Five Kinds of Amazing, Part 4: Contact

Five Kinds of Amazing, Part 4: Contact

We all want our audiences to perceive our brands as “amazing,” and the “Five Kinds of Amazing” model provides a way to organize our approaches for making amazing experiences happen.

In reviewing the first three elements, the magic metaphors all relate to primarily visual experiences.
– Talent/Expertise: relating to open and frequent knowledge sharing
– Science/Process: relating to embedding unexpected positive experiences in standard processes
– Mystery/Empowerment: relating to the overt contradiction of an established process

Five Kinds of Amazing: Contact and Communication
Five Kinds of Amazing: Contact and Communication
In this article and the next, we are going to shift gears a bit.

In the final two categories, we’ll be referring to effects within a particular branch of illusion arts known as “mentalism.” I’ve written about mentalism before, and you may find it helpful in understanding the metaphor by reviewing that article. To summarize, though, mentalism is a branch of the illusion arts that deals with experiences that are more psychological than visual. Instead of more traditional conjuring effects such as objects appearing, floating, changing colors, or being destroyed and restored, mentalism relates to experiences of supposed ESP, mind-reading, mental influence, ability to affect the physical world through the power of the mind, and predictions of future events.

Some mentalism effects or experiences relate to the concept of mind-reading. The “Contact” category corresponds to this kind of illusion, in which one person seems to be able to communicate with another person solely through mental power.

In the early 20th century, "Alexander - The Man Who Knows" made his name by apparently reading the minds of people in his audience.
In the early 20th century, “Alexander – The Man Who Knows” made his name by apparently reading the minds of people in his audience.
The apparent ability to read minds or to influence people mentally is a powerful theatrical experience. Classic performers like Alexander and Dunninger and more modern figures like the Evasons and Max Maven have created sensations with their ability to seemingly get inside the minds of other people.



In business, contact equals communication. The key factor here is that there are two minds involved – someone is sending the message, and someone is receiving and, more importantly, responding to it.

If someone could really read your mind – and let’s say that they can only read it to the extent that you permit them to read it – how do you think you’d feel? Let’s leave aside the possible negative aspects for a moment and just think about some of the other implications. You might feel as if there were a direct and unfiltered connection, and that the communication was practically instantaneous. Depending on how they handled that information, you might develop a deep trust. You’d certainly feel that you had their undivided attention if they were peering directly into your mind.

If you want your audience to feel like you’ve made the best possible connection with them – that is, an amazing connection, then it’s up to you to make sure you communicate with them in similar ways:

  • Regularly
  • So that there’s an expectation that you’ll be in touch consistently.

  • Quickly
  • So that there’s an immediacy in the engagement.

  • Honestly
  • So that there’s an establishment of trust.

  • Attentively
  • So that there’s a clear prioritization of that communication.

    The faster you respond, the more amazing they’ll find that interaction. The more you share honest, useful, information with them, the more amazing they’ll find your brand. The more attentive you are to them in the moments when they are reaching out, the more amazing the story they’ll tell their own audiences.

    Next time, we’ll wrap up the five kinds of amazing with a look at another type of mentalism experience and how it relates to your brand’s audience!



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