TED: Apollo Robbins on the Art of Misdirection
I find Apollo Robbins, former professional pickpocket, a really wonderful and charismatic speaker. Not only is he good at what he does (misdirecting people), he got that way through a mixture of crime and study. And though he’s skilled at fooling people, he’s equally skilled at explaining how he goes about fooling people.
Watching him in action is a lot of fun, but the guy himself is just as interesting. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend Adam Green’s New Yorker profile on Robbins, entitled A Pickpocket’s Tale. Really great background info on who Robbins is, and how he came to learn all about human perception and misdirection.