I love magic. I used to do magic as a kid for stage shows and private parties. I then sort of lost interest in magic as I’m not the fan of top hats, capes, and wands these days. Magic remains a great tool for networking and icebreaker stuff at events, and it’s a reason why I as a conflict resolution professional keep a few dozen routines in my repertoire. I’m going to outline in this post why you should study magic and use it as a tool for networking.
Magic teaches you relaxed confidence.
Other areas I’d suggest considering are hypnosis and theatrical pickpocketing as the two will allow you to gain a certain sense of who you are and how you’d approach a situation without worrying about failure. You can find a couple of great lessons in theatrical pickpocketing and hypnosis for free at the POWA Academy, and if you decide to purchase either course you can know you’ll be getting a great deal as James and Danny continually update both with free content once you shell out your hard-earned dollars.
My personal favorites are card tricks and mentalism. A great set of materials on card routines can be found at Ellusionist. I’m a personal fan of Daniel Madison’s work, but two other great creators are Geraint Clarke and Lloyd Barnes. Kostya Kimlat has some great stuff there that I use regularly too, and one of his downloads is one of two effects I use regularly when I take a deck of cards with me out of the house. If you’re going to go with something that will teach you confidence, though, I’d recommend looking into Daniel Madison’s stuff the most because he’s a fan of knacky sleight of hand moves. If one of those goes wrong, you’re going to be in trouble, so you have a great chance with Madison’s effects to drill a reaction until you’re solid. Then you’ll blow some minds. A couple I’d recommend are his Angle Z routine, Three Things, and Card to Pocket. If you get C2P down from the Madison perspective, you’ll know you can do just about anything without fear.
Mentalism is another area that’s great because you get the chance to tell someone “It’s good to have a business professional who knows what you’re thinking” and then launch into something mind-blowing. A few effects I’ve tried and recommend are Rick Lax’s “Close Call,” Bobby Motta’s “The Informant,” and Thinking Paradox’s “Clear Choice.” All you can adapt to a given situation, and all of them will make you the center of attention at any given event.
Magic brings out your inner performer.
Any business professional knows you sell yourself. What most don’t know is that you’re a performer at heart without even realizing it. I get this in my profession, because I know there’s an element of showmanship to what I do whenever I’m in public. If I’m trying a case or persuading someone to look at my point of view, I want to make sure I’m as convincing as possible. That requires an element of showmanship, so I study everything I can allowing me to bring out the best performance that will benefit my clients or readership.
You’ll eventually learn nothing goes wrong by studying magic.
One misconception about magic is that you need to either succeed or fail when you attempt a routine. That’s not the case. If you prepare enough, you’ll have at least two or three ways to make an alleged “mistake” in a routine go away. Sometimes, especially with theatrical pickpocketing, you’ll learn how to turn a mistake into a benefit for you and your performance.
This translates well into the courtroom. If I make a “gaffe” when I’m involved in a motion hearing or trial, I usually prepare about three ways out of any gaffe so I know that I can walk into a hearing without issue. That gives me an edge most people don’t have, and one I proudly and aggressively assert for my clients.
Building a routine teaches you building structure.
One of the benefits of learning how to develop a routine in magic is it teaches you how to build a series of events that leads to a climax, something anyone watching your performance won’t forget. It’s a moment where you start small, plugging in a moment of truth, and then reach a big finish people won’t forget. If you take that meta-principle, and apply it to your own business, you’ll be able to accomplish incredible, impression results that allow for a lasting impression on a person.
I use a lot of this to structure court cases. When I start a case, I know the big, lasting impactful statement I want to leave with a trier of fact. As I work with the nuts and bolts of the case, I work to leave an impression with every piece of evidence, every single statement, and the questions during direct and cross I want answered. When I hit the big point I want to make, I sit down. Sometimes that means I have to improvise a bit and deviate from the routine, but I’ve always got backups in case one bit doesn’t work for me in court.
So take some time to study magic, no matter your business. You’ll be glad you did, and it’ll make sure you gain some principles that will help you personally, no matter your profession, as long as you think about why you do what you do.