A Glossary of Mentalism and Mind Reading Terms

If you're just getting into mentalism some of the terminology used may be initially confusing. We've written this basic glossary of terms used in mentalism and mindreading to help you.

Terms Used In Mentalism And Mind Reading

Cold Reading: to make vague, general statements about a person to create the impression that they have special insights into that person's life.

Hot Reading: to gather information about a person in advance of a performance, and then use that information to create the impression that you know things you couldn’t possibly know.

Telepathy: to read another person's thoughts or transmit thoughts from one person to another without using any known physical means of communication.

Mentalism glosssary of terms

Psychokinesis: to move objects using the power of the mind.

Clairvoyance: to see things that are not physically present, such as events or objects that are happening in another location.

Billet Reading: to secretly read information written on a small piece of paper, called a billet, by the participant.

Propless Mentalism: A type of mentalism in which no physical props or objects are used, and the mentalist relies solely on verbal communication and their own powers of observation.

Pre-Show: Research or preparation done by a mentalist before a performance to gather information about the audience or participants. The best book on this subject is Asi Wind's Before We Begin available here.

Pre-show book

Muscle Reading: to observe the subtle physical movements of a participant, such as involuntary muscle twitches, to gain insight into their thoughts and feelings.

Q&A: A type of mentalism performance in which the mentalist answers questions from the audience or participants without any prior knowledge of the questions or information.

Center Tear: A technique in which a mentalist secretly reads information written on a small piece of paper by the participant, using a special tear in the paper to obtain the information.

Dual Reality: to create the illusion of one reality for the audience and a separate reality for a selected participant.

Stooge: An assistant or confederate used by a mentalist to help create the illusion of supernatural powers or abilities.

Hypnosis: to create a state of consciousness in which a person is highly suggestible and can be influenced to act or think in certain ways by the hypnotist.

Memory Techniques: to remember large amounts of information, such as memorizing a deck of cards or a series of numbers.