In the business of magic and entertainment, it’s not just talent and communication skills that win the audience over. The Mentalist on stage and the audience may be meeting for the first time. There may be members in the audience who know each other, but there’s a fairly good chance that the people in the audience do not know the mentalist on stage personally. And there lies the challenge. The performer has less than ten minutes at the most to make the audience comfortable, impress them with their sense of humour and talents and keep their interest levels soaring as the clock ticks.
It takes nothing less than a touch of real mentalism to do all three, doesn’t it? So, how does a performer actually strike up an instant chemistry with a stranger he just met not more than 5 minutes ago? How does a mentalist build up an instant rapport on stage with an audience member who he does not know personally and yet he is able to win that stranger’s trust so quickly? Mentalists too follow a few golden rules when it comes to building up instant rapport with a stranger:
And these are tricks you too can use in your social and professional life too!
Maintaining Eye Contact
Looking straight into the eyes of another person is a sign of confidence. It encourages the second person to open up and initiate a conversation. Maintaining eye contact confidently also gives a subtle signal that you are a trustworthy person. When a mentalist makes steady eye contact with an audience member, he is, in fact, letting the latter know that he can be trusted and that the audience member is in safe hands.
It’s said that the best way to begin a conversation is simply by smiling. It’s again a sign of self-assurance and of course friendliness. Would you even want to go anywhere near a performer who was grumpy, irritated or looked angry? A smiling mentalist easily wins hearts and that is half the secret to a successful show.
A Firm Handshake
Don’t know a person well enough to give a hug or a cheek to cheek kiss? A firm handshake that is both formal and friendly at the same time works well to break the ice. That’s another reason why magicians and mentalists can often be spotted giving firm handshakes to audience members who have been asked to assist them in their act.
Asking the right questions can instantly put a stranger at ease. It’s a well-known fact that the minute a person is called by his or her first name, an instant rapport is struck. Most mentalists ask the ‘assistant’ from the audience basic questions such as their name, where they’re from and a general question or two. This helps the rest of the audience members become a little more familiar with the stranger on stage and also gives the mentalist more leeway to engage the audience member’s help in the acts to follow.
Asking A Favour Of Someone
Believe it or not, asking someone to perform a small task or “favour” for you actually increases the levels of rapport. this is known as the “Ben Franklin Effect” and proposes that the person who did the initial small task is more likely to take on another request, or rate the person who asked the favour higher as a more “likable person”. This is due to cognitive dissonance and the automatic mental assumption that if we do a favour for someone, it is because we like them.
We Can Help You Connect With Anyone Instantly
Come to think of it, it takes plenty of confidence and experience to befriend a total stranger, even if for a few minutes or hours. In the corporate world, however, the best way to let a room full of people know you exist is by walking up to a random person, introducing yourself and striking up a conversation. Some of the world’s best business ideas and deals have sprung up from such random talks.
Most importantly, the ability to strike a rapport with anybody anywhere is a skill that could be a big lifesaver too. So, what’s stopping you walking up to people who you do not know on a first name basis and saying hello?
Do you find yourself standing stuck to the ground and hunting for the right words to say to make that first eye-opening impression? Or do you perhaps think that you really don’t have anything much to talk about so why make the first move anyways?
Phoenix, Australia’s favourite mentalist who’s been on a mission to thrill audiences for years also conducts Rapport Training Workshops for corporates all across the continent. You’ll get to hear this TV personality talk about his experiences with ‘connecting instantly’ in person, get to listen to him share valuable tips that nobody else has ever told you and even get to put your learnings into practice.
So, if you feel that breaking the ice among your team members is going to help each one of them benefit individually, then our Rapport Training Workshop promises not to disappoint. It’s helped many corporate teams bond better and work together better too.
Simply fill out how contact form and we’ll be in touch!