The opening keynote for SCUCE Day 2 garnered a standing ovation after a dynamic presentation that combined magic with motivation. Vinh Giang is an online magic teacher who built a online business, 52kards, which now serves over 800,000 students all around the world. This earned him the award of Top Young Entrepreneur in Australia. He shared a story of revealing his intention to quit university to pursue magic to his conservative Vietnamese parents, who immigrated to Australia before he was born. The humorous anecdote had an important message about achieving your dreams, despite hurdles you may need to overcome.

Giang wowed the audience of credit union professionals with unconventional magic and a quirky sense of humor, as well as strong messages on how to achieve your objectives. He discussed the importance of perspective as an entrepreneur, demonstrating with a volunteer that the audience could see the secret behind his disappearing paper trick, but the volunteer didn’t realize he was simply casting the paper over her head onto the stage in a simple illusion. The message: Perspective is power.

Giang also explained his journey to success and explained to CU professionals that visual and linguistic influences have a powerful effect, enabling magicians to successfully perform illusions. But more importantly, the five people you surround yourself with are the most impactful force in your life.

“You are a direct reflection of the Top 5 people you spend time with,” Giang said, encouraging attendees to make an inner circle of people who can teach and challenge them.

Giang also said anything is possible if you assure yourself you can do it: “Your beliefs dictate your actions,” he said. “Only when you take the first step can you go on the journey.”

He then performed another magic trick, asking a member of the audience, Stefania Jones of Bay Credit Union (picture above), to join him on stage and pick a big word from any random page in one of three books. He then, through psychology and a secret he would not divulge, was able to write down exactly the word the Stefania had chosen, “Brilliantly.”

Giang ended the session with a big reveal, opening a locked box he had place on a table in the crowd at the beginning of the presentation. In it were numbers that seven random people had thought of in an earlier portion of his performance, a dramatic conclusion.

Also during the General Session Thursday, Kim Gay, director, communications for the LSCU served as emcee, saying it takes guts, gusto and grit as we work together to make the credit union movement stronger. Kim presented a Brother’s Keeper award to all those who reached out and assisted victims of Hurricane Michael. The award for actions that exemplify the credit union spirit will be kept in the Tallahassee office to commemorate the selfless efforts to help others.

Look for more coverage on SCUCE in our next issue of LSCU Today.