Mentalism does not involve any form of supernatural powers or sorcery. It is basically all about basic psychology and knowing how to properly apply it and when. A lot of people get the impression that mentalism is about literally reading the mind of a particular subject when it is not. In fact, you could learn it and even apply it to the extent that you can give the impression that you are a magician or mind reader yourself.
Here are some of the things that you should learn:
Cold Reading: This is the first skill that you have to learn and develop. Basically, cold reading is being observant and learning how to interpret a person’s body language. This is something that you apply when you do not have any background information about a particular subject. Basically, cold reading is a skill which requires you to tap on your observation and logical deduction skills to sound as if you are familiar with a subject or with a person’s background as compared to what you really know. Cold reading is about taking note of how the audience reacts to every word you said and the gestures they make without them being aware of it in the first place.
Hot Reading: Once you already have an idea about a particular person or audience’s background, then you apply hot reading. It is basically the same as cold reading except that you already have information at hand that you can further take advantage of when interacting with the audience. So how does one gain knowledge of a particular group of people or from a particular person? There are a number of ways that this can be achieved such as asking questions, overhearing conversations, researching and many more.
Keen Observation: This is not really an exemplary skill or technique that can be learned bur rather, this is a characteristic that a professional mentalist should have if he or she wants to be successful when it comes to his or her trade. Some of the things that you should pay close attention to would be the way they express themselves, their getup, the way their eyes dilate or twitch and or similar body language. The best way to develop this is by observing people around you and studying them. Take note of their everyday behavior.
These are the techniques that you should start learning and mastering if you are interested to be a professional mentalist.