This concerns Question and Answer routines that deal with an intake of a wide selection of questions. If you have a small audience and about a dozen questions are provided, you have no choice other than to accept what is given. On the other hand, with a large audience—you should aim at getting anything up to a hundred questions 'in' so that you can browse through them and sort out the most suitable for your act. Which ones are most suitable?
Any question which offers an intriguing situation is good. Any question that blurts forth a lot of facts is good. Any question which infers sex (Will my baby be a boy or a girl?) in any shape or form is good—if you can deal with it and not involve yourself! Any questions off the beaten track— ("Am I overfeeding my alligators?") is good.
Questions which are no good are catch-questions ("Can you tell me my mother's maiden name?"). Questions that are disinteresting to everybody and lack enough material to give you any scope ("Am I healthy?"). Questions that lead you to fall into a legal trap ("What is the name of the man who goes with my wife?") and finally those (which you will get) which say "I dare not ask you now, but can 1 see you later please . . ." As a general guide you can refer to the Table of Probabilities which to some extent indicates what the majority interest will be—an assumption founded on the fact that most people ask questions concerned with the top topics. (See page 355).
Having sorted your questions and coded those you intend to use, it remains now a matter of performance—giving the answers. Since this part of the book deals with Questions Known—our speed of delivery (i.e. answering) will be quicker than Questions Unknown—as we have no pumping to do and we have facts on hand.
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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.