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 between 45-50 minutes but can be adapted to fit your schedule. I will have a small selection of my puzzle books for sale at the end.
Talk 1. Crazy World of Optical Illusions - In this lecture we explore how our eyes are fooled using 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!
Talk 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.
Talk 3. Summing Up the Words - Pick a word from a crossword book and word-search and have your mind read by the puzzle master. Then witness him predict the numbers chosen by you the audience. Here we examine the origins of the daily Crossword puzzle, 15 Slide Puzzle, word-search and Codewords. Then witness a live performance of premonition when he tells you which book, page and letter you will choose, with a prediction written before the talk even starts!
Talk 4. 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!
Talk 5. 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 escape from a straight jacket!
Talk 6. 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.
Talk 7. 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.
Talk 8. 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.
Talk 9. 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.
Talk 10. Proposition Bets - An enjoyable, interactive workshop where the audience are invited to find solutions to around 30 problem solving type challenges, before learning the answers to try out on their family and friends!
Stephen Ablett is a puzzle practitioner, historian and writer. He has written over 20 books on magic tricks, marketing and puzzles and is currently engaged in creating "escape rooms" for puzzle enthusiasts! He can solve a Sudoku in under a minute and a Rubik Cube in about 4 seconds.
After completing a B.A. (Hons) and master’s degree in television production, he completed a PGCE to become a high-school teacher. He went on to host & produce a web series with over 200 episodes so far and produced 30 educational DVDs that are sold around the world. He is also a professional magician and has won numerous awards including the North West Magical Championships.
The price for a weekday club talk varies depending on travelling distance. Please contact me for my current rates.