Here is a brief excerpt from Is the Long Island Medium the Real Deal?
Chapter 5 ~ The Science of Cold Readings
Cold readings and all the little tricks behind them is what fuels 99.9% of all psychics and mediums especially if they're doing large readings. Incidentally, some of them even do these tricks during one-on-one readings.
A cold reading is the process where the cold reader gets all the information they need or at least enough knowledge that'll let them to fill in the details. Subsequently, this allows them to trick a person into thinking that they have information on them that only a psychic/medium could know. That makes them good at being able to fake things.
This is how it's done. The cold reader must possess the ability to ask many questions that are broad but can be narrowed down to specifics when necessary. The cold reader is usually an extrovert. They have a very likable personality. They are self-assured, confident, stylish, and charismatic. The cold reader has the ability to distract the person being read, in carnival terms, the mark. Your average cold reader possesses a high EQ [emotional intelligence], coupled with the ability to appear empathetic to other people's emotions. In fact, the cold reader can appear quite the opposite when they become teary-eyed. Also, they take general information into account:
~ Body language
~ Their dress code: business attire, sportswear, slutty, rocker, etc.?
~ Religion – crosses, Star of David, prayer beads
~ Sexual orientation
All of these points can help a reader fill in a complex and seemingly complete reading.
The larger the crowd the better. The odds are more in their favor as the cold reader can safely use more general questions.
For example, the cold reader might say:
~ Who on this side of the audience has lost a child or maybe a grandchild?
You know that's going to get reactions, allowing the cold reader to note those that respond. The cold reader might select a person to read. Or they might want to be more sure of selecting a mark that'll put on a good show.
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