FacilitationLearning DesignMagical Moments

Our magic potion for experience design has 4 ingredients

By December 17, 2021 No Comments

Our learning experience design methodology is based on the key goal of creating memorable moments for our clients. To do this we harness the power of magic. Then we and add a sprinkle of pride, insight and connection. See how each of these ingredients helps us achieve our goal… 

An experience is many things… it can happen in person or remotely and it makes you think, laugh, learn or be wow’d. It can be a reflection session, team activities, a walk or learning magic tricks. Experiences bring people together, bonding them over a shared moment.

What makes a moment memorable?

Attention, novelty and emotion do. It goes without saying that participants should be engaged and have fun. This paves the way for landing – and embedding – crucial learnings so that the experience lives on. We want people to talk about what they experienced, gush about it even! When that happens, participants become ambassadors for a new way of being or champion bringing new company values to life. And when that happens, we know we’ve succeeded in creating a memorable moment. 

One workshop can’t change everything, but it can kick start a new way of thinking about work and a new perspective on peoples’ roles within their company. Imagine the power of many moments!

Where do we start?

Before designing an experience, our learning designers ask…

  • How can we use the power of magic to elevate everyday moments and bring learning to life?
  • How might the experiences we create help people feel proud by breaking their limiting beliefs?
  • How might we spark insights for people to develop their self- and social awareness?
  • How might we cultivate deeper connections between people?

Elevate learning

Psychological research suggests that learning to perform magic tricks can create a wide range of benefits, including enhanced creativity (Wiseman, Wiles & Watt, 2021), and boosted social skills and self-esteem (Bagienski & Kuhn, 2019). Moreover, magic-based interventions show that magic tricks can be used to effectively communicate about a variety of topics, delivering educational messages in an entertaining way (Wiseman & Watt, 2018). Likewise, performing magic tricks helps communicate specific concepts in organisational behaviour (Krell & Dobson, 1999). There’s a lot of psychology behind the use of magic!

Ignite pride

We want people to feel valued, listened to and appreciated. In turn, they come to understand and appreciate colleagues in ways they may not have before. Participants leave our sessions with a renewed sense of joy and pride in their work. And what’s the long tail of feeling proud at work? Increased loyalty, championing the company, a better sense of community and belonging, and feeling more motivated. Ta-da! 

Unlock insights

When we start working with clients, we take time to understand what’s going on for them, particularly why they need a learning experience. We ask – why now, what’s the challenge they’re facing, who is this for, how do they want participants to feel afterwards, what should they have learned… Questions questions! The more we understand, the better we can get to the heart of what matters, designing an experience that hits the mark and provides insight – about participants, about their team, about their work and about the organisation as a whole. Abracademy workshops are always fun, but the insights participants leave with are truly magical. Who needs a crystal ball?!

Connect people

You’ve read this a thousand times in recent months – now more than ever, keeping colleagues connected is crucial. Whether it’s new joiners who have yet to meet colleagues properly or existing team members, making sure people know and understand one another will prevent a mind-blowing array of communication problems… Doubts that become toxic, questions that never get answered, questions that shouldn’t need asking, only receiving feedback when something goes wrong, not knowing what anyone else is doing, not having the most recent updates. The list is long. We bring people together as colleagues and as human beings. Our personal lives can affect how we show up at work so if you know your colleagues well, you’ll have more empathy and be a stronger team. We enable connections between people that continue long after the workshops have finished!

Here’s some more resources on experience design that you might find interesting:



  • Bagienski, S., & Kuhn, G. (2019). The crossroads of magic and wellbeing: A review of wellbeing-focused magic programs, empirical studies, and conceivable theories. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9(2), 41-65.
  • Heath, D. and Heath, C. (2019). The Power of Moments. Random House UK.
  • Krell, T. C., & Dobson, J. J. (1999). The use of magic in teaching organizational behavior. Journal of Management Education, 23(1), 44-52.
  • Wiseman, R., & Watt, C. (2018). Achieving the impossible: a review of magic-based interventions and their effects on wellbeing. PeerJ, 6, e6081.
  • Wiseman, R., Wiles, A., & Watt, C. (2021). Conjuring up creativity: the effect of performing magic tricks on divergent thinking. PeerJ, 9, e11289.

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