This demonstration was one of the first I ever gave for TV. I do not regard it as a particularly strong example of cold reading in action. It is clear that I made a number of significant mistakes, such as ignoring what I earlier called the Cream Principle, i.e. make weak statements first, and strengthen them if appropriate. There were too many occasions when I offered a strong statement first, and then had to try and dilute it to fit.
Susie was also a little more astute than many typical clients. As her interview made clear, she realised that I had asked quite a lot of questions - most clients remain relatively unaware of this if the questioning is done well. However, Susie also claimed, rather confusingly, that she had given me very little information. In fact, she had given me ample feedback throughout, both verbal and non-verbal.
I am not trying to suggest this particular demonstration was a spectacular triumph. Nonetheless, Susie did come away feeling that I was genuine, and that there was something to tarot reading after all. She was genuinely impressed by what she viewed as my ability to identify specific details about her life, including things which even her friends did not know about.
The reading lasted 241/2 minutes. In this time, I talked to Susie about:
- her personality, temperament, character, skills and talents
- incidents and relationships in her distant past
- incidents in the more recent past, and the present
- a current relationship
- her family, including the name of her brother
- her creative writing ability (which her friends did not know about)
- her career
- her hobbies and interests,
- her aspirations and ambitions, both personal and professional
- her feelings about herself, her career and her choices
- her finances
- her social life and social skills
These topics were covered with more or less total agreement the whole way. There were some times when Susie only partially agreed with my statements, but there was not a single occasion when she declared me to be wrong. This is not bad for nearly 25 minutes talking to a complete stranger!
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