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Atlanta Magician – Mentalist – Speaker Joe M. Turner | News and Comments from the Chief Impossibility Officer

This blog moving to www.turnermagic.com/blog

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on February 25, 2013

The redesign of my new web site included a blog. As a result, I’ll be blogging at that location from now on: http://www.turnermagic.com/blog/

Some of the material that previously appeared here will be republished there over time, along with my new observations.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the new site yet, please click over today! http://www.turnermagic.com

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2013 Kickoff!

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on January 17, 2013

The new year is underway! The decorations are put away, last quarter’s estimated taxes have been sent in, and most of us are settling into our routines after the busy holiday season. I was blessed to have a successful December with many engagements leading right up to Christmas. My family and I had something of a Christmas odyssey: we traveled to see grandparents in Eads, TN, then down to the other grandparents in my hometown of Brandon, MS, then to see our bowl game in Jacksonville, FL, then back home. Then I left a day later for Phoenix! Whew!

The Phoenix trip was for an International Brotherhood of Magicians Convention Committee planning meeting, and it also included attending the midyear board meeting for the IBM Executive Committee. Next summer, magicians from all over the world will gather in Phoenix for our annual convention and it is shaping up to be spectacular. I consider it an honor to be involved in putting that event together, and look forward to many more years of service in the IBM.

After returning to Atlanta, it was only a couple of days before I began an intense trade show performance at the International Gift Show at Atlanta’s AmericasMart.

This was an unusual show for a number of reasons. First, the product, “Dr. Pott’s Proven Potty Potion” from PooPourri, was an unusual brand to promote. Second, the company needed multiple performers as they were exhibiting in two locations simultaneously. (Fortunately I also work as an agent and have skilled, personable friends to bring in when necessary!) Lastly, this promotion was to be done in character as Dr. Pott, including a costume! Take a look at this:

Dr. Pott attracts another great crowd at the International Gift Show.

Dr. Pott attracts another great crowd at the International Gift Show.

The show was a great success, drawing in hundreds of attendees to the booths who otherwise would have walked on by. As an actor, I really embraced the character and found it invigorating to stretch some of the acting muscles in a different way. The two locations were extremely different in feel: the showroom location was more like performing in a department store, while the temporary booth location was more like a traditional trade show.

So, the year is off to a busy start. I already have speaking engagements and performances booked into September, with inquiries already coming in for December!

What can you expect to see here in the coming months? Here are a few things to watch for:

  • A new look for my website, http://www.turnermagic.com
  • Continued work on my book, 5 Kinds of Amazing, which is going to expand into a system for creating amazing experiences for your own audiences or clients
  • A follow-up book to High JOEltage! which was released last year. This will become a series of short books following the theme of being amazingly effective in your personal and professional interactions
  • A few surprises I can’t yet divulge!

You can also expect to see continued blogging and updates, though the blog location may transition depending on the new website’s needs. Stay tuned!

As we get the new year rolling, I am actively seeking your help in finding:

  1. Speaking opportunities at conventions and conferences anywhere in the world
  2. Opportunities to take my one-man show to small theatres and performing arts venues
  3. Opportunities to expand my performances at other trade shows across America – using live magic to engage attendees around a product, service, or brand

Please think about the people you know in decision-making positions – and let’s talk about the best way for you to introduce us!

As always, thank you to all my friends and clients and colleagues – this amazing adventure wouldn’t be possible without your continued support and referrals!

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High JOEltage is now available!

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on December 7, 2012

I am pleased to announce the publication of High JOEltage: 101 JOElts for Becoming Amazingly Effective.

This book wasn’t part of my original plan for this year, but a few factors came into play that led to this point.

  • Last year, I set a goal for myself to complete a book during 2012.
  • My original book project, 5 Kinds of Amazing, expanded in scope and by the end of the summer, I knew I wouldn’t finish it this year.
  • My friend and fellow speaker, Melissa Galt, had suggested to me earlier that I capture some of my ideas in the format of a “tips” book.

