CHAPTER 26 - SURPRISE! #13
31. Field day
MAGIC AND MENTALISM - CONCEPT COLUMNS
This is far and away one of favorite tricks. I hesitated even including it here as I use it so much. I was not sure I wanted the world to know the solution to its mysteries.
It is remarkably fun, repeatable, and not just a great trick, but an awesome debrief tool. It allows you to go over concepts, words, and ideas you have mentioned in your presentation one final time in an entertaining way.
It does take a small time commitment to recreate, but it is worth every moment of effort.
Come along and I will share a real winner.
The Mind Blowing Presenter (or MBP or You) shows a list of 50 key words or phrases. (For our purposes I have included 50 words I used for a gala event).
The MBP asks for a volunteer from the audience.
MBP: Look at the list and pick a word. Do not say it out loud. Keep it in your mind. Pay close attention to what number it is on the list. Remember this number next to the word. It is important. Do you have it?
The MBP calls attention to the boxes with numbers in them.
MBP: The number of your word, do you see it in Box A?
MBP: Do you see the number in Box B?
MBP: Do you see the number in Box C?
MBP: Do you see the number in Box D?
MBP: Do you see the number in Box E?
MBP: Do you see the number in Box F?
MBP: Your concept was ‘Leaders’, is that right?
MBP: Awesome! That is one of my favorite words!
After this the MBP can then go on to another volunteer and work their way further down the list. The MBP can use this instead of a Q&A, asking the audience, “Is there any concept or word that you would like me to go over again or delve deeper into, look at this list for a prompt, if someone sees something, please raise your hand.”
You probably now want to know how our fictitious MBP was able to divine the hidden concept in the volunteer’s mind. Well, I suppose I will have to reveal that to you now.
Most guesses are that the MBP has all the boxes and concepts memorized. That would indeed be a feat.
The truth is that it is much, much easier than that. It is a simple math trick.
If you look again at the six boxes. In each box, if you look at the number directly to the right of the letter, it is the number in the far upper left corner of each box, that number will help to reveal the answer.
Each box has a value. That number is that box’s value.
Box A’s value is 1
Box B’s value is 8
Box C’s value is 2
Box D’s value is 4
Box E’s value is 16
Box F’s value is 32
You begin the trick at ZERO, and when the volunteer says “Yes” to a box, the MBP adds that box’s value.
When the volunteer says “No,” the MBP adds nothing.
Ultimately when the MBP has asked about all six of the boxes, they will have a sum. That sum is the number of the concept the volunteer has chosen.
So, let us do the trick again with that knowledge.
MBP: The number next to your word, do you see it in Box A? (MBP starts with ZERO in their mind. Remember for Box A, MBP adds 1 for Yes, and ZERO for No)
(MBP mentally adds 0 + 1 = 1)
MBP: Do you see the number in Box B? (For Box B, MBP adds 8 for Yes, and 0 for No)
(MBP mentally adds nothing, staying at a total of 1)
MBP: Do you see the number in Box C? (For Box C MBP adds 2 for Yes, and 0 for No)
(MBP mentally adds nothing, staying at a total of 1)
MBP: “Do you see the number in Box D?” (For Box D MBP adds 4 for Yes, and 0 for No)
(MBP mentally adds 1 + 4 = 5)
MBP: Do you see the number in Box E? (For Box E MBP adds 16 for Yes, and 0 for No)
(MBP mentally adds nothing, staying at a total of 5)
MBP: Do you see the number in Box F? (For Box F MBP adds 32 for Yes, and 0 for No)
(MBP mentally adds nothing, staying at a total of 5, looks at the chart for number 5, and sees the word ‘Middle’ next to it.)
MBP: Your word was ‘Middle’, is that right?
Receive your well earned applause!
If you are making this trick up for yourself, one thing that might cause difficulty is coming up with 50 key concepts or words.
They do not all have to be concept heavy words. Some of them can be humorous inside jokes with your audience, or this can be done as a part of a larger conference closing event with inside jokes specific to the event.
Let us say that the hotel served stale bagels, and everyone had been commenting on them. One of the concepts could be “Bagels”.
Keep it simple and fun, if you read the chapter in this book about Depth of Knowledge, you know you should have a five-concept maximum for most presentations.
One more idea is to have the audience help you come up with the 50 items. You should have a scribe or two to jot down the concepts next on a pre numbered large easel pad. This can make for a fun debrief.
Sometimes I like to do what I call a ‘Concept Bomb’ after performing this a few times for the audience.
This consists of going down the full list of 50 items and saying a quick sentence about each one rapid fire. It can come off almost as a trick if well done and shows your expertise.
There are many ways of covering the ground. Use your imagination and a little time and you will have this nailed.
If you would like a word document, jpeg or pdf of this trick layout sent to you, or if you have a question about any of the tricks in this section, email me and I would be happy to respond. firstname.lastname@example.org
1 (636) 628 5955