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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Of course the nature of mind reading and mentalism gives the impression the mind reader or mentalist has special abilities. Whether it be psychic abilities, abnormal psychological influence or any host of weird and wonderful powers.
With the psychological persona, many tricks include the illusion that the mentalist is influencing the volunteer's decision, but I've always tried to push the boundaries of what's actually possible and there's one method I've come across that is probably as close the boundary as you can get.
I found that you can use subliminal suggestion to influence a spectators decision when you give them a series of options.
The easiest way to explain it would be to get someone to choose a number between one and five What you do is when you call out their options you say, choose a number “one, two, three, four or five”
You can then get them more often than not to choose the number you want.. but how?
It's quite simple, you actually nod your head ever so slightly on the number you want them to choose. If you are to try this it will take you quite some time to do it without being obvious. It's a very slight nod The spectator should only subconsciously pick up on your suggestion.
To give you an example if you want to influence the volunteer to choose the number 4 you say to the volunteer “Pick a number between one, two, three, four (nod your head as you say it) or five”.
I've tested out 2 different ways, one is repeating the process again, with the same nod but also just doing it the once and pushing for them to answer. I found that doing it once and forcing them to pick a number quickly worked best, I think this is because the subconscious mind is more likely to kick in when you don't give them too much time to ponder and change their mind.
This like all real suggestion and influence doesn't always work and it's wise to have an 'out'. If you don't know what an out is then I suggest reading a little deeper into mind reading and mentalism techniques. Either way, try this out when you can do it and it won't matter if you get it wrong, do it as a preliminary effect before you go on to do a proper mentalism trick which is guaranteed to work.