The Effect

If you've now managed to find a group of willing lapdancers to perform this on, brilliant! If not you'll just have to make do with "ordinary" people like the rest of us, but it will work just as well.

You start by telling your assembled cast that you are an expert in NLP, Mind Control, a medium (see notes), or whatever else you feel is appropriate. You further explain that you are going to show them how you can influence them enough to alter their perception of reality.

Ask for one of them to volunteer and then ask them to close their eyes (they can be either sitting or standing up) and explain to them that you are going to touch them lightly on their arm and all that you want them to do is count how many times you touch them. Simple. They only important thing is that they count the number of touches in their head so that you can then compare what they experienced with what the observers witnessed, without either side influencing the other. "After all," you say, "It's my job to do the influencing - I don't want putting out of work."

With everyone watching that your hands are a good couple of inches or so from the volunteers arm, and you concentrating and staring intently in that slightly unnerving way that you've developed, you move your hands up and down the volunteers arm as though you're trying to detect some invisible force. Perhaps you're trying to "synchronise with their aura."

Eventually you lift your hands away, and then using your favourite dramatic gesture quickly move one hand back above their arm and jab the air above their arm a few times, though quite clearly never actually touching them.

You then move your hands away completely and ask the volunteer to open their eyes.

"How many times did I touch you?" you ask. "Three" they reply.

The observers look shocked. Depending on your decided format and presentation they may actually gasp.

"How many times did I touch her/him?" you ask the observers. "None!" they answer.

What's more, when asked where she was touched, the volunteer points to areas on her arm that correspond with where you jabbed the air.

Neither side can find an explanation for what they've just witnessed but both are adamant that they are correct.

Shocking (well, shockingly simple actually).

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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