About a week or so ago I saw a local magic show in Seattle. The show was good and one of the performers asked me for some notes on his performance. The thing I told him, and this is something that I consciously have to do in my show is to pause to display the prop after the magic has happened.
In my show I do a trick where a drawing disappears and reappears inside a ball of yarn. When the drawing comes out, I unfold it and show it to the audience. When I show it, I pause and silently count in my head from one to three. This lets people process what they are seeing.
One of the challenges as a performer is that you know what it happening, so your brain doesn’t need to process what it’s seeing. The audience needs a few beats to figure out what’s going on. Simply holding a item for a dedicated amount of time makes a huge difference in audience reception!