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Win the Crowd Paperback – June 14, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Who knows better than a magician how to captivate an audience? As Cohen (who calls himself the Millionaires' Magician—an indication of who his audience is) notes, "[M]agicians are masters at attracting interest, holding attention, and leaving audiences with fond memories of their time together."Demystifying the psychology of magic in clear, pithy prose, he explains how to use a magician's tricks to make better, more winning presentations. Cohen distills five "Maxims of Magic": Be Bold; Expect Success; Don't State—Suggest; Practice, Practice, Practice; and Be Prepared. This may be familiar territory, but Cohen's advice has a magician's spin (including how to perform some tricks). For example, to practice being bold, he suggests dropping a quarter surreptitiously into someone's pocket. The magician's preparation and presentation also include creating a compelling character and making a magical entrance to command a room. Cohen also discusses the power of specific word patterns, how to discern unconscious but visible responses in listeners and the use of misdirection. Readers gain insight on how magicians lead and read people, so that how a magician figures out what card you drew from the deck becomes clearer. This thoughtful and charming guide should win a crowd of readers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“This book helped me capture some of the toughest crowds of all—hardcore businesspeople.” (Stephen Messer, CEO and chairman, LinkShare Corporation)

“No sleight of hand, just practical miracles.” (Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow)

“Worth its weight in gold if you want to learn the real secrets of magicians—showmanship.” (Alan Greenberg, Chairman of the Executive Committee, The Bear Sterns Companies Inc)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; English Language edition (June 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060742046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060742041
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Carpenter VINE VOICE on March 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a professional speaker and I speak more than 120 times per year. These events include crowds from 5 to 5000 and I haven't come across a book in a long time that I really thought brought something new to the table. This does not mean that there are no other books I find helpful, it's just that most newer books simple say the same ol' thing about giving speeches and presentations. Some of the other reviews here are accurate when they say that the book is mostly about working the crowd, but what they have failed to do is put in the mental and emotional effort to apply the concepts to what they do.

In the world of speaking, there are those who know how to organize and deliver a speech and then there are those who know how to woo the crowd and ingrain the concepts into their minds through emotional and fact-based implanting. Most speakers have no concept of "Positional Communications: Having a specific spot for delivering certain important messages so the audience expects it without conscious awareness" or "Theme-ing: Having a consistent theme that is used to program the audience and ingrain long-term recollection."

While these specific elements are not directly covered, this book provides the possibility of these deep insights. Understanding that it's important to have credibility and not just the facts. Knowing that your confidence determines, in large part, their receptiveness. Grasping that the words you use will impact whether the group remembers, regards, or relies on you and your information for their use and success.
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Format: Paperback
Magicians have an interesting job. Unlike a talent for singing or telling jokes, their performance has to depend on the setting of an expectation in the part of the audience and then performing something that you would normally think impossible. When you strip away the sleight of hand tricks, magicians are essentially masters of attracting and holding attention and impressing audiences, exactly the psychological secrets you need to be successful in life and business.

In this book Mr. Cohen talks about, not the magic tricks themself, but the staging of a magic show. How do you keep the audiences attention where you want it? How do you prepare them for something unexpected so that they will remember your point later? How do you make them listen to you carefully so that they won't miss a word, and thus remember it better? How do you sense what people are thinking, and perhaps more important, feeling while you are presenting so you can make them feel like they are getting your points?

Remember, he's talking about showmanship, not magical tricks. For those you need a different book. For some interesting tips on how to hold attention while making a presentation, this is the book.
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Format: Paperback
Win the Crowd is a good primer for people who want to understand some of the skills necessary to be effective presenting yourself with confidence and being persuasive in front of groups of people. The book categorizes what is needed to be effective with crowds (there are one-on-one discussions as well) and suggests some tricks to help strengthen the skills which may need to be improved.

Steve Cohen obviously has worked for many years perfecting his stage presence (he is a successful magician), and how he presents himself to smaller groups at private functions. His opinions on how to improve presentation skills in front of people come from his successful trial and errors. The most helpful portion of the book is when he gives practical advice on how to be more engaging, confident and improve ones appearance when on stage giving a speech.

However, the book has a lot of filler that contains generalizations merely touching on other important aspects that reader may want to study further. These sections also tend to mutate into references of magic that are interesting but not necessarily informative. His sections on building a better personality, charisma and reading people just scratch the surface of what can be done, and offers no enhancements from what someone could find in a psychology text book. His build-up to the chapter "Misdirection" led to a major let down. Although I did try the magic trick he teaches to my children and failed miserably. Practice, practice, practice is a major theme. Obviously after the magic trick failure I need to be reminded of that more.

Win the Crowd has good stuff and does identify the secrets needed to be effective with crowds (both large and small). It's only fault is that it does not dig deeper into some areas. However, once these areas are identified, more research from other books can be found if the reader wants additional advice.
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Format: Paperback
Not everyone wants to be a practicing magician, but everyone needs to bring a little magic into their lives. None of us makes a pretension to be as captivating as a professional magician or Las Vegas showman, but we are all captivated by these people and wish that we could harvest some of their charismatic power for our personal and business lives.

Wouldn't you like to learn how a magician can focus his eyes on you, so that you become mesmerized by his gaze and feel that you must follow each one of his moves? Wouldn't you like to learn how a Las Vegas showman gives "presence" to his human frame - sometimes despite his actual size - and "fills" the room with his personality? Have you ever wondered how a magician gets you to focus on one part of his body, while another part of his body is actually putting the trick together?

What Steve Cohen conveys to you is that these are simple techniques, but they require almost daily practice. Steve talks about "eye contact" drills you can perform while you're walking through the mall, "posture" drills you can practice before your next big presentation, and "misdirection" techniques that, somewhat contradictorily, actually help focus your audience's attention on you.

You can read books about public speaking, which all repeat the same mantras about "eye contact," "breathing," and "body language," or you can take Steve's unorthodox approach to give your speeches a little "magic."

Steve's book is extremely well-written, and very entertaining. A little bit of talk about "magic," but nothing that would make a non-practitioner's eyes glaze over.
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