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About the book
  • Published: 18 May 2017
  • ISBN: 9780753557358
  • Imprint: Virgin Books
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $39.99

Spellbound

The Seven Magic Techniques of Influence, Persuasion and Success




Professional illusionist and TED talk favourite David Kwong explains how to control an audience and how we can all exert greater influence in our lives and work.

David Kwong is the go-to consultant for Hollywood’s biggest illusion-heavy projects, including the hit films Now You See Me, The Imitation Game and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. In Spellbound he reveals how to bridge the gap between perception and reality to increase your powers of persuasion and influence.

David Kwong has astounded large crowds, from CEOs to TED talk audiences to thousands of other hyper-rational people, making them see, believe and even remember what he wants them to. Illusion is an ancient art that centres on control: commanding a room, building anticipation, and appearing to work wonders.

Illusion works because the human brain is wired to fill the gap between seeing and believing. Surprisingly, these are the tools used by top leaders like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson; masters of control and command who understand how to sway opinions and achieve goals. Spellbound shows us that illusions are more than just a set of tricks; it is a trainable craft that holds the principles of winning over an audience, which can be applied to every aspect of life.

Through years of practice, research and learning (including a Harvard degree in the history of magic), David discovered the seven fundamental principles of illusion, like how to use the space between seeing and believing, shape narratives and command your audience by giving them agency.

Packed with amazing stories and insights, Spellbound gives you a fresh and engaging way to sell your idea, production or skills to stand out from the crowd.

  • Pub date: 18 May 2017
  • ISBN: 9780753557358
  • Imprint: Virgin Books
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $39.99

About the Author

David Kwong

David Kwong is a veteran magician and New York Times crossword constructor, and has been head magic consultant on a number of major Hollywood films. His TED talk has been viewed over 1.5 million times and he speaks about applying the principles of illusions and puzzles to business contexts for a wide range of global corporations.


Praise for Spellbound

“Fifteen years ago David Kwong and I started a magic club together, and one of us was good enough to quit his day job. I’ve learned a lot from him about how to surprise and delight audiences, and now his knowledge and storytelling skills are on full display. This book shows how the art and science of illusion can make us more engaging and more persuasive.”

Adam Grant, bestselling author of ORIGINALS

“David Kwong uses his mastery of illusion as the spine of a story about us and our limits. But more important, he shows that illusion is far more than a set of tricks; it has a very well thought-out set of principles that are broadly applicable in business and life. Here you can learn the principles and enjoy the show!"”

Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Disney Animation, bestselling author of CREATIVITY INC.

“David Kwong has conjured a unique and seamless blend of cognitive psychology, business acumen, and the secrets of being a renowned magician.”

Martin Seligman, bestselling author LEARNED OPTIMISM and FLOURISH

“David Kwong’s magic leaves me in awe, and his book did too!”

Will Shortz, New York Times Crossword Editor

“This enjoyable work from a confident master of his trade is a “virtual wand” for those who want a bit of magic in their lives”

Publishers Weekly


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