I’m regularly amazed by how often advice for stage magicians turns out to also make a lot of sense for preachers.

What am I talking about? Well, consider these principles of good magic I have come across:

  • Don’t explain, show.
  • NEVER present until you have rehearsed; rehearse until you can present naturally and without hesitation.
  • Know what you look like to your audience; rehearse in front of a mirror, or better yet, on video.
  • Always respect your audience; don’t “fool” them, delight them!
  • Try as much as possible to think “participants”, not “spectators”.
  • Have a reason and a rationale for what you are doing; don’t just “do tricks”.
  • Don’t do the same trick twice.
  • Magic is more about the effect in the other person’s mind than about the “trick” you are doing on stage.
  • Knowing how to do a sleight is meaningless without a really good presentation.
  • Look where you want them to look, but mostly, look them in the eyes so they will look you in the eyes.
  • Be aware that other magicians will evaluate your work differently than normal people.

With just a little thought, one can see how these rules might apply to the art of preaching, too.