile of funsway
As a speech communication major back in the 60's we studied the importance of non-verbal cues in interpersonal communication, but also for audience engagement.
One professor had three cards to hand out to random students when a student was giving a prepared speech.

These cards read: DISGUSTING, HILARIOUS, PAINFUL. The holders of these cards were directed to think about that word during the presentation.

Afterwards, the in the evaluation period the speaker would identify the students he/she believed held the cards based on lack of focused attention cues. (15-20 students total)
Extra credit was given if they could identify the specific card held by each, based on more refined cues. Everyone had some success.

No one would have considered this ability to be unusual or paranormal. If you wanted to be an effective speaker, learn to read an audience.

Today that ability might be the basis for a mentalism demonstration. I might even suggest that if a performer cannot do this successfully with an audience
they should not be performing mentalism effects at all - but will soften it to suggest that a budding performer use this as a test of their audience engagement awareness.

The problem would be of distracting the attention of audience members from the demonstration and their enjoyment.
On the plus side, what if all audience members were to guess at who held the cards - enhanced empathy as a result of your exquisite performance?

At least consider how you might score. Do you pay attention to non-verbal cues from your audience at all? Do you change your presentation based on these cues?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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