The magic of a lasting impression
“For each human interaction you have … just being an authentic and engaging person is a start. Then it’s just a matter of using our unique voices; applying our quirks that make us different, with elements of surprise that make a good story to tell.”
Photo credit: Simon Ross
Back in the UK, I was a magician to the socialites of Yorkshire.
I was getting a name for myself and eventually a journalist reached out wanting to meet with me.
We agreed a time and place and although I’d never met this particular journalist before, I wanted to transcend his expectations and have him remember something special long afterwards.
The day of the meeting came and immediately upon greeting each other in a bustling York café, I took him completely by surprise, handing him a sealed envelope with a letter inside - which he carefully opened to reveal it told him exactly what he was wearing.
I could have shaken his hand, right? But that wouldn’t have provided the ‘wow’ I wanted to achieve to catch his attention.
A few days later, as I’d hoped, he enthusiastically wrote about the experience in his socialite magazine, where his description of what occurred was even better than what actually happened.
His story had imagination, it delivered drama, the dialogue and even detail about the spectacles in his pocket which I had also predicted. Well, at least in his memory that is….
Tentacles grew from this one article, as prospective clients talked about it, and business grew.
In my three decades in magic, I’ve learned any type of magic effect is performed three times:
1. It is performed first when the magician ‘performs’ it.
2. It is performed again when a spectator later ‘remembers’ it.
3. Finally, it is performed a third time when that spectator ‘tells someone else’ about it.
Magicians play with the spectator’s memories so the ‘third performance’ described is actually a better version than the one originally performed and later remembered.
By predicting what the journalist would be wearing, I’d engaged him quickly, moved him, and appealed to his heart, compelling him to tell people.
In business being aware of the same three steps can be applied to interactions with customers, employees or stakeholders.
This can only be done through appealing to the hearts of those people and making an enduring impression.
For each human interaction you have, you don’t need to pull out an envelope; just being an authentic and engaging person is a start. Then it’s just a matter of using our unique voices, applying our quirks that make us different, with elements of surprise that make a good story to tell.
Only then can we help them not only remember what we said, did and how we made them feel but also get to that desired third stage, where they actually tell someone about those impactful moments.
· The Magician’s Code prevents Alex revealing just how he perfectly predicted what his interviewer would be wearing.
Multi-award winning magician Alex Moffat put down his wand 18 years ago to pursue a career in banking and shares his insights on what business leaders can learn from the art of magic.
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