Within the context of those circumstances, I put 5 Kinds of Amazing on pause long enough to do a tips book which has just been published.

The purpose of High JOEltage! is to encourage, motivate, and provoke you to think about ways you can have an amazing impact on your audience and improve your personal effectiveness. There is also a chapter of tips for effective business networking.

You can get your paperback copy via CreateSpace, which is where I hope you’ll buy all your physical copies: High JOEltage! Paperback

The book is also available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format, which you can get here: High JOEltage! Amazon Kindle

Thanks in advance for your support, and I hope you enjoy the book!

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Upcoming Book: High JOEltage

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on November 1, 2012

Here’s a peek at the cover. Stay tuned – it’s coming soon!

Get ready – HIGH JOELTAGE is coming soon!

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Turner Magic Named Best of Atlanta 2012 in Corporate Entertainment

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on October 10, 2012

Turner Magic Entertainment named Best of Atlanta 2012 for Corporate Entertainment.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Turner Magic Entertainment Receives 2012 Best of Atlanta Award

Atlanta Award Program Honors the Achievement

ATLANTA October 10, 2012 — Turner Magic Entertainment has been selected for the 2012 Best of Atlanta Award in the Corporate Entertainment category by the Atlanta Award Program.

Each year, the Atlanta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Atlanta area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Atlanta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atlanta Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Atlanta Award Program

The Atlanta Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Atlanta area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Atlanta Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Atlanta Award Program

CONTACT:
Atlanta Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@awardprogram.org
URL: http://www.awardprogram.org

###

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12 More Tips for Shining at Meetings and Networking Events

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on August 29, 2012

Didn’t get enough last time? Here are a dozen more tips to get you ready to make a good impression when you are out meeting people in professional networking environments.

Professional Networking 2

Your ability to generate good results from networking events is directly tied to your ability to make a positive personal impression on the people around you.

    Nametags

  1. Nametags are traditionally worn on the right side of the body so that they are most visible during your first handshake. This is a rule of thumb and while you may be coached on this by some networking veterans, don’t sweat this too much.

  2. The rear-adhesive nametags are notorious for falling off easily. Here’s a handy tip: keep a couple of paper clips in the car. If you affix your tag to a part of your clothing near an edge (lapel, collar, ruffle, etc.) then you can slide the clip on to help it stay in place.

  3. More experienced networkers have probably moved into having a custom name badge produced, typically with a magnetic clip so that you don’t have to pin through your clothes. Here’s tip: many events feature plastic name badges which have magnetic clips. You can probably keep one from the next event you attend, then create your own custom badge on a printer and just drop it in. Make your name large enough to be seen in a dim room, and include a QR code of your contact information or a link to your social media site of choice.

  4. Food and Beverage

  5. There are multiple philosophies on eating and drinking at networking events. Some people say you shouldn’t do it at all, while others say it’s no big deal. My view is that it is a function of how productive you want the meeting to be, and whether you already have an established presence at that organization.

  6. If this is your first visit to that organization and you don’t know many people, I suggest you eat before you arrive or wait until afterward. Spend your time meeting as many people as possible. You want to walk away with at least a dozen people whose businesses you’ve learned something about, who have learned something about your business, and who have given you permission to contact them on social media. You want to make a great impression on these people; crumbs on your tie will not help.

  7. If you’ve become a regular at the event and already know most folks, then eating is a different consideration. I suggest getting there early and enjoying your snack, then dive in with networking the rest of the time. If you have two free hands while other people have one or none, then you will have the opportunity to be extremely helpful to other people during the event. Maximize this opportunity to make a great impression.

  8. There is often alcohol available at after-hours events. You don’t need another lecture on the dumb and/or dangerous things that can happen when you drink too much. Make wise choices.

