You introduce a small pocket calculator, then borrow an onlooker's business card. The calculator is handed to a spectator. You request he just think of a two-digit number with some personal meaning, then punch it into the calculator, hiding it so you have no inkling of his number. You then ask him to multiply this number by another two-digit number, also with meaning, remember the product, then clear the calculator.
The calculator is handed to a second spectator, with the request he go through the same actions as the first helper. But as he begins to punch in his first number, you suddenly inform the crowd you're "catching a thought." With that, you quickly jot something on a pad, then put the pad aside. The second spectator completes the multiplication process, memorizes the result, clears the calculator, then turns it off.
Reminding the audience you borrowed a business card, you write something on the rear. You hand it writing-surface-down to a third onlooker, explaining you'll return to it shortly.
You now ask both spectators to concentrate on their totals, as you pick up the pad and pen. You get a digit, then another, then more, going back-and-forth between the spectators, at one point proving you wrote the numbers down before they thought of them ... reading their minds as you jot the numbers on the pad ... until you've divined the exact numbers and the sequence of those numbers!
Showing the totals you've written on the pad, you tear off the sheet, placing it aside. You demonstrate the normality of the calculator, proving by longhand how the helpers arrived at their results. To cap the routine, you pick up the pad, displaying the two numbers. You total the two results as you stress the completely random manner in which the helpers created those numbers. Reminding the group you began by borrowing a business card that's been in the possession of another onlooker, you put the pad on the table. You ask the spectator to turn the card over ... showing you predicted that total!
Trust me ... this is a killer! When I first did it in my trade show, it was the most talked about effect I did the entire week. It's so strong it's been a fixture of my close-up and trade show work for the past five years.
Since much of my work is for business seminars, I'll also disclose the presentation I've developed specifically for that very profitable field for performers. I've also successfully done Total Knock Out on stage. To be thorough, I'll explain the presentations I've used for that particular venue.
However, so you understand everything, concentrate on learning the first routine I'll describe, so you're familiar with the handling before moving on to the other presentations.
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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.