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David Ben

Corporate Entertainer & Innovation Speaker

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David Ben: Corporate Entertainer & Innovation Speaker

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David Ben is unlike any magician you have seen before. He has a BA from the University of Toronto, a law degree from The London School of Economics, and as a former tax lawyer, he cannot help but think of how his skill as a magician relates to the creative problem-solving and sales strategies required to be successful in business.

Recognized as one of the premier magicians in the world, Ben was the sole protégé of Ross Bertram – one of the great sleight of hand artists of the twentieth century. He is a member of London's prestigious Magic Circle and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, in Mexico, England, France and Japan. The Financial Post has described David as one of the most influential magicians of his generation.

Ben was the co-creator of and principle performer in the three critically acclaimed theatrical presentations The Conjuror, The Conjuror's Suite and Tricks. He has authored three books on the subject: his first, Advantage Play – A Manager's Guide to Creative Problem Solving examines magicians, card cheats and psychics as models of creativity and pragmatic problem solving; his second, Tricks , was a how-to book for magicians; and his most recent book, Dai Vernon: A Biography, is the first volume of a long awaited portrait of the life and times of the most influential magician of the twentieth century.

His television exposure has been numerous, with appearances on Michael Coren Live (3 times), Open Mike: The Mike Bullard Show (3 times), Pamela Wallin Live (3 times), Canada AM (3 times), The Dini Petty Show (2 times), Breakfast Television (6 times). Ben was also the subject of an award-winning documentary film A Conjuror in the Making which aired on Breakfast with the Arts on the A & E Network and on Adrienne Clarkson Presents on the CBC.
Advantage Play
David Ben struck the word impossible from his vocabulary. As a world-renowned magician, David has to make problems disappear. Problem solving, he believes, is everyone's core business. Unfortunately, few people have been taught how to solve problems in an effective and efficient manner. David demystifies the problem-solving process by taking his audience behind the scenes of the world of magic and revealing the tricks of the trade – the methodology magicians, card cheats and psychics use to perform the impossible.

David also demonstrates that every activity is a sales opportunity. Whether people work in the field of behind the desk, success depends on how well they sell the skills, products or services they provide. Using magic as his metaphor, David also demystifies this process and provides a strategy for maximizing success. His common sense approach ensures that clients and customers receive exactly what they need when they need it in a manner that is efficient for both buyer and seller.

His presentations focus on assessing opportunity based on the needs of the customer, maximizing opportunity by discovering new applications for existing products and services, using negative people to advantage, closing the transaction, understanding the importance of the "after sell" and its role in developing new and repeat business, and inspiring confidence in colleagues and co-workers. Always interested in technology, David outlines his pragmatic approach to innovation and the use of technology.

Most of all, David demonstrates the true meaning of being proactive. As a magician, David has to make miracles happen. By performing magic and then explaining how the magic is created, people learn that success in magic and business is the result of the cumulative effect of many apparently inconsequential details most people take for granted. It is a unique approach to learning a few new tricks for the trade presented by a unique individual – David Ben.
Magic By Design
Audiences love the unexpected – in books, movies, magic and relationships. David Ben teaches how to engage, motivate and move your audience. He draws on his vast experience as an internationally acclaimed magician, theatrical producer and, yes, tax lawyer, to demonstrate how to orchestrate the unexpected.

David illustrates how performers make meaningful physical and emotional contact with the audience. Participants learn how to set the stage and usher the audience into the proper environment before making contact. David teaches the importance of invisible threads, how 'less' is more, and how to enhance communication by focusing on executing key concepts rather than confusing detail. David emphasizes the importance of listening to your audience as you guide them to the final destination.

David also discusses the concept of stage fright – on the stage and in business – and the techniques available to ensure that every performance is delivered in a confident and controlled manner. He teaches how to distinguish between real risk and perceived risk, and the power of process – how one constructs, practices, rehearses and performs. He examines the role of critics and criticism, how to profit from both the positive and the negative, the importance of chasing perfection and sharing secrets.

He peppers his presentation with humorous anecdotes culled from his performances at the Shaw Festival, the Charlottetown Festival and other high-risk and highly visible theatrical ventures. He also enchants his audience with tales from private practice including how he made the Stanley Cup magically appear at the National Hockey League's annual awards dinner. The goal is to empower each participant with the will and way to become a proven performer.

