Sleight of Hand
Sleight of hand, sometimes called prestidigitation or legerdemain is the technique used by magicians to move or manipulate an object without the viewer seeing. Sleight of hand is a fundamental skill used by all magicians to give an amazing effect to the viewers.
A great example of good sleight of hands tricks are coin tricks, simple but very effective if done correctly and can have your audience mystified by your amazing skills! Sleight of hand is typically used in close up magic and takes years of practice to master. However, with these tips you should have an audience oohing and ahhing in no time!
Secret #1 – Talk to Your Audience
Many advanced magicians will talk to their audience while performing their sleight of hand, should it be asking them what they had for breakfast or what they want for their birthday. The reason for this is that your brain can’t fully focus on what’s going on inside of it and what’s going on outside of it.
Think of it like this, your brain is a man at a desk and in front of him is his computer (what your eyes are seeing) and behind him is all of his files (your memory). When the magician asks you to think of what you had for breakfast that man in your brain turns around and looks for that file, it is at this moment that the magician makes his move.
The reason for this is that your brain can’t fully focus on what’s going on inside of it and what’s going on outside of it.
Secret #2 – The Art of Misdirection
By this I mean Physical misdirection. This is a technique many if not all masters of sleight of hand use. Misdirection is a technique used to take the audience’s attention away from the sleight of hand you are using or making your trick seem far more complicated than it actually is. See, attention is a very powerful thing, as Apollo Robbins says, “it shapes your reality”.
If a magician can control someone’s attention, then there are unlimited possibilities. Some examples of this are having your audience look at where they think the object is, say in your fist, but meanwhile with your other hand you are moving the object to a different location. When you reveal this location to the audience it has an amazing effect.
If this Physical misdirection is done correctly it can greatly improve the quality and effect of your tricks. Practice bringing your audiences attention to something while using sleight of hand to move your object to a different location. Now seeing all this power in manipulating someones attention, what would you do if you could control someones attention?
Secret #3 – Do Simple Tricks
Many of the most Jaw-Dropping tricks are very simple to do and can be done with very minimal sleight of hand skills. It’s all about delivery, a great magician can make the simplest of tricks be absolutely amazing. If you practice using the previous secrets you can perform simple magic tricks and stun your audience.
My advice for this is to buy a magic kit or possibly a single trick and practice performing that trick using misdirection. Soon you will be able to make your audience ooh and ahh at your amazing sleight of hand skills.