  9. Professional Image

  10. Choose your attire with some forethought. People will judge your business capabilities by the way you look, the way you talk, the way you behave, and the overall impression you make as a human being. Your business is not a business card or a contract or a corporate seal. It is not even a name or a logo. At a networking event, your business is you, personally. Your face, your hair, your clothes, your hygiene, and your manners.

  11. Nobody said it was fair or accurate for your entire business to be judged by those things. I’m just telling you that your personal impression is the first experience that people will have with your brand.

  12. I keep a container of breath mints in my car, as well as nail clippers, a hairbrush, some tweezers, a lint brush, and skin moisturizer. In some cases, I may even bring my electric shaver with me so that I can clean up before an after-hours event.

  13. The business impact is both immediate and long-lasting. If you have created an impressive personal and professional image – one with which others would be proud to be associated – then you can charge more for your services. Furthermore, the perceived value of what you do will increase. Here’s a lesson to remember: if the audience perceives your value is higher, then your REAL value to your client is higher. I regularly get paid to do the very same events that others would have to do for free “for the exposure.” This is not by accident.

  14. Don’t look like a rumpled slob when you go out to network or get in front of people at a leads meeting or other meeting. Clean up. You may not need to wear a suit and tie, but you need to present yourself in a way consistent with the value you propose to deliver.

If you engage in professional networking, people will talk about you later. Hopefully they will be talking about the great impression you made and how you have an amazing way of presenting your business. Don’t distract them from that task by giving them negative things to talk about in terms of your personal and professional appearance, your etiquette, or your ability to be heard and understood.

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9 Tips for Shining at Meetings and Networking Events

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on August 8, 2012

There are a variety of networking meetings and events where people can go to increase visibility, meet potential customers, and grow their networks. Here are some tips that will help you avoid looking like you have no idea what you’re doing in a meeting of professionals.

Professional Networking 1

When you attend professional networking events or meetings, remember that your business will be judged based on your ability to make a good impression.

    Etiquette and Elevator Speeches

  1. When you go to a networking event, remember that the people at the event are not your prospects. They are your gatekeepers. You are not there to make them into your customers; you are there to transform them into your sales force.

  2. Don’t go in looking to sell to the people around you. Think about the kinds of people they may know or interact with. Who might be on their email list? Sure, you’ll do some business with the people you meet, but your goal is to create business for them and for yourself by putting your networks together.

  3. Here’s the real truth: most people at a professional networking meeting do not actually care about your product or service no matter how revolutionary it is. This goes for your pill, dietary supplement, exercise program, amazing card trick, electric skin zapper, fruit juice, health product, or any other cool thing that you have or do. They care about THEIR cool things that they have or do. You have to break through this by being clear, specific, and interesting.

  4. If you get a chance to make a 30 or 60 second speech, make it pithy, memorable, and focused on helping attendees connect you to other people they know. Don’t tell the people in the room how long you’ve been in business. Don’t tell them why you think they should buy your product or why they should even be excited about it. Don’t say your target market is “everyone” or “anyone.” In your short speech, tell them who you are and what you do. Tell them the specific types of clients that you are looking to meet – describe your best clients in the last 6-12 months. And tell them how you would want them to describe your business if telling others about it. Be charming, grateful, confident, and bold. Speak up so you can be heard.

  5. Cell Phones

  6. Set your phone on vibrate or turn it off. When it rings and you reach down to turn it off, most people will politely say, “Oh, that’s okay.” They are lying. It is not okay – everyone there is, in fact, disturbed that your phone went off and interrupted whomever was speaking at that moment. Even if their own phone rang earlier, they are still ticked at you. Put your phone on vibrate or turn it off. Keep it off the table where it will rattle the whole table. Put it in a pocket, hold it in your lap, put it in your purse, or just turn it off. You may need to be contacted during the meeting – that’s fine. Your task as a competent, considerate networker is to find a way to be discreet.

