As a performer I use certain words and phrases to get people to cooperate and make me look good onstage. When used correctly these words work wonders.
The best part? You can use most of these special phrases in your everyday life to be a better conversationalist, remember people’s names, and put people at ease.
They may not be as cool as “wingardium leviosa” but these are real-life magic words that really work.
"Good To See You": Use this phrase every time you greet someone. If it’s the first time you’ve met them they’ll think you’re just being nice. Or, if you’ve met them before they’ll be convinced you remember them…even if you completely forgot!
"Remind Me Of Your Name": This is my go-to phrase anytime I forget someone’s name. By asking someone to remind you they’ll wonder if they weren’t memorable enough the first time you were introduced, or maybe they just never told you their name in the first place! You’re subtlety placing the blame on them, without making them feel bad. Sneaky, huh?
"Yes, and…": I was having a conversation recently and the other person said “Not only that but…” in response to a point I made. Even though they were being positive about what I had told them, I couldn’t stop thinking about the negative words they had used like “not” and “but”. Instead, try saying “Yes, and…” to build on someone’s thoughts in a positive manner. It will make them feel good about their ideas and they’ll be more likely to agree with you, too. (Plus, if you ever move to Chicago you’ll fit right in.)
"Tell Me More": When you’re having a conversation, pay attention for the best moment to ask the other person to “tell you more”. By doing so, you’re searching for the conversation they want to be having. You really have to pay attention to use this phrase, which means you’ll get bonus points for actually being a great listener. When used correctly, “tell me more” will lead to some of the most fascinating conversations you’ve ever had.
"No Worse Than Me": Sometimes I need to have volunteers help with a strange task during the show, such as shuffling cards or drawing a picture. Usually people are a little hesitant, saying something like “Oh, I’m a terrible artist!” or something similar. I quickly say “Don’t worry, you’re no worse than me!” to put them at ease. For a split second, it makes us equals and takes the pressure off. I’ve just started using this one in the past month but it really works!
So there you go…some new magic words to go along with “please” and “thank you”. Try them out and let me know if they work for you!
I’m headlining at the Chicago Magic Lounge next weekend, September 19-22. Get tickets here.
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Within the past week I had one of the worst shows of my life and one of the best in the same 24 hour span. I’ll write about it in greater detail for a future Thursday Thoughts post, but it just goes to show that there are always new things to learn, you can always get better, and nothing is ever that big of a deal.