In a blog entry of mine last year, I discussed the concept of “Purposeful Tangents.” (if you’ve not read it, I encourage you to do so)
In that article, I mentioned I was going to take a class with master magicians. Well, I just completed the training, and it was beyond my expectations.
I felt like a kid at Disney World. I had so much fun learning magic.
But I learned something even more important.
Magicians take advantage of visual blindspots to create their illusions. They know how to “trick” the brain through misdirection.
When I give a speech, I take advantage of cognitive blindspots to create my experiences. The experiments I conduct on the audience demonstrate how the brain is designed for survival, not innovation. People are “tricked.” Their beliefs are challenged.
The typical keynote speaker has little or no audience interaction. And the interaction they have tends to be limited to questions. Although this process engages the audience, it does not provide the epiphany gained through hands-on activities.
Why does this matter?
Over the last 20 years, I’ve learned a massive amount about speaking from fellow keynoters. But something was always missing.
During my magic training, I discovered that my style is more akin to that of a magician than a keynote speaker.
The element of fully engaging – and tricking – an audience, was never part of my speech training. Over the past 20 years I taught myself how to perform these types of interactions. While watching master magicians in action, I learned some new methods.
No matter what we do or how good we are, there are always opportunities for improvement.
But if we only learn from people who are like us, we will ultimately limit our growth potential.
What is a similar discipline to your work? When you discover your purposeful tangent, read books on the topic, take training courses, or simply observe experts in action.
You may, like I did, find a new tribe that will help you take your craft to the next level.
P.S. The picture is of Jeff McBride, the magician with whom I did my training.