How do you practice your presentations?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by b-llusion, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. I wanna see how other people practice their patter/presentation when doing magic. What works for you and what doesn't work for you.
  2. Well, there really is only one way to practice and thats by preforming. I make up the patter on the go sometimes and it comes out so good that i leave it, other times i just make it up practice and go to the streets and preform there and change some stuff that people didnt like or did not respond the way i wanted...

  3. What you can do is stick up a few cuttings of eyes from magazines on your wall. Then, go through the patter and present the trick all the while making eye contact with each of the magazine cut outs. When it comes to performing, it will help you to focus on the presentation and on your spectators.
    I personally have a few scripted pieces that I run through like I am rehearsing a monologue. You may feel silly that you are talking to yourself but I think it really helps.
    Another thing I do is I video myself presenting a trick. I then review the performance...not the trick. I try and focus on things like; mumbling, fidgeting, monotonous voice, etc. I then try and work on those aspects through rehearsal.

    Patter and presentation (for me) is like the sleights themselves, they take practise to get down smooth.
  4. those are some great tips thanks guys!
  5. Since I do more mentalism I usually just have a script I run through a few times. Mentalism really does require another person while cards and coins usually can just do by practicing them in front of a mirror.

    So my thing is to make a script and learn the majority of it by heart, not the whole thing just most of it. Then when you practice on some people see what works and doesn't work and change it. While you are performing change it in mid routine and see if it has a bigger impact, if it doesn't then you have something to go back to. Basically I watched a ton of Luke Jermay videos and books and really like the concept he uses to perform.
  6. hi! nice thread by the way....

    I usually film my patter and the things I am doing in the computer, so when I watch the film I can imagine that I am the spectator, so I kinda try to imagine what things are working and what things don't...

    Althought I like to do that, I always try to remember myself that the spectator is not going to be the same everytime, so I dont usually stick to the original patter or routine, I try to adapt to the circumstances....

    So, yeah, it is nice to have a patter and the routine well planned, but sometimes, we can see that certain tricks or effects cause a mayor impact on the spectator, or maybe the spectator doesnt likes what he is seiing so we need to adapt to this circumstances...

    Well, just my thoughts, Im glad that I am not the only one that cares in this type of things... Cheers!:D
  7. When I perform, I don't really have, say, a "presentation," it's more like me being
    myself when I perform. I hate it when magicians are heavily scripted. However, when I practice, I usually come with things that I should say to make the performance more relaxed. I try to be as natural as possible.
  8. Michael Jordan, the famed basketball player, has a quote that fits this situation well:

    PRACTICE LIKE YOU PLAY - in other words, practice how you will do it in person.

    I often think of a premise, and then think of what I want to get across. I come up with a presentation, sometimes...actually, often, I write it down.

    I think read the script while I am doing the effect - and just as often, I need to trim the fat to make the words and the effect run together smoothly.

    I then have a "presentation", however, all my presentations have to have room for the audience...the responses to their questions, their jokes...their personality.

    So, even though I have a script - it is a loose I have to be able to react to the situation. Aaron Fisher once compared it to Jazz music...I know how I will start...and end...and the middle is improvised...if the audience isn't involved...I know EXACTLY what I will say...if they are...I can stray from my script to meet the needs of the participants to ensure they ARE part of the show.

    I think bad advice is - I just make it up on the spot - sorry Mr Madman - but I find guys like you to stumble...have unclear presentations...and that is part of magic malpractice. Your words are filler for the effect - and people recognize that.

    Good advice - film yourself, as many of the guys said above - and test out new approaches to define what works and doesn't - but PLANNED, not unplanned.

    I also recommend asking people - and thinking of ways to communicate life's concepts and issues in your effects. This is how you can create interest, and sometimes emotion.

    Don't watch other guys and steal - but watch other guys and see how they present things...and why - then use that concept to approach your stuff. Try to make your stuff your own - sometimes that is really the owner of the effect has thought LONG and HARD on how to present it - but try - because you may be able to find a way to present the effect that speaks to who YOU are.

    Lastly, don't present it in a way that makes it corny - when you say words - pretend you are NOT doing magic...that you are communicating something about real life...saying the "Jacks are Spies that will look through paperwork to find your card" is more childish and corny than saying "these jacks represent the last place your looked...ever hear the saying, "ywhen you lose something, you always find it in the last place you looked - duh, why would you keep looking, when you found it?", but I realize that sometimes we overlook the last place we looked - look between the jacks - take a card, let's lose it - and then do a sandwich effect where it looks like you don't do anything - and the card appears between the two cards (Lee Asher has a great one from his lecture notes using Pulp Friction) - anyhow, even though that was off the top of my can see how one is corny and childlike, and the other people can relate to and the magic illustrates your point....

    wow...I said too much. Over and out!
  9. I don't practice formally for presentation---it just gets better every time you do it in real life . This really works, as I have the best presentations for the effects I perform the most often.

  10. I practice my presentation for a mentalism trick the same way I would practice to give a speech in my Public Speaking class in college.

    Write a manuscript. A manuscript is just a big paragraph of everything you plan on saying while giving the presentation, word for word.

    Next, make index cards of you presentation by writing ONLY key words from your manuscript.

    "I went to the park on Saturday with my family. We saw a bunch of ducks there and I decided to go feed them. I went over to them with my loaf of bread and within minutes, hundreds of ducks were everywhere. One of them bit me trying to get bread out of my hand. It really hurt."

    The key word here would be "Duck".
    It allows you to remember everything from the story with only 1 simple word.

    Once you've copied all key words on index cards, you should practice your presentation with using only the index cards to try and see if you could remember everything from your presentation from the index cards without use of your manuscript.

    Once you can deliver the presentation fluently without having brief pauses while looking down at your index cards, you can try giving the presentation without your index cards.
    Practice in the mirror to see what you look like when speaking. Use hand gestures if possible. Another great idea is practicing in front of a video camera, this way you can go back and check how it will look like and determine what areas in your presentation you need for improvement.

    Practice your presentation along with any props you may need (deck, coins, rubber bands, money, etc).

    This is how I practice every strong effect that requires a good presentation. Usually, for me, it's a mentalism effect. This is an excellent way to practice your routining, and trust me, it's worth it.

    I've seen many magicians perform on stage where they use so many filler words (ex. umm, uhh, like, whatever). It sounds very unprofessional when they speak. Nonetheless, magicians aren't the only ones who do this.
    Check out the news tonight when they're reporting news from the streets.
    Count how many ummms, uhhhs, and likes you hear.

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