For those who want to know how to learn mentalism, the answer may be a little unsatisfying. While there are a few individual tricks that can be learned quickly to impress friends and family members, becoming truly gifted at mentalism can take some time. There is no need to have any inherent ability, nor are the magicians who practice this art really psychic. Most are, in fact, just extremely skilled at reading people. The good news is that those who pick up this ability will find that it serves them well in all areas of their life, not just in performing magic.
Most mentalists would attest to the fact that you can learn a lot about a person just by looking at them. From the way they dress to the jewelry that they are wearing to their facial expression, a skilled magician will be able to begin a cold reading with a number of true statements that would suggest an ability to accurately read minds. In fact, they are simply noticing small things about you. They may be obvious, like a wedding ring, or more subtle, like how tired you appear or your initial reaction to being approached and engaged. There are mentalism texts that will help you to identify and interpret these signs, but the best thing to do is to practice on your own with strangers whenever possible.
Another trick that so called mind readers often use is an intricate code that allows them to communicate with an assistant. This is the method employed when they are called upon to identify an object while blind folded or come up with an answer to a question that they were not present for. With a great deal of practice, the magician and his or her assistant will come up with a series of words that can be used naturally in their ensuing banter. These words will signal that type of object that you are being asked to describe, as well as information on its age, color and other features. Again, in order to converse like this fluently, you will need plenty of time to practice with your assistant.
The last thing that a great mentalist must learn is how to leave certain things unsaid. By allowing their audience to make their own assumptions, instead of offering them information out right, they are actually building their own credibility. There are a number of different linguistic tricks that allow skilled magicians to accomplish this, most of which are firmly grounded in science. A good mentalist will not plant an idea into someone’s head, but will ask somewhat leading questions in order to allow the audience to arrive at the answer all on their own.
The most important step in how to learn mentalism is learning to read people well. This requires that the magician be extremely attentive and have a great breath of experience on which to draw. The best way to hone your skills in reading people is to simply do it in social situations. After you have become somewhat skilled, you will be ready to wow friends with cold readings at parties and impress your colleagues at work.