“Appreciation is a wonderful thing.
It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
William James once wrote, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” If that is the case, then we, as Magicians, owe it to ourselves and our audiences to learn the best methods for showing other appreciation. After all, when we are done with our presentation (of whatever sort it might happen to be), we want our audience to clap for us and show us “their” appreciation. It is only fair—and I suggest mandatory—that we first show the audience that we appreciate them.
So, how do you show others some magical appreciation?
First, treat your audience with respect. Show them that they are significant. If you’re interacting with others simply for the money, eventually they will see through that and you’ve lost them. If you’re interacting with others simply for your own esteem, they will see through that quicker than if you just want money from them. An audience can feel (experience) when you are being personal with them, providing them your energy, and changing your presentation just for them. When you let an audience know—perhaps by simply telling them so—that they are unique and that you’re treating them as unparalleled with any other audience, you are doing them an honor.
Second, deserve your audience’s attention. Do your homework. Get to know your audience’s motivations, needs, wants, fears, and hopes. Let them know that you understand them and that you, too, have been through similar life events (or you are going through them right now). And use the word “we” a lot! I want to be part of someone’s team, not lectured to.
Third, show them that you know what will benefit them the most. If you’re intent on treating your audience with respect and have done your homework about them, then you know what will help them achieve a particular goal or outcome. Everyone you meet is, at some level, continually asking “why should I care what they are saying/doing/showing me?” or “what’s in it for me?” Rather than waiting for them to fathom out the answer (and perhaps get it wrong), do them the favor of explaining how they will profit, gain, or get some direction right up front. This frames what you will be doing and helps them to anchor what they want with what you are saying/doing/showing.
Fourth, don’t sleepwalk through what you say, do, and show. I can’t begin to tell you how many Magicians I know have been “magishing” for so long that they have pat lines, trite sayings, and tired routines. There are times when working with robotics has its place. But . . . at least for the moment, robots don’t show me any real appreciation. Robots run programming. One of the most powerful ways of showing an audience that you are “here and now” with them, is to reference things that are going on “here and now.” Talk about current events. Better yet, talk about current events in their lives (remember that homework you did?).
Fifth, say “thank you.” Tell your audience that you appreciate the time, energy, and money they’ve spent coming to see and be with you. They are a great many things that others could be doing rather than being with you. Let them know that you understand the choices they’ve made and realize what an honor it is for you to have an audience in the first place.
Sixth, let them know that you care about them. This, of course, implies that you really do care about your audience. If you don’t really care about your audience, then I recommend a different line of work than being a Magician. Magic, as I’ve often said, requires an audience. That means you have to care about and care for your audience just as you would your skills, your props, and your time.
Finally, learn how to create a mind-blowing experience for your audience each and every time. This means managing your message. Are you respecting your audience enough to tailor your words, actions, and tone of voice to THEM? When you tailor your words, actions, and tone of voice to THEM, you not only take your audience on a magical journey with you, you tap into a human connection that demonstrates your respect for them.
So, there you have it. Seven amazing tips that will show others that you appreciate them. Use these. Make them second-nature. Become one with your audience. And then go out and put your own magical dent in the world!
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