Better presentation

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by The_real_schleem_shady, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. I think my presentation is the weakest part of my magic but I know its the most important part.

    So I was just wondering if you had any tips on how to make people more invested and have better reactions through a better presentation.

    Any book / video suggestions dealing with the subject would be greatly appreciated aswell.

    Thanks for your time
  2. What interests you? Draw from that and apply it to your magic.
    -Movies/TV Series
    -Some quote that resonated with you
    -Scientific theories
    -A memory or personal experience (always a classic, especially for tricks where you often just narrate what you're doing)

    My go-to example for this my Daredevil presentation for a trick out of Royal Road to Card Magic.
    I like comic books, and one of my favorite heroes is Daredevil. I was always fascinated that due to his blindness (and freak accident), his other senses were heightened to a remarkable ability. Notably his sense of touch, which is so sensitive he can read newsprint just by running his fingers over the paper. I use that to jump into the trick, where I have a card selected and placed off to the side, the rest of the deck shuffled and placed in my pocket where I can then reach in and match the selection.

    I took a standard trick, an interest of mine, and put them in a room together to get to know each other until what I got was a presentation that has served me well. When something is interesting to you it shows in your performance and as a result, your audience will be more receptive and engaged in your magic.

    My personal recommendations for your are Scripting Magic (both volumes but start with 1).

    I have also heard that Stronger Magic and The Magic Way are both excellent but I haven't read them, yet.
  3. Just to add to DominusDolorum's answer is my recommendation of Maximum Entertainment by Ken Webber.

    Outside of magic, I recommend How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It's not for stage entertainment per se but his tips on improving how you present yourself to people can definitely correlate with how you present yourself as a magician.
  4. Th
    Thanks for the tips!
    Would you apply the same theme/story to every trick or would you have a new one every trick?
  5. Thanks Ill have a look out for that one
  6. I would have a different story for every trick. Of course, for tricks that have similar effects you could re-use a script if it suits the trick nicely.
  7. Scripting Magic set by Pete McCabe
    Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber
    Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder
    Alchemical Tools by Paul Brook
    Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz (Not my favorite, but a good book)

    If you can find them Derren Brown's books "Pure Effect" and "Absolute Magic" are good as well.

    I agree with @DominusDolorum - The most straight forward way to hook people is by integrating things that genuinely interest you. The audience will sense that authenticity and that is naturally engaging for most people. Granted, if you take it too far you'll exclude some folks but that's just a process of fine tuning the script.

    My scripting revolves around things like unsolved mysteries and legends, and exploring how the mind works/pushing it to extremes. These are things I was already thoroughly interested in before I even got into magic, I just took those concepts and created routines around them.

    One thing, though, to remember - Create the presentation first, and find the method that fits that presentation. If you do it the other way around, starting with a method and trying to come up with a presentation, it is more likely to be a clunky presentation. Tommy Wonder has a great break down of how he created his routines in The Books of Wonder that really go into detail and I am of the same mind as him.
  8. Most professional Magicians seem to recommend that you must have developed a 'Script' for your show. As I started back in Magic, 3 years ago, I learned that building, practicing, and memorizing your script is one of the most important parts of your show.

    You have to be able to do the script naturally as if you were just normal story telling off the top oy your head. You also must be able to pull out of the script during the presentation to react to the audience, a comment some other activity you may feel needs to be added to your show. But, you then need to be able jump right back into your script. As you gain experience in scripting you can improve the script as you use it in shows. In time you will have a locked down pat show that is perceived well by your audience.

    I have a book, recommended on Scripting that has helped me a lot. It is by Pete McCabe, 'Scripting Magic'....

    Good Luck
  9. I think you need to understand the 2 most basic principles when it comes to performance. A, Scripting as in what you say. And B patter aka how you say it. A script can mean anything, but the patter dictates your mood and the direction of engagement for your audience. Which leads me to my last point, engagement with your spectator/spectators is key! Magicians tend to draw all the attention on themselves with their tricks, which lead them to be selfish or even boring. Things like comedy, conversations (yes even in middle of a trick) goes a long way. You should really make a point that you are there to entertain. Not that you just want to do some sleight. That you can do hundreds of time in a mirror. When it comes to performance it differs quite a bit. That's just my thoughts, so hope it helped! :)
  10. What a good thread.

    There are a few ways to script based on your style.

    For me, I love story telling. So I think about what makes a good story. Then I can either tell a story, or act it out.
    A character on a journey that arrives at a destination. They encounter problems on the way that must be overcom; A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.

    This thinking leads to my favorite tricks.

    So think about a magician in trouble plot. This is you acting out the story. You run into difficulties on your way to accomplish something. This makes for a really engaging presentation.

    Using the cards parallel to a story can also work (think Sam the Bellhop)

    Or perhaps take people on a journey through the same structure. Instead of saying, wow look at this card – it’s so ambitious! Create a story about the first time that you saw someone cheating at cards, or how you cheated at cards once, or how it’s a greater metaphor of something else (like overcoming adversity or something – being buried, but rising to the occasion).

    Another way is to tell story like a parable, or lesson, or even tutorial formats. Presenting the challenge that they can relate to (Never having enough money), then how you learned to overcome –or how they can learn to overcome it (pulling coins out of thin air or turning ones into hundreds). (My ambitious card is a ‘teaching’ them how they can cheat at cards plot. I take them down a journey that they are invested in.

    Then, presenting in a way that’s genuine and engaging to the audience – not cheesy or contrived.

    Now, to have a ‘good’ magic show, you certainly don’t need story for every effect, but the audience won’t remember. Most of it. However – when you take people on a journey and they are rooting for the win – they are invested emotionally. (To hijack an old saying) People won’t always remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. And storytelling is one of the best ways to get emotional investment.
  11. Not much to add since they have already had some amazing answers above, however I would suggest drawing from things you love in your personal life. I love Pokemon so I took an average cart to pocket routine and re themed it as a Pokemon trick with Pokemon cards, a poke ball, and event the goofy hat lol. People love it. it is my most requested piece I perform!
  12. I have been experimenting with crazy presentations lately. I think that the presentation needs to be extremely sparse or all in. I'd rather see something completely ridiculous than something not all that interesting.

    For a simple coin vanish, I talk about how Japanese scientists are developing a projection technology that allows objects to disappear. They project whatever is behind the object and it looks like it has vanished. I then pull up a strobe light on my phone and have them shine it on the coin. It vanishes. Then as they move the light away it comes back. The strobe light actually causes the coin to vanish and appearance to be all the more striking.

    I have really been trying to get crazy and extra entertaining with these things. I'm pushing my storytelling capabilities.

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