Win the Crowd: Unlock the Secrets of Influence, Charisma, and Showmanship

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Would You Like to Become More Commanding, Convincing, And Charismatic?

In this book, Steve Cohen, master magician and star of the long-running Chamber Magic show in New York City, will reveal the secrets of all great showmen and magicians—how to persuade, influence, and charm, and ultimately accomplish the things you've always wanted to do. As Cohen writes, "You'll discover how to take over a room, read people, and build anticipation to a ...

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Win the Crowd

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Would You Like to Become More Commanding, Convincing, And Charismatic?

In this book, Steve Cohen, master magician and star of the long-running Chamber Magic show in New York City, will reveal the secrets of all great showmen and magicians—how to persuade, influence, and charm, and ultimately accomplish the things you've always wanted to do. As Cohen writes, "You'll discover how to take over a room, read people, and build anticipation to a feverish pitch so people are burning to hear what you have to say."

Win the Crowd will teach you Steve Cohen's Maxims of Magic, simple rules you can use to take charge of practically any situation, from on-the-job disagreements to dating to important cocktail parties. The Maxims of Magic will wash away insecurities and hesitations, and replace them with confidence, poise, and leadership. What's more, Steve Cohen will show you:

  • How to Create a Magic Moment. Capturing people's imaginations and attention so they listen carefully to every word you say.
  • How to Command a Room. Showing everyone in the room that you are speaking right to them, making them all feel unique—and completely focused on you.
  • How to Read People. Learning to sense what people are feeling and thinking as you speak, what they want from you, and how to make them feel like they are getting it.
  • Misdirection. The most important trick in all of magic—getting inside people's heads, and directing what they are thinking at every minute.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Steve Cohen has a degree in psychology from Cornell, but the world knows him as the Millionaires' Magician, the master illusionist who performs at luxury hotels in New York, London, and Tokyo. In Win the Crowd, Cohen shows how anybody can use magicians' techniques to take charge of "real world" situations like workplace disagreements and social occasions. He gives readers an attention-grabbing tutorial on commanding a room; reading your audience; creating misdirection; and creating a magical moment.
Stephen Messer
“This book helped me capture some of the toughest crowds of all—hardcore businesspeople.”
Seth Godin
“No sleight of hand, just practical miracles.”
Alan Greenberg
“Worth its weight in gold if you want to learn the real secrets of magicians—showmanship.”
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. Agent, Jennifer Joel. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"How To Win Fans and Influence People" could be the alternate subtitle of this entertaining and inspirational self-help book by Cohen, the "Millionaires' Magician," who performs weekly at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel. For Cohen, the key to success lies in being so self-confident and charismatic that audiences will believe the illusion he's created without feeling manipulated. So that readers may apply his secrets to business and daily life, he introduces "The Maxims of Magic": be bold; expect success; don't state-suggest; practice, practice, practice; and be prepared. These are supplemented with techniques used by performing artists, including preparing one's body and mind for performance, getting a responsive audience before speaking a word, and using persuasive speech patterns. With a focus on presentation, Cohen shares entertaining anecdotes of past performances and explains a few sleight-of-hand tricks. Conjuring may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Cohen's advice is worth noting and passing to others. Recommended for self-help and public speaking collections in public libraries.-Lucille M. Boone, San Jose P.L., CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060742058
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,509,945
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Cohen holds a degree in psychology from Cornell and performs his critically acclaimed Chamber Magic at luxury hotels around the country and overseas. His weekly act at the Waldorf-Astoria sells out months in advance. Cohen has been featured in many publications and on television, including the New York Times, CNN, and CBS's The Early Show.

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Read an Excerpt

Win the Crowd

Unlock the Secrets of Influence, Charisma, and Showmanship
By Steve Cohen

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Steve Cohen
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060742046

Chapter One

The Maxims of Magic

The art of magic has been around for thousands of years. Archaeologists have even found hieroglyphics depicting magicians performing sleight-of-hand tricks. Interestingly enough, those same tricks still baffle audiences today. We must be doing something right.

Think back to the first magic trick you ever saw. Maybe your cousin showed you a card trick at a family barbeque. Or you might've seen a magician pull a rabbit out of an empty basket. Or perhaps you saw a TV magician levitate a woman in midair. Can you remember your sense of wonder?

These tricks worked because the magicians followed a set of rules. Fortunately, anyone can learn and apply these rules to influence others. I use them not only onstage but offstage as well -- with my family, friends, and business associates and in my community.

I call these rules the Maxims of Magic. Magicians follow them to convey confidence during their performances. Once you make the decision to do the same -- to think like a magician -- you will feel more confident yourself. People will sense your new positive attitude and respond by wanting to be around you and follow your lead.

Here, then, are the Maxims of Magic.

