I’m watching Derren deliver a show as part of his current ‘Miracle’ tour. As usual, it was a great spectacle and highly entertaining.
As a communications specialist I was aware of the influence he had over the audience. But only part of that was about his trademark powers of hypnotism, mentalism, sleight of hand and illusion.
The greater part is about his stage performance and how he manages to bring all these elements together to entertain, and keep his audience captivated.
Speaking and stage skills should be stock-in-trade for any communicator, and the ability to entertain is a corner stone of any speech, presentation or talk. You may need to advise someone on their delivery skills, or even deliver a ‘performance’ of your own.
When Derren is on stage, you see his ability to hold the crowd, through stories, anecdotes, personal insights, humour and wit. He also uses other key elements of masterful storytelling including excellent openings, closings and finales, great timing and unexpected twists.
In his book, Confessions of a Conjuror, Derren wrote: “Magic means nothing. It has the potential to connect us to something wonderful, as does any performance, but it is not wonderful in itself, for it is inseparable from the particular performance in which it is experienced.”
This explains why he puts so much effort into the performance and delivery elements of his shows, and can outclass others who have comparable technical skills, but lack the stagecraft.
If you’re interested in honing your communications delivery skills, then you could do no worse than attending one of Derren’s shows.