  7. If you must take a call, don’t answer it until you are out of the room. If your phone does go off and you must take the call, don’t answer it as you are standing up to exit. Yes, it is 10% considerate of you to excuse yourself to take the call, but it is 90% inconsiderate of you to begin it with “Hello? Uh, I’m in a meeting – let me step out” as you step over and around and through chairs to get to the door. If you don’t want to drop the call, click the answer button on the way out, but don’t speak until you have actually left the room. They’ll hear that you’re moving and wonder what is going on, but you don’t say a word. If they hang up before you can answer or speak, you can call them back in the hallway.

  8. Microphones

  9. If there is a microphone, use it. Yes, use it even if you don’t want to. Yes, use it even if you have a loud voice and you think it carries well. Yes, use it even if for your whole life, everyone has told you that you don’t need it. They are wrong. If there is a microphone there and it’s working, you need to use it. It makes weaker voices strong enough to be heard. It makes stronger voices even more understandable. It helps to give your voice authority and pop that help people to pay attention. If others are using it and you don’t, then the whole feel of the meeting changes unnecessarily. Most people don’t use a microphone because they are afraid of what their voice sounds like when amplified. Get over it. Use the microphone.

  10. Hold the microphone closer to your mouth. Just because you are holding it doesn’t magically make you heard. You can’t hold it at your chest or a foot away from your mouth – you actually have to speak into it for it to work properly. Hold the microphone about 5 inches from your mouth and speak into it. It’s okay if you’re louder than the person before you. He didn’t know how to use it properly and now you do. Don’t gesture with it, point at other things with it, or wave it at other people. If you need to gesture, use your other hand.

  11. Don’t grip the microphone at the very bottom. Many wireless microphones have their transmitting hardware in that area. Grasp the microphone around the middle of the barrel.

Stay tuned for more tips in the next post!

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Turner Magic & Keynotes Named Best of Atlanta 2012

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on August 6, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Turner Magic & Keynotes Receives 2012 Best of Atlanta Award

Atlanta Award Program Honors the Achievement

ATLANTA July 30, 2012 — Turner Magic & Keynotes has been selected for the 2012 Best of Atlanta Award in the Party Planning & Event Consultants category by the Atlanta Award Program.

2012 Best of Atlanta

Turner Magic & Keynotes has received the 2012 Best of Atlanta award for the second consecutive year.

Each year, the Atlanta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Atlanta area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Atlanta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atlanta Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Atlanta Award Program

The Atlanta Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Atlanta area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Atlanta Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Atlanta Award Program

CONTACT:
Atlanta Award Program
Email: PublicRelations@awardprogram.org
URL: http://www.awardprogram.org

###

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Change Management and New Shoes

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on July 24, 2012

Organizational change initiatives are complex in part because they can succeed or fail based on variables such as human psychology, business agility, economic environments, leadership skills, communication skills, technical capability, and even the occasional lucky break. Managing change is a combination of business acumen, social instinct, and leadership abilities that can’t be reduced to silly, oversimplified analogies.

Mr. Rogers: Master of the Shoe Change

Mr. Rogers: Master of the Shoe Change

On the other hand, change initiatives are a lot like getting new shoes.

  1. Eventually you’re going to need new shoes. You can’t put it off forever – even if you resole the pair you love, you already know that’s a stopgap measure. You know now that one day you’re going to need to get rid of what you’re wearing in favor of something else. If you wait until your shoes have holes in them, then you’ll have a lot less flexibility in looking for replacements.

    Do you want to be searching for new shoes because you have to have something immediately, or do you want to search for the next pair while you have the luxury of taking your time? Do you think you’ll more easily find the right fit if you search carefully, or if you search while in a state of dire need?

  2. In all likelihood, the exact make and model of the shoes you’re wearing now won’t be available when you need new ones. Even classics get changed, updated, or taken out of production. If you have convinced yourself that you can only function in one particular brand, style, or color of shoe then you may find yourself barefoot while looking for the new ones – and that may be a fool’s errand.

