Four reasons you should consider magic as a training activity

I’ve always been fascinated by magic for as long as I can remember. Magic sets were often on my Santa list. I have to confess though, I was never any good. I didn’t master any of it!

Apart from one trick.

It was a particular card trick I learned many years ago and the only one I’ve been able to perform until recently. I once used it in a recruitment process where I was pitching myself for an L&D position in a casino business. Magic seemed to fit with that environment so I used this classic trick in my mock training session to grab the attention of the people who were selecting me and re-emphasise some of the messages included. I wanted it to be memorable and I wanted to get the job.

I did!

Some years later, I find myself heading up the digital at www.trainertrix.com working with Sean who I’ve known for a few years now. Bearing in mind this is a product where Sean teachers trainers, teachers and facilitators on how to use magic.  By me being directly involved with producing the content I’ve learned a few tricks.

All of them in fact!

I’m over the moon! I now no longer have one trick up my sleeve so to speak. I’ve a tool kit of very effective tricks that I can confidently perform. Since the first round of filming for Trainer Trix, I’ve been able to learn a new suite of pretty impressive magic tricks. The training definitely works. I have used these in social situations. I’ve not been able to help myself! Last night out with a crowd of friends, I pulled a few things out of the hat! My favourite was a trick where a friend shuffled and selected a random card from a pack. I revealed the same card, and only that card, was in my wallet in my pocket! It was a combination of a couple of tricks and a bit of advice in Sean’s content that led to this creation!

But what about the Learning and Development context though? How does magic help people learn? I’ve come up with these four reasons.

 

Magic grabs attention

There’s a side to magic that is engaging and inspiring meaning it is a sure fire way to grab attention. As an icebreaker, energiser or introduction that’s a great thing isn’t it? Thinking back to the magic trick in front of my recruitment panel, I grabbed their attention and wakened their senses to a level that they were open enough to listen to what I said. I believe magic, particularly visual magic, widens eyes and opens minds.

Magic must help aid retention

I would expect magic to help people retain information wouldn’t you? There’s enough information out there that helps us to link engagement and retention. So on the basis that magic is engaging, this has to be of benefit to people remembering and using what they’ve learned. Would you agree? Think of learning metaphors, acronyms, analogies etc.

Magic is relevant to content

Just like any other training activity, magic needs to be use in relation to the content and audience and not necessarily just as something gimmicky. There is a couple of brilliant tricks in Trainer Trix using cans of pop called Fizz Roulette and Fizz Across. I can see a firm place for these tricks in sessions such as change, team working, leadership, facilitation etc. Then there are some that are ice breakers or energisers as much as they are relevant to content such as problem solving, creativity and communication.

Magic is great fun

It is isn’t it? I know it’s a marmite thing for some, but I personally love it! It seems like most others I talk to do too. There is so much misery, stress, boring, draining stuff in the world isn’t there? Magic is a great way of lightening things up a bit and having fun bringing cheer to the classrooms? We need more stuff like this in the world.

 

So all in all, from a Learning and Development perspective, Trainer Trix ticks my box. I’m excited about using my new found skills within training and presentation settings. I’ve already had loads of fun with them in social settings.

Trainer Trix also ticks my digital box from a content production and user experience perspective. I’ve loved working on it. We’ve invested in a stunning and interesting venue, a brilliant production and post-edit team as well as a beautifully presented user experience. We’ve used the most reliable, user friendly, secure tech that brings a membership area that evolves and grows as you progress through the course.

Sean is a great mentor for trainers, facilitators, teachers and presenters in using magic. He’s been doing it for years. The high quality production, teamed with Sean’s knowledge and inspiration when it comes to using magic in a learning context makes this product one that I’m very proud of.

I’m sure there is more, but that’s my four reasons you should consider magic as a training activity.

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