Cold reading is an art form and is used by psychics mentalists and con artists. It’s a multi-application skill and works great for magic and mind reading tricks. Typically cold reading is associated with mediums contacting the dead but it is just a skill to determine and extract information from a person without them telling you. You try and gather information about someone from a subjects, clothes, body language, hair style, education, manner of speech etc you suggest a few ideas and give a few statements and gauge their reaction before proceeding down that avenue or exploring others.
Cold reading often uses clever statements that feel personalised but are in fact highly likely to be true for the majority of the population. On this page we will look at the different techniques and methods used to increase your effectiveness at cold reading
Profiling your subject
This can be done before subject selection to help you that the selection and it can also be done afterwards. This is using your intuition trying to gather as much information from their physical appearance as possible and it sets quite their practice. This is the type of cold reading that Sherlock Holmes does. Use visual cues such as their age, gender, clause they are wearing, jewellery do they have a wedding ring? Their height and weight and even the way they speak and the mannerisms can give a lot away about a person.
You want to try and be receptive and aware of our body language and signals they are giving out subconsciously. Especially when you start speaking to them look at their expression when you say something or try and make a hit with the statement you be able to understand if there look excited that you are on the right track after that slightly disappointed perhaps should backtrack stop press in that direction. Learning body language cues is a skill in its own right this is an amazing book on body language that can really help. From there she should make mental assumptions about the person and think of appropriate questions and statements to direct their way.
Subject selection is important. You want is one who is going to be susceptible and responsive to the things you say. Depending on what cold reading you doing it may also be possible to select a subject who you can research and gain knowledge before you begin to do cold reading. This is how many major psychic shows work. You need these days is someone’s name if you get the audience to give their name is to walk into the sure you can easily find their profile on Facebook and learn a lot about someone.
In most situations or it can be difficult to get that kind of information on someone without having swung walking up and relay it to you via a discreet earphone. So you need to make a selection for people who will be susceptible to increase your chances. One easy way of doing this is asking for volunteers rather than just randomly selecting someone. Volunteers are likely to be more receptive as they want it to work and are want to be part of the show. You want to try and avoid sceptics.
Use Shotgun Statements
most of traditional call reading involves using cleverly worded statements there are subtle and seem normal but increase it chance of being right dramatically. The first one of these is called shotgun statements. With a shotgun statement just fire a lot of information and really general broad statements hoping that something will hits. Much like a shotgun fires hundreds of pellets from a wide range and is likely to hit something more than firing a precise rifle bullet. We shotgun statements you to hide the fact that the very general and make them seem specific. A shotgun statement could be something like “there is an elderly man a close friend or family member that you know who has a heart problem, I’ve seen some kind of chest pain from a family are very close friend”. You can add to this by saying lung problem or cancer. This is typical shotgun statement almost everyone will know a close male who has these can problems. But it seems very personal.
When using shotgun statements there isn’t too much focus made on for them out there judge people’s body language and reactions and quickly gauge if you write are not. If it doesn’t look like you’ve made a quickly alter it or do a different one entirely.
Use Barnum Statements
Barnum statements are named after PT Barnum. Barnum statements are quite similar to shotgun statements but you’re relying on psychological phenomena where people tend to fill in the gaps and make statement applicable to themselves. It’s the very same principle horoscope use. Whatever the statement is seems personally catered to you but it can be interpreted in such a way that anyone could really make it feel that it was personally made for them.
“You had no accident when you’re a child and you hurt your knee”, “sometimes you a little insecure, especially when you with people you don’t know that well” both of these two statements seem like quite personalised but really the majority of people will share these experiences. It’s been well documented and utilised many times with students of psychology that Barnum statements work. You can see in the video below the horoscope of a mass murderer is given to a room full of candidates and a majority of them think that the horoscope Reading is accurate for them.
“you are on the verge of making a big decision in your life” is another example of a classical burn statement it feels personalised but almost everyone at all points of the life of verge of making a big decision that can be applicable to some region of their life. I bet this statement applies to you right now. Flattery also goes along way. If you say you have an above average sense of humour, most people would want to believe so.
Use a Rainbow Ruse
You award someone with a specific personality trait but also in the same sentence you give them the trait for the opposite hoping they will only identify with the trait which is appropriate for them. A rainbow ruse is a contradictory statement and if used properly at least one of the contradictions will be taken as a hit. With most psychic readings people focus on the hits that the reader makes because they want to believe.
A rainbow ruse statement can be something like;
“A knee of the time you are shy and quiet, but you are also frequently extroverted when and can be the centre of attention.”
You have said they are introverted and extroverted in the same sentence it’s a clear contradiction but because you say sometimes you are one sometimes you are the other it covers your back from dedicating yourself to picking one. You can also increase your odds by combining Rainbow Ruse’s with Barnum statements. You can adopt the rainbow ruse statement above and add a Barnum statement to it like so
“When around new people you can be shy and quiet, but you are also at times extroverted and can be the centre of attention in social gatherings and parties”
Most people are at least a little more shy with new people but can be more social in parties and social gatherings where its implied here that there isn’t the issue of new people being there.
every time you get a hits make a mental note of the information. You don’t always need to pursue and drill down sometimes just say things for later. Quite frequently people will forget the information of are told you lately use it again a few minutes later worded in a slightly different manner there will be impressed and think that you’ve made another successful hit.
Use negatively loaded questions
People don’t typically process negatively loaded questions well and you can use this to your advantage while cold reading. They don’t always pick up on the meaning of it and he can make something that would seem like a total mess be a hit for example if you notice that your subject has a watch you could say “your father didn’t give you that watch did he?” To which if they answer no your still correct because in your statement your saying they didn’t give them the watch see don’t lose anything from that answer but if they say yes it looks like that’s what you always intended to say on the point you were getting across is that you knew the father do given the watch. If you use negatively loaded questions in conjunction with Barnum statements you can’t go wrong.
If you go wrong
To be really good at cold reading need to never admit defeat. If you are wrong then you have two options. The first you should back track and side step as much as possible. You have to use your intuition, use the reaction of your subject to gauge how far off the mark you are. Frequently the subject if you have chosen a good willing one will help you. For example if you said “you have a dog, a dog, some kind of…” and they jump in and say “cat” you try to play it off that you meant cat.
If all else fails and you can’t sidestep or back pedal then your last resort is to blame the subject. Tell them they aren’t trying or they are thinking hard enough etc. Place the blame on them.
That’s a wrap
That’s more than enough foundation information to get you started the best thing to do next is try and put it into practice. You don’t have to start doing cold reading with subject immediately makes sure you practice with yourself. Talk yourself through it and think of what things to say. I hope you have found this guide on how to cold read very useful.