The Maxims of Magic

  1. Be Bold
    Take risks -- don't be shy about the actions you take or the words you speak.

  2. Expect Success
    Start every personal encounter with the expectation that it will succeed.

  3. Don't State -- Suggest
    Use the power of suggestion instead of flat-out statements.

  4. Practice, Practice, Practice
    Work hard privately so that you appear effortless in public.

  5. Be Prepared
    Stay several steps ahead of your audience at all times.

Let's examine each of these rules in detail so that you can get started using them right away. Before you know it, you'll be casting your own spell over people whom you interact with on a daily basis.


One of the things that separates beginning and experienced magicians is guilt. An important part of magic requires the performer to hide an object in his hand while keeping a perfectly straight face. This is tougher than it seems. It takes nerve. If you don't believe me, try it now. Clip a coin between your fingers so that no one can see it from the front. Now keep it there for the rest of the day, doing all of the things that you normally do. Eat meals, have meetings, speak to your family. Don't grip the coin so tightly that your fingers turn purple! Be natural. By the end of the day, you'll understand how hard it is to pretend that nothing's there.

Beginning magicians feel guilty that they are hiding something and unconsciously give off telltale signs. Audiences may not know exactly what the magician is hiding, or how he's hiding it. But they know he's hiding something. His guilt betrays him in the form of awkward gestures. The beginner may keep his arm frozen in place instead of letting it swing naturally. Or he might glance in the direction of the hidden object. This attitude spoils the illusion of magic, and audiences walk away with a big, fat question mark.

Experienced magicians are able to keep secrets from audiences without feeling guilty. We've learned how to act naturally, even when people are staring. I learned this early on when I was a child. I remember swiping a cookie from the cookie jar. I heard my parents approaching and had to make a quick decision. Should I fold my arms and hide the cookie so that my parents can't see it, or should I swing my arms naturally with the cookie in full view? I decided to hide it in full view. I took a deep breath, relaxed, and acted as if nothing unusual were occurring. It's counterintuitive to think that you could hide an object in plain sight. But it worked. Nobody expected me to be so bold. Cookie in hand, I walked past my parents, and they had no clue that I was anything but innocent. This simple deception hooked me on magic.

I'm not suggesting that you hide things from people on a regular basis. That's not the point. I'm suggesting that you learn to stretch your comfort zone. It's not easy to act natural when you're the center of attention. It takes guts. The first step at making this maxim part of your life is to stop being afraid of other people and what they think of you.

When you're bold, you will get results that you've never had before, because you're doing things that you've never done before.

When I read the previous sentence to a friend of mine, a successful businesswoman, she said, "That is so true!" She lives by the following aphorism: "Don't ask first; just apologize later." Instead of running a new idea by her boss, she just goes ahead and tries it out. According to her, too many "managers" are entrenched in their ways of doing things and are likely to say no to something new. She just plows ahead and does it on her own.

This is boldness in a nutshell. If your new plan doesn't work, you can always apologize later for running with it. If it does work, though, you're a hero. Are you willing to take risks like that? If you are, then you're on your way to understanding boldness.

Risky Behavior at the Bank

Magicians know that the rewards can be so much larger when you challenge yourself to take risks. Legendary Las Vegas magician Jimmy Grippo proved this one evening when he was in a bank. At 6:00 pm, Grippo noticed that the vault door was being closed for the night. Thinking fast, he removed a playing card from his pocket and scaled it into the vault as the door was being sealed shut for the evening. His aim was perfect, and the card slid inside, unnoticed by the guard.


Excerpted from Win the Crowd by Steve Cohen Copyright © 2005 by Steve Cohen. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Introduction xiii
Chapter 1 The Maxims of Magic 1
Be Bold
Expect Success
Don't State-Suggest
Practice, Practice, Practice
Be Prepared
Chapter 2 Conviction: Give Them a Magic Moment 23
Chapter 3 Create a Colorful Personality 37
Chapter 4 Building Confidence Before the Curtain Rises 43
Chapter 5 Prepare Your Body and Mind for the Big Moment 53
Chapter 6 How to Command a Room 63
Chapter 7 Organization and Presentation Secrets 79
Chapter 8 Charisma 99
Chapter 9 Reading People 117
Chapter 10 Magic Words 135
Chapter 11 Misdirection 157
Afterword: Win the Crowd 167
Further Reading 169
Acknowledgments 173
Index 175
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Wonderfuly enlightening

    I've been a fan of mr.cohen since i saw his lost magic decoded on the history chanel. I must admit i was baffled, but my intrest took me all the way to new york to see his show "chamber magic" it was difficult to buy tickets online, his shows where always sold out before i even got a chance to look! Kept at it though, and was amazed by his skill and how he kepet a light and attentive mental state the entire show. He is a wonderfull host and preformer, and if you are a young, aspiring magician i would recomend mr.cohen any day of the week.~lyddia

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