Cold Read Like Sherlock Holmes

Cold reading comes in a variety of shapes and sizes I have already written about the tricks and language used to derive information from someone in a traditional cold reading sense here. There are of course other types of cold reading one of them is learning how to cold read like Sherlock Holmes. This is usually quite different than the traditional sense of psychic cold reading but is also very useful for mentalists and honestly general life. Sherlock Holmes cold reading relies on his ability to make educated guesses based on logic and intuition. Obviously in the modern day portrayals of Sherlock he makes some staggering and bold claims from very little information and in most respects if anyone can predict to the same degree of accuracy there is probably some other kind of trick involved.

It’s not possible to be intuitive about everything but practice definitely helps. If you look at old hotel lobby boys in expensive hotels they needed to make intuitive decisions on whether guests could stay at the hotel or not. They would have to look at the potential client and decide if they were up to the standard that the hotel wants or not. They would either have to state that the hotel was full or there was space available for them. At first it takes quite a bit of time for them to make the decision they would have to look at all of their clothing and luggage they are carrying and maybe ask them questions. Eventually after practice they would be able to make accurate judgement calls on most instantaneously. The same is said for detecting lies the more practice you put into it the better you will become. The best body language book I have come across (the book title) has been written by a former CIA agent whom it was his job to find the truth and detect lies and again it’s the same principle to the more you practice the better you will become.

Steps to cold read like Sherlock Holmes


Exercise active listening

This can be a really difficult task for a lot of people. It’s hard to beat the instinct to talk. You have a thought you mind and you want to say it but you will get a lot more information from letting other people speak. It’s also often more influenctial, people think you are far more interesting and better at converstations if you let them speak and listen and engage them its one of the prinicples of “how to make friends and influence people”. Let people speak and actively listen. Sherlock Holmes had mastered that art

A passive observer will not give the subject their 100 percent attention, they will be either on their phone, thinking of something else or simply waiting for their turn to speak. Focus all of your attention on what the subject is saying and concentrate.

Whilst listening don’t just pay attention to what the subject is saying you must also listen to their tone of voice and you should watch their body language, 90% of communication is non verbal.