Stephen is a puzzle practitioner, historian and writer. With a key focus on performing world-record breaking demonstrations. Each lecture in the series focuses on four different puzzles exploring their origins, records, achievements, controversies and solutions. Each chapter is concluded with a live demonstration for a magical conclusion!
They are all presented in a professional, light-hearted, humorous manor with lots of interesting stories throughout. They are all accompanied by a PowerPoint and include audience involvement during the performances.
I started guest speaking in 2016 at Rotary Clubs, Women's Institutes, U3A, Over 50's groups, Probus, Luncheon meetings and Retirement Homes. I have spoken on several cruise-ships, providing six different lectures on puzzles for the guests.
All my talks are suitable for any size of audience. I bring my own projector, screen, computer, leads, microphone and PA.
Each talk lasts around 50 minutes but can be adapted to fit your schedule. I may have a small selection of my puzzle books for sale at the end.
I cover a 25miles radius of Stockport and my midweek club lecture rate is usually £75.
1. Don't Believe Your Eyes - In this lecture we explore how our eyes are fooled using optical illusions, trickery and deceptive art. Then discover how these tools are utilized in industries such as art, construction, fashion, war and advertising. See live demonstrations of tricky imagery until you don't believe your own eyes!
2. Fascinating World of Puzzles - Witness a Rubik's cube being solved in seconds, a Sudoku puzzle in under a minute, finding a hidden jigsaw piece and an impossible magic square that has to be seen to be believed. All demonstrated after a brief history of each puzzle and how they have impacted the world.
3. Body Tricks - This is a very interactive based workshop on tricks that use your arms, legs, eyes and sense of balance. It is taught alongside a PowerPoint presentation which shows the instructions for each trick.
4. Bar Bets - This workshop features betcha type games where members are challenged to outwit the challenger!
5. Summing Up the Words - Pick a word from a crossword book and have your mind read by the puzzle master. Then witness him predict the numbers chosen the audience. Here we examine the origins of the daily Crossword puzzle, 15 Slide Puzzle, word-search and Codewords.
6. Searching for Buried Treasure - Can you find Wally in a game that is never what it appears? Or beat the puzzle master at solving Countdown's Anagram challenge? Learn the history of these puzzles along with IQ Tests and memory challenges before witnessing a live demonstration of speed mathematics and memorising an entire pack of cards!
7. Addicted to Puzzles - For this talk, the Puzzle Master will predict the outcome of a domino chain, and control the actions of a dice so that it always ends in his favour. Discover how these ancient puzzles were created before learning about new addictions such like Candy Crush and Escape Rooms. Then be amazed as he recites a story made out of chocolate bars and escapes from a straight jacket!
8. Lost in Mazes and other Conundrums - Witness the puzzle master predict your journey through a maze. Solve a Rubik Twist with his hands behind his back, locate buried treasure hidden amongst the audience and fool your eyes with a Tangram demonstration. Learn each puzzles history and achievements before a thrilling performance.
9. Incredible Creations - Balloon Modelling, Silhouette Cutting, Origami and Building a House of cards. Four art forms that take incredible skill and patience and are often referred as being creative puzzles. Learn their origins, achievements and record-holders before witnessing a demonstration of each popular pastime.
10. Stories from the Life of a Magician - Enjoy a collection of amusing anecdotes from my career as a magician. Such as the time I caused three fire engines to turn up, or when the head guillotine illusion went wrong! This light-hearted presentation will also have a few tricks along the way.
11. The A to Z of Writing - Writing advice, tips and guidelines all structured to a letter of the alphabet. We examine several of my books and publications; the process of going from notes to draft, storyboard, editing and publication.