    Is your ability to function going to be helped or hindered by the constraints you have established for the new shoes? Are you certain that the constraints are meaningful?

  3. Even if the same shoes are available, your activities and needs may be different by the time you get the new ones. You might have a new job, suit, or fashion taste by the time you’re in the market for that new pair. Maybe you bought an extra pair when you found them. Even so, eventually your supply will run out.

    Are you willing to bet your future mobility on your hunch that neither your activities nor the environment in which you operate will change? Does that seem like a wise risk to you?

  4. You may not be able to afford custom-built shoes. Some folks can guarantee that they’ll never have to wear shoes that were mass produced. Most of the world will have to buy something off a shelf.

    Can you afford a custom solution for your new shoes? Does your budget make that a realistic option? Or will you get further, faster, by doing a careful search of more affordable options?

  5. There may be some discomfort involved. Even when new shoes fit great in the store, when they get put into action in the real world, you might get a blister at first. Eventually both the feet and the shoes adapt to each other.

    The process of change is inevitably going to bring some degree of discomfort. That doesn’t mean you discard the shoes – it means you may have to stretch them, break them in, and give them time to mold to your physical shape. Are you giving the new shoes a fair trial?

Can you think of other ways that organizational change is like getting new shoes?

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Change Aversion, Iocane Powder, and Your GPS

Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on June 20, 2012

I admit it. I’m rebellious, change-driven, and a radical non-conformist… in small doses.

Some people are bomb-dropping, mountain-moving, headline-making change agents. Whether in leadership roles or executing tasks, they are ready to rock, all the way, all the time. Fundamental transformation, baby – do it now! And when we’re done, let’s change it back so we can do it again. These people may be driven by a compelling personal vision for the future. Of course, they may also be easily influenced, distracted by shiny objects, or have chronic wanderlust. Either way, they have a very high tolerance for change.

Other people have a lower tolerance for change. Where others see stubborn ruts, they see clear, proven processes. Where others feel a prickly monotony, they feel a comforting security. Fools rush in, as the old song says, and the only thing these take-it-slow folks won’t hesitate to do is to remind you of it. Everything else can wait.

The fact is that all of us demonstrate elements of both of these broad stereotypes. But equally true is the fact that we all live and work in environments where the pace of change is constantly accelerating. Being adaptive and open to change is a personal and professional life skill.

In the 1987 movie The Princess Bride, the famous “battle of wits” scene between Vizzini and the Man in Black concludes with a bit of wisdom that change averse people – meaning “all human beings” – can learn from. Here, watch the scene so you have it fresh in your mind:

The Man in Black survives the battle because he “spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.” That’s interesting. He was prepared for a challenging situation because he had spent sometime building up his tolerance. When confronted with the danger, he could depend on being able to survive it.

Instead of dosing up on iocane powder, I’d challenge you to add something to your daily routine to help you build up your tolerance for change. It doesn’t have to be headline-making change. Just do something on a regular basis to take a different path and keep yourself accustomed to the unaccustomed.

Alternate Route Advised

Build up a tolerance for change by doing some little things differently every day.

My favorite low-stress change is the alternate route. When I’m driving somewhere for a meeting or show, or driving home, I will often take a turn just for the novelty of taking a different route. I like the opportunity to see what’s going on in the places or along the streets where I travel less often. If my GPS happens to be on, I kind of like to see it recalculating routes based on the turns I make and the one’s I don’t. I guess I enjoy that little power rush of asserting a little human dominance over technology!

Another option you might consider: order something different on the menu at the restaurants where you eat often. Sure, you already know what you like. You can always order that again sometime. Next visit, though, try something you’ve never had.

Sign with a different colored pen, park at the other end of the parking lot, sit on the other side of the room at church – whatever you do, throw a little change of pace into your life. Build up that tolerance one random turn at a time!

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