NLP has been a bit of a buzz word for a good few years in relation to mind reading and mentalism tricks due to the likes of Derren Brown and Cris Angel.
The actual limits of NLP is only known to people who have actually studied it extensively, like myself. Limited is the key word, as people claim to use NLP for just about everything, but us people in the know, understand what you can and cannot do don't we?
That doesn't stop us saying we're using NLP when we're not, but sometimes it's nice to use some real NLP skills to perform our mind reading and mentalism.
So what NLP mind reading tricks are possible? Well I've already talked about how anchors can be used, but there are a few others too.
This one in particular isn't strictly NLP, but it involved reading subtle body language cues so I suppose it counts.
So here's the trick..
You show a spectator 5 playing cards, 4 of them are black number cards and one card is the queen of hearts. There are 2 versions of the trick you can use depending on who you perform it on. To one type of person you say that when they see the queen of hearts they are to think about SEX. To other people you just tell them to think about MONEY.
What you do is show them the queen of hearts first, tell them to think about sex/money. Get them to really think about it while they are staring at the queen of hearts. What this does is anchor the queen of hearts to that emotion.. I'll explain why in a moment.
What you do them is mix the cards face down and one after another show them each card and tell them to think about sex/money when they see the queen of hearts. When you show them each card, make sure you can't see the cards you show, but you need to be able to see their eyes.
Just by looking into their eyes, you can tell which card is the queen of hearts.. how?
Not by the reflection in their eyes. You can tell by their pupils dilating. When people think about sex or money. Their pupils dilate. When I say sex, I mean they need to really think of the act, and when they think about money, they need to imagine they have loads of it around them and to get excited.
So when you show them each card, watch their pupils and you will be able to tell which is the queen of hearts by when their pupils dilate (get bigger).
Try it out, it's a pretty decent little trick and you can even explain how you did it after. It's a good way to use as a build up to a really proper, stronger trick and to make them think you're a real body language expert.
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I don't usually talk about hypnosis but I think when you're into mind reading and mentalism, hypnosis is something you eventually dabble in.
The first port of call when you first learn a few inductions is going straight to friends and family to try your new techniques on. To the budding hypnotist this is usually make or break as to whether you ever hypnotise someone ever again – depending on if it works.
The problem with hypnotising friends and family or people who have known you for a while is the fact that it generally won't work.
Hypnosis works mostly due to the fact that the person being induced BELIEVES in your hypnosis abilities. It's all about convincing someone to follow your directions and help put them into a trance like state. I'm not going to go into depth about what a trance actually is, but it's generally when someone takes directions off you and when brought back – they will claim to have been 'under'.
So, why shouldn't you hypnotise friends and family?
Because they won't believe you. They won't believe you have the 'power' to put them under, are unlikely to take you seriously and will usually fight you the whole way.
This is why so many novice hypnotists soon give up after failing miserably to put their friends under. At the end of the day, most people will have to try it on their friends and family first through lack of confidence and not wanting to look like a total fool to a complete stranger.
What I suggest is using a friend who is open minded and doing it away from everyone else in a quiet room to start with. Take it slowly too, don't panic and rush, just slowly lead them into a trance.
If you have a good book or DVD course to learn from then you should also know good 'tests' you can use on your friend before going ahead and really taking them under. That way, if your friends 'fail' the test, you can stop right there and tell them it won't work on them.
Remember to be confident in your abilities and believe they will go under. If You Believe, THEY will believe.
You'll be putting people under like Derren Brown in no time!
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I don't often rant.. well I do, but this is something that really quite bothers me more than usual. The constant overuse of blatant actors on TV in mind reading and mentalism tricks.
You know the tricks, the ones that are stupidly impossible and have an obviously overreacting crowd and a pathetically enthusiastic volunteer. If you don't know what I'm talking about, stick on a Criss Angel television show and see.
These people are paid actors and are in on the trick, they have be in on the trick otherwise the trick won't work. These tricks are all for the camera and cannot work to spectators who are right up close to the mentalist. Now I'm sure a lot of you love Criss Angel but as far as QUALITY mind reading and mentalism goes, he's pretty darn poor.
I do believe there is a difference between and actor and a stooge in this case. To me, an actor is someone who has a big part in the overall effect of the trick and is usually pretending to be a volunteer. There are usually a crowd of actors too, all pretending to be amazed by some silly levitation. A stooge is someone who is involved in the trick but usually behind the scenes and doesn't broadcast their poor acting skills to the spectators but makes the effect look utterly impossible.
I understand some tricks need a stooge, but it's the overuse of actors that kill the real creative side of mind reading and mentalism. There is a danger of filming a whole show with actors as spectators and having no magic of real reactions and disbelief.
I love close up mentalism with real people. Nothing can beat the effect whereby the spectators are genuinely mystified by the mentalist. I don't personally love stooges either but I have and will always use them when I feel the need. I won't however use actors. Ever. I don't care if I've got a world famous television show. I'll never water down my effects with that nonsense. Derren Brown manages without it, so that's good enough for me.
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Just a quick update.
For all the people in the UK you can watch Derren Brown Investigates on Channel 4 at 10pm over the next few weeks. In tonights episode Derren follows a psychic medium and shows you methods the medium could use if he was to be a fraud..
I know what I think but make up your own minds..
I'd love to know what you all think..
ARE PSYCHICS REAL OR FAKE?
Leave your comments below..
There's a big difference between mind reading & mentalism effects compared with plain old magic tricks. One of the biggest differences is that mind reading relies on the audience needing to really believe in you. With magic you can get away without giving them an explanation because at the end of the day 'it's just magic'. With mind reading and mentalism, the audience needs to buy into your special abilities, whether they are psychic or uncanny psychological manipulation.
This is why scripting your effects is more important if you are to be a convincing mentalist. The professionals you see on TV – including Derren Brown & Criss Angel - are so effective because all their tricks are scripted – word for word - like a actor's would be. They have the added advantage that every trick you see them perform on TV is usually the brain child of 3 or 4 people, sitting in a room writing out each trick and scripting it word for word for the best impact on the audience.
In my opinion, the average mentalist needn't worry about word for word presentations although they must concentrate on one aspect of presentation. All the average mentalist needs to do in order to look like a professional is have a rough enough idea of what they are going to say. You need to create some sort of story behind every trick you do in order for it to be believable.
You can add serious impact to your mind reading effects if you test out a few variations of an effect and see which one works the best. That way you can pick the best impact you received and use that same rough story or explanation from then on. By all means script your effects word for word if you wish, but I've been blowing people away for years with free-styling a rough outline of what I'm going to say and this actually keeps it interesting for me.