David Kwong
David Kwong's Speaking Fee Under $25,000

David Kwong

With his expertise in enigmas and magic, David Kwong delights and challenges audiences around the world with his intellectual brand of “puzzles and prestidigitation.”

Magician, Veteran New York Times Crossword Puzzle Constructor

Expertise In:

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Entertainment
  • Innovation
  • Motivation

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Corporations
  • Non-Profits
  • Senior Management Groups
  • The Technology Industry

David Kwong is no ordinary magician. He’s a New York Times crossword writer, main stage TED speaker, Harvard grad, Broadway star/producer, and a consultant on blockbuster films like Now You See Me. His one-man show, The Enigmatist, sold-out its 2019 run in New York City.

Kwong’s debut book Spellbound: Seven Principles of Illusion (Harper Business) draws upon his diverse body of work to reveal how the principles of illusion can be used to gain an edge on the competition. With easy charm and mind-bending tricks, Kwong shows us how to command attention, sway opinions, and sell ideas.

On stage, Kwong combines his unmatched knowledge of illusions with a showman’s command of the audience. But he’s more than an entertainer, with keynotes that fuse his seven principles with observable (and yes, entertaining) demonstrations. His insights on “Free Will Architecture”—easing others towards selecting something you proposed yourself—are fascinating to hear about, but even better to observe in action. Genuine, spontaneous, effortlessly deft—Kwong has been called “ridiculously engaging”—and that has less to do with illusion than natural charm. He demonstrates how to bridge the gap between perception and reality to increase our powers of persuasion and influence—in relationships, business, and beyond.

In addition, recently Kwong debuted a brand new stage show, The Enigmatist, with Baseline Theatrical (Hamilton) and one of the production designers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. He is the puzzle and secret code consultant for the hit NBC show Blindspot. Kwong was the head magic consultant on the 2013 film Now You See Me, teaching magic to Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo, and Woody Harrelson.

Featured Videos

David Kwong's Speech Topics

Spellbound: Gaining Influence, Captivating Audiences, and Unlocking Success

David Kwong has astounded CEOs, TED talk audiences, and thousands of other hyper-rational people, making them see, believe, and even remember what he wants them to. But his feats aren’t supernatural; they are fundamentally human. Illusion is an ancient art that centers 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. Successful leaders—from Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, and Ted Turner to President Obama, Megyn Kelly, and Jeff Bezos—are masters of control and command who understand how to sway opinions and achieve goals. Now, Kwong reveals how to bridge the gap between perception and reality to help you increase your own powers of persuasion and influence. In his years of research and practice, he’s discovered seven fundamental principles of illusion—rules anyone can learn to gain mastery. And with this entertaining and fascinating keynote, you’ll discover a different way to sell your idea, product, or skills, and make your best shot better than everyone else’s.  

Think Inside the Box: Creativity Within Constraints and Parameters

In this talk, David Kwong explores the complex relationship between boundaries and productivity. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, most people are at their most creative when they innovate within a given set of boundaries. How can you tell a clever story while obeying the construction rules of a crossword puzzle, the three-act structure of a screenplay, or the sensitive angles of a stage illusion? Kwong, a master of working within the lines, explains how constraints give us the freedom to create. We are at our most innovative when we design a new form for something familiar, and subsequently express it in a novel and compelling way. Kwong demonstrates some of his own groundbreaking puzzles and illusions by way of inspiring a new method of problem solving. 

Creating Order Out of Chaos

We live in a lightning-fast world of constant information and data. With incessant streams of Tweets, updates and newsfeeds, we can easily be overwhelmed by data. How can we make sense out of all the scattered bits of information that we’re barraged with every single day? In this talk, David Kwong, creator of the new immersive live show, The Enigmatist, demonstrates through a series of “mental gymnastics” how he collects and organizes vast amounts of data in his brain. As a magician, puzzle designer, and producer, Kwong illustrates how he synthesizes these seemingly disparate fields via a tour de force of sleight of hand and puzzles. 

Puzzle Challenge

A Think-Outside-The-Box Team-Building Event

As one of the most prolific puzzle designers working today, David has designed the perfect team-building event. Imagine dividing your company into teams, mixing departments so that people get to work with new colleagues. David then gives each team a packet of puzzles that each team must solve within an hour. Note, these puzzle are not hard and can be solved by everyone, if you work together and think-outside-the-box! And the answers to all the puzzles will combine to reveal the final answer!  

Smart Entertainment

MC and Entertainer

In this inspiring, cerebral, and fun-filled presentation—perfect for corporate off-sites—David Kwong dazzles audiences with boundary-defying (and mind-bending) puzzles and sleight of hand. But make no mistake: no ladies will be sawn in half. Kwong is one of the most innovative, virtuosic, and smart illusionists alive. As a New York Times crossword puzzle constructor and go-to expert on illusion for major Hollywood blockbusters (Now You See Me, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, The Imitation Game), Kwong offers his signature style of thought-provoking entertainment to mesmerize even the most jaded spectators. In other words, at the forefront of the ‘alternative magic scene,’ Kwong’s making magic really, really cool. This is an ideal performance for organizations looking for something lighter than an average keynote, yet still charged with intelligence, humor, and the fundamental elements of storytelling. It’s magic updated for a modern, sophisticated audience, that at once satisfies high expectations and our timeless hunger for wonder.