Derren Brown is a celebrated British illusionist, mentalist, skeptic and artist who has achieved worldwide fame due to his televised shows that demonstrate seemingly impossible feats. The truth is, Mr. Brown has made a career out of hoodwinking people, all in the name of entertainment. A lot of people look up to him as a master mentalist who can’t be imitated. The truth, however, is the exact opposite. In this post, we’ll expose some of the ways in which this master illusionist is able to carry out his famous tricks in front of an attentive audience.
The first thing that Darren does when presenting his mentalism tricks is give the illusion of confidence. This may include things like speaking in a loud, clear voice to command attention, dressing the part, making the audience laugh, standing tall, maintaining eye contact and practicing his material over and over before coming on stage. People are more likely to believe you if you are a confident individual since you command a certain level of respect that makes them look up to you. If you’re naturally not a confident person, practice being one until it starts feeling real and looking authentic to others. This may take weeks or even months, but it is totally worth it.
Darren also makes sure to bring a holistic theme to every show he presents. By doing this, he’s able to get the attention of the audience during the entire period of the show. Mentalists who perform one trick after the other run the risk of having people realize that their tricks are just illusions. However, adding a musical element, lots of breaks and back and forth banter with the audience helps give the illusion that the whole affair is a holistic experience from start to finish. Varying the presentation is also a great way of making a mentalist show memorable and unique which can in turn help you build up a following in no time.
In order to create an air of credibility, Darren Brown inadvertently shows the audience part of the details of his tricks. This is a way of fostering believability and trust, making sure that people will believe him to the end of the trick he’s performing. This reveal leads to the release of dopamine as well as serotonin, two brain chemicals implicated in the reward and trust system. However, he doesn’t reveal all the details, keeping the attention of the viewing public for long periods of time.
Neurolinguistic programming is yet another means by which Darren Brown is able to hypnotize his audience. This is a technique developed a few decades ago which uses certain behavioral cues such as mirroring someone else’s body language to gain their trust, using certain color schemes in his shows to elicit a certain emotional response, shaking someone’s hand in a certain way to hypnotize them instantly, and using eye-contact during specific instances to gain a level of trust and familiarity. At the end of the day, Mr. Brown is simply a good observer of human behavior and someone who has impeccable timing.