The performer explains that he is about to demonstrate the power of suggestion. Displaying a packet of 20 object and symbol cards, the performer hands the packet to a spectator in the audience for mixing. Retrieving the shuffled packet, the performer asks the spectator to picture a closed fist in his mind. Continuing, the performer states that when he snaps his fingers, the spectator in his mind alone, is to hold up as many fingers as he wishes, from one to five. Naturally only the spectator will know how many since all is being done within the confines of his mind. When the spectator has done so, the performer states that as soon as his (the performer's) back is turned the spectator is to remove as many cards from the packet as the number of fingers he saw upraised in his mind's eye, and to place them in his jacket pocket. In other words, if he raised two fingers in his mind he is to remove two cards. If he held up four fingers, than he is to remove four cards and place them in his pocket. As soon as the spectator has done this, the performer again faces him, instructing the spectator to give the remainder of the packet another mixing for good luck.
The performer retrieves the shuffled packet. Removing the top card, he shows the object or design on that card to the spectator. The performer explains that if the spectator placed one card in his pocket, he is to remember the image on the first card. Picking off and showing a second card, the performer states that if the spectator placed two cards in his pocket, he is to remember the image on the second card. This continues until the performer has shown a total of five images to the spectator. Only the spectator knows which of the five images he is now concentrating upon.
As he finishes showing the five cards, the performer replaces the five cards on the face down packet. Cutting the packet a couple of times, the performer states that now, no one, including the spectator, has any idea where his mentally selected image is located. Gazing intently at the spectator, the performer states that when he snaps his fingers, the spectator will no longer be able to see the card he is thinking of even though the performer will show him each and every design card in the packet. The spectator's mentally selected image will have become invisible to his eyes through the power of suggestion. The performer proceeds to show the spectator each and every card in the packet.
At no time does the spectator see the image he's been thinking of, although obviously, he's the only person who knows which image is his. The performer states, "That, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of suggestion." Continuing, the performer informs everyone that to awaken the spectator from his hypnotic state will require the assistance of the entire audience.
The spectator is asked to pretend that he is removing his invisible image card from the packet. Now, the performer continues, I want you to pretend that you are turning the card face up and sliding it into the face down packet. The spectator mimes doing what the performer has suggested. Now, the performer states, "you are the only person in the world who knows the identity of the card you are thinking of. Please run through the packet with the image sides up." The spectator does so and finds one card reversed in the deck. "What image are you thinking of?" inquires the performer. The spectator replies, "a knife!" The spectator is asked to show the reversed card to the audience and it's the picture of a knife. The performer exclaims, "Now ladies and gentlemen, your applause will awaken the gentlemen from his hypnotic state." The audience applauds as the spectator returns to his seat.
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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.