The performer states that earlier in the evening he placed something in a small manila envelope. He further states that he is the only person who knows what that something happens to be. Displaying the sealed envelope, the performer randomly selects a member of the audience and states that he will attempt to mentally transmit the identity of the "something" that he previously sealed in the envelope. "It could be an American silver half dollar, a English copper coin, a Chinese coin with a hole through its center, or a gold Dutch coin. when I snap my fingers, call out one of the four coins; American, English, Chinese or Dutch," the performer exclaims. When the performer snaps his fingers, for example, the spectator selects the English coin. Inviting the spectator to step forward and to hold his hand outstretched, the performer proceeds to open the envelope and invert it over the spectator's hand allowing a single coin to drop onto the spectator's palm. When the spectator is asked to describe the coin that was sealed in the envelope, he states that it is indeed a English copper coin!
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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.