Magic Hands – Workshop
As part of Magic by Design, David can orchestrate a special workshop, assisted by some of his colleagues, in which the group is divided into smaller units and then taught how to perform and present a special series of magic tricks. The tricks are designed for each group member to experience the process of mastering a new task in a short frame of time, developing a presentation for that task and then presenting it in a polished professional manner in front of their peers. The workshop is based on the program, Magic Hands, which David has developed for Magicana, a not-for-profit organization that uses magic as a metaphor for developing creativity. Magic Hands has been developed with special funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Maximizing Sales
David Ben's creative approach to business problems is an outstanding fit for sales audiences. A skilled salesperson himself (he has designed product launches for Colgate-Palmolive, IBM, and Cannon Canada, and trade show presentations for Toshiba Canada, Amdahl, 3M, Panasonic and Ink Dezyne), David's dynamic sales presentation demonstrates that every activity is a sales opportunity. Whether people work in the field or behind a desk, success depends on how well clients or colleagues are sold on their skills, products and services. Using magic as his metaphor, David demystifies the sales process and provides a strategy for maximizing sales. His common sense approach of strategic selling ensures that clients and customers receive exactly what they need when they need it in a manner that is efficient for both buyer and seller.

This presentation covers such critical topics as:
  • Understanding customer needs;
  • Maximizing revenue by finding new applications for existing products or services;
  • Using "negative" people to advantage;
  • Closing;
  • The importance of the "after-sell"
In a presentation that is both fun and informative, David provides timely, thought-provoking and practical advice that your sales team will draw on often in the months and years ahead.

The Magic of David Ben
Planning a special event can be tricky, and choosing a speaker who will entertain your audience in a memorable and distinctive way is even more difficult. David Ben -- hailed as "one of the finest magicians of our time" by The National Post -- manages to fill that niche seamlessly. Whether it is a program of intimate magic for fifty people, or a full stage production for an audience of 1000, David captures the crowd.

In creating a private performance for your group or function, David draws on hours of material to construct the perfect program. He might program his computer to read the minds of audience members, have two women from the audience assist him in sawing a man in half, conjure a ghost to perform the impossible, or even suspend a member of the audience in mid-air. Although no two shows are the same, each performance has been designed to feed the mind with mystery, ignite the imagination, and provide a few laughs along the way.
"I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your brilliant performance and address to the Toronto Raptors. I know that the players enjoyed your show immensely and a number have said it was the best player dinner they have attended. As you can see by their latest 4 game winning streak I think most of them took the knowledge you gave them and are "game ready" for winning."        
Toronto Raptors

"While there was some initial trepidation of inviting a "magician", I no longer have any reservations. The comments and evaluations of the HR executives indicate that your presentation was quite magical in addressing the issue of change management in a very professional manner. Although you label yourself as an entertainer and magician, I think the more appropriate label is inspirational speaker. I was most appreciative that you customized your presentation to fit our format. The outcome was most successful for all concerned."
The Conference Board of Canada

"In brief - you were simply outstanding! While most people are impressed with your magical talents, many also have a keen sense of appreciation as to how many of your magical design concepts can be so readily applied to the way we think and act in a business environment. For example, your 'creative thinking presentation' (Magic by Design) was an exceptionally well structured lead into our break-out sessions at the PLC."
Deloitte & Touche Management Consultants

"As excited as I was to have engaged you as our headline speaker at this years annual Global Private Banking Conference, nothing could have prepared me for the exceptional presentation you delivered to our audience. Your performance was captivating. The lessons you gave by drawing comparisons between our two businesses were thought provoking, memorable, and right on target!"
Royal Bank of Canada

"After having seen many speakers in the past, I believe there are not many who can compare themselves with the informative and, yet at the same time, entertaining style of David Ben."
BDO Dunwoody

"Your presentation last night was excellent. We could not have picked a better speaker to deliver our message. Thank you for making me look good for recommending you."
Osler Hoskin & Harcourt

"Your presentation at our luncheon was truly one of the highlights of this year's event, and you left our audience abuzz with ideas. Your insight into the "magic" that happens when people challenge their assumptions is something all of us can learn from. And you are a delightful performer, clearly able to establish a quick rapport with a crowd."
Meetings & Incentives Travel

"The magic and the message in your presentation was well received by our staff. I'm very pleased with how well you were able to customize the presentation to suit our requirements. It was thoroughly entertaining while combining an important business message. All in all, an excellent performance."
The National Life Assurance Company of Canada