Take your volunteer and stand them directly in front of you, and so that they are facing the audience enough for them to be able to see the volunteers face. You don't need to stand too close, a few feet away will be sufficient. Explain to the audience and the subject that you are going to give a performance of mind control, psychic ability, or whatever else you choose to call it, and explain what will happen, and that you will explain exactly how you managed it afterwards to give them an indication of what mind control is all about. A typical script could read something like this:
"What I am going to do is to give you a simple demonstration of the power of mind control, more specifically, I am going to directly read [this persons] mind. Whilst I am doing this I would also like you, the audience, to attempt to read [this persons] mind as well.
It may sound impossible (?), but there is nothing mystical or difficult about it. Trust me, you can do it too. We all have the ability to read peoples inner thoughts and motives through body language and unconscious cues, and we do it all the time, we just don't consciously realise that we're doing it."
At this point turn back to your volunteer as you continue talking.
"In a moment I'm going to ask you to think of 3 things. It isn't important for me to know exactly what each one is, just make each one as vivid as you possibly can. I need you to make pictures as bright and focussed as you possible can, sounds as loud and clear as possible, and so on."
Your volunteer will usually give some sign that they understand at this point.
"Okay. First of all I'd like you to think of a person who is dear to you. Remember a time when you did something special with that person. Make it as real as you can, as if you are there spending this time with them again, so that you can recall it instantly later."
"Now I'd like you to think of a piece of music that has a special meaning to you. Hear the music loud and clear as though it's being played right now. Imagine that an orchestra or band are here playing it in this room."
"Finally, I'd like you to think of a feeling for me. I want you to let the feeling come back to you now exactly as it was then, and I want that feeling to be worry. Nothing too distressing, maybe your first day at school, the start of a new job, or standing on a stage being asked strange questions, but let the feeling come back to you now so that you can recall it again later."
Allow a few moments to let them do this and then follow on with:
"So you now have 3 distinct things that are vivid and real that you can recall again when I ask you?" They should agree. "Can you recall the person for me please?" Allow them to do this. "Can you hear the music please?" Again, give them the time to do this too. "Finally, can you bring back the emotion please?"
Now you're ready to go. Ask the volunteer to randomly choose one of the 3 things and bring it back as they just did previously. Ask the audience to raise their hands if they think it is the person, then the music, and finally, the feeling.
Now turn to the volunteer and correctly tell them which it was. Repeat a few times and then thank them and let them return to their seat before revealing how you did it.
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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.