Empathy: A Job Skill

February 6, 2010

I have been doing corporate speaking engagements for quite some years, using what I call “Magical Metaphors” that utilize magic in original ways to visually and memorably illustrate principles of, for example, creativity, brainstorming, risk management and more. (You can find out more about this work on my website.) In recent years I have created a number of distinctive and eclectic presentations that I have presented at major conferences such as The EG, Serious Play, GEL, and Flash Forward, and which have been enthusiastically received by designer groups, user interface and user experience specialists and such for clients including Intuit, Adobe, and Electronic Arts.

These talks are eclectic tours of many passions and subjects that interest me, including narrative structure, film, information design, branding, con games, psychology, deception, magic, and more. One such talk is entitled “How Magic Works,” utilizing a close analysis of a single card trick to consider how “the method is not the trick” not only in magic, but in any creative endeavor.

Another, entitled “Empathy: A Job Skill,” was first presented at the GEL (Good Experience Live) conference, last June in New York City. Generally I do not make these talks public, however, here’s a rare chance to see the entirety of one such presentation. Enjoy!

Jamy Ian Swiss

Sleight-of-hand magician

There is one key ingredient in all good magic tricks, and Jamy Ian Swiss reveals it before taking the audience through a magic trick as shown from the magician’s perspective. This is one of the most thought-provoking and talked-about presentations from Gel 2009 and should be required viewing for anyone in the business of creating good experiences. (Hint: the key ingredient is also the essence of good listening.)

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