Michael Varma

Speaker-Author-Magician
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Michael Varma is a Distinguished Toastmaster, award-winning instructor and professional magician who was magically excused from jury duty...by his cat. He has authored Tasteful Toasts, a series of educational puzzle books (Mental Blocks), created games (Arithmesticks) and even penned a mystery novel. Michael frequently performs at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. Yes, you can email Michael for a free guest pass to the Magic Castle ~ and you don’t need to subscribe to his funny and informational blog…but it would be worth it.

Recent blog posts written by Michael Varma

Impromptu Storytelling for Gavin

Improve Your Impromptu Storytelling with the Three Cs

You are surrounded by inspirations and life lessons and may not even know it. For example I recently learned three key concepts to improve my impromptu storytelling when Craig, my fiction-writing friend, told me about his Bluetooth bedtime stories. Craig can be in his car or traveling afar when he calls his three and a […]

Once Upon a Skype by Michael Varma

Once Upon a Skype

A tornado of technology has turned storytelling, for business and pleasure, towards webinars, seminars, and Skype. Whether you’re training sales people in Pennsylvania or sharing a bedtime story with kids in California, you need to know how to best communicate and engage your audience across a computer or tablet screen.  My wife’s cousin Matthew, for […]

Tasteful Toasts for Irish Folks

Kiss Me, I Think I’m Irish

Last year Ireland’s population was 6.4 million and 42 million United States residents claim Irish ancestry (thank you Wikipedia). In the big scheme of things, I suspect I’m about 2% Irish affording me a peck on the cheek and at least one green beer this St. Patrick’s Day. While there are hundreds of Irish toasts […]

2014 Magic Square

Achieve more with a Magic Square

I remember laughing in class after hearing the classic question: “What would you do if you could not fail?” I thought, That’s silly, at some point in time everyone fails. I can learn from my and other people’s mistakes, so failing can be transformed into a good thing. But I played the instructor’s game and […]

Write Your Goals

Three Writes Make You a Winner

Becoming a self-motivated dynamo is easy as one, two, three and generates three glorious benefits: clarity, confidence and charisma. We’ll do this together. Get a blank piece of paper and pen – I know, so “old school” – but this allows you to read and write as we go step by step. 1. Write down […]

Kermit the Frog as Santa

Healthy Holiday Humor

I admire and follow the philosophy of Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets, which is, “There can be inspiration and fun in everything around us.” That’s why at every holiday party I’m prepared with a few family friendly riddles.   Between Santa, snowmen, and sugar cookies there’s a lot of good clean comedic material […]

Harry Lorayne

Six Ways to Win the Name Game

I used to feel embarrassed and socially inept when I forgot people’s names until I learned that 90 percent of healthy adults forget names. Yay, I’m normal. But as a magician and frequent public speaker I can meet up to two hundred people in a week and want to greet them by name when we […]

Chicken Idol

Birds of a Feather Joke Together

With nearly 10,000 people following my monthly blog, I’m frequently asked to speak and present at various events. Many of the workshops, seminars and evening engagements include a “winner, winner chicken dinner,” which tickled my funny bone. At a June luncheon I told an impromptu chicken joke which produced a hearty chuckle. The next mealtime […]

Have the Courage to Compliment

Have the Courage to Compliment

Praise is powerful and under the right circumstances it can be transformational unlocking the human potential. You might think I’m exaggerating the effects of a simple and sincere compliment, but evolution and science is on my side. Why You Don’t Compliment Our brains are wired to pay more attention and give more weight to negative […]

Proper Praise for an Extended Tasteful Toast

Five Key Questions for Proper Praise

Last month I received a question, “Michael you tell us, ‘Remember the rhyme and you’ll do fine,’ but sometimes I want to say a little bit more at a celebration. How do I figure out what to say?” Always thrilled to receive requests – a.k.a. fan mail (in my mind) – I’m equally happy to […]