Monday, September 13, 2010


When you're concentrating hard on something, do you usually smile? Most likely not. Just look at Auguste Rodin's The Thinker. It's simply not a natural gesture to smile when in pensive thought.

So, while it may seem like an obvious point, it's important to remember to smile when presenting your magic. I've caught myself violating this rule, as I'm sure we all have. It's usually due to concentrating on executing a sleight or thinking about the next move. Being aware of this, and throwing on a happy face will not only diminish the perception that anything sneaky is going on, it will naturally raise your likability factor and open up an extra degree of connection with your audience.

A smile is one of five key presentational tips that I believe are important when performing. Here are all five, easily framed in an easy-to-remember acronym, S.M.I.L.E.

  • S. Smile.
  • M. Meaning - Don't just recite your lines; stand behind every word.
  • I. "EYE" contact. Please don't stare at your cards the whole tim. Lock eyes with everyone in your audience and you'll "touch" them.
  • L. - Listen. Listen to both verbal and non-verbal gestures...and look for opportunities to respond and interact.
  • E. - Express YOU. Don't let your props upstage you. Create opportunities to be YOU and express the wonderful, unique qualities only you have.

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