The psychology of lying

I love how magic has evolved over the years. I especially love where it is now and some of the really advanced and developed mentalism acts. Like anything if you want to survive the test of time you must also evolve. Anyone aspiring to perform mental magic (mentalism) such as derren Brown should take all the skills and resources available to them to craft their art. If you don’t know where to start and really want to perform mentalism magic like the aforementioned Derren Brown then i suggest that you look at our review of mentalism books where we hotlist the top 11 books in mentalism and which ones are essential. You should also check out the master mentalism course that you can see the advert for as they have some tremendous free tutorials and amazing discounts on their main courses.

Anyway i feel that we are getting dramatically off topic here. This is suppose to be about the psychology of lying. They say a picture says a thousand words so i will let you digest this info-graphic about lying and then pick up afterwards.


If you want to see the origonal post then look at the link above.

Okay now we have had a quick look at the infographic, hopefully you have had time to digest some of the information within it but you might be wondering what it has to do with learning mentalism? or how it will help you to be a mentalist. Well as i said at the start of the article great magic and mentalism acts will evolve with the times. That being said one of the most timeless acts you can perform is mind reading. Everyone loves a well crafted mind reading trick. However there are elements that have evolved with the public’s understanding of what is possible by humans.

No longer do many people actually believe in “real magic” but they believe in psychology and the power of persuasion. So when performing a mind reading trick if you can convince the audience that you are getting information from body language or can tell exactly when someone is lying you can use this in your act to great effect.

To know if your participant is lying or not it greatly helps if you understand the psychological processes that happen when someone tells a lie. The first thing you must understand is that everybody lies even those whom pride themselves on not ever telling a lie. Yes even these people lie on a daily basis to some degree.

As the diagram shows when someone lies there are far more cognitive processes taking part. Depending on the individual they will feel varying degrees of anxiety from the deception and this will stem from the limibic system which is one of the most primal parts of the brain. Your subconscious part of the brain knows the truth and knows that you are lying and therefor creates the anxiety which in turn can create tells. The more you repeat a lie the more your subconscious will believe it. This is the same principle that athletes use to convince themselves that they are the best. They frequently tell themselves and others that they are the best at what they do and eventually they actually start to believe it and it truly does affect their performance. Self belief is everything. tell yourself daily that you are the best mentalist walking on planet earth and you will start to improve. At first you will think you are being stupid and it’s ridiculous but eventually your subconscious will believe it and you will start to perform with more confidence just because of that.

Some of peoples responses from the anxiety and thinking of the lie can be reflected in eye movement. Be careful not to deny the antecedent in this logical expression. A lie may be indicated by someone looking to the top left. This does not mean that someone who looks to the top left is always lying though. Context is important.

How to remember peoples names

If you’re serious about performing mentalism you’ll have no doubt come across memory mnemonics and memory retention strategies. The thing with dedicating so much time to mentalism and understanding mental magic is that you want also discover potential nuances about human psychology. You are going to develop strategies to remember things if you want to perform some more difficult illusions. Derren Brown performed a task where he played nine chess grandmasters at the same time. He didn’t actually play a game of chess against each of them he used the mind mimic principle to play the game to chess which means you to remember each move each player did until you played the opposite side. He used memory mnemonics to do this. All the skills you learn using mentalism should be evaluated and seen which are appropriate to use outside of mentalism in real-life social situations.


One of the most important things you can do in social situations is remembering someone’s name. Dale Carnegie talks about it in how to Win friends and influence people which is one of the bestselling all-time books for anyone wanting to improve human relations (it doesn’t mention anything about extra-terrestrial relations). Dale Carnegie says a person’s name is the sweetest sound they know in the entire your language. Your friends know your name and when you hear it, it applies specifically to you if someone knows your name it means your of importance to them. If you can remember someone’s name they automatically trust you more and feel extra warmth towards you. You should use your mentalism skills especially those of memory mnemonics to try to remember people’s names this is how you should do it.

Use mnemonics to remember people’s names

memory mnemonics is simply remembering using the Association. Trying to remember arbitrary words is incredibly difficult should always try and associate things to remember them. If I meeting somebody new and I hear the name there are a few things I can do so increase my chances of remembering it without using pneumonic’s this point. The first thing do is try to pay attention monetise your name. This is most people’s major downfall when they have an introduction instead of paying attention to the other person’s name is simply wait until they can introduce themselves. Changes attitude and make sure when a person says their name your receptive towards it and you try and remember. In Dale Carney give book he talks about someone who immediately after meeting someone used to write down their name in a book obviously this was done out of sight. Just writing down their name and visualising extra second will increase your chances of remembering it. Obviously you don’t need to do this but it can work and that’s the first tip is to take extra effort trying to remember people’s names. Secondly don’t be afraid to ask them again especially if it’s the first time you’ve heard the name. If someone introduce himself and you don’t hear the name clearly just asked them to say again. If it’s an unusual name you can force them to spell it just depending on the social situation. Obviously all these remembering techniques are just far social situations you can work them into your acts. Remembering people’s names when you performing mentalism tricks also helps the audience magician connection.

Using a mnemonics remember someone’s name is the best way to increase your chances of remembering it. You should try and associate someone’s name with a picture. So for example if their surname with Jackson you could think of something like Michael Jackson and just try and associate that with them. If there’s anything similar between them Michael Jackson even if they can dance like Michael Jackson or you convince yourself about that about them you can make the Association annual remember. Names of direct meanings are easier to remember. Names that you Make a direct connection far such as Goodwin you can modify slightly. If I met somebody called Goodwin in a restaurant I would possibly slightly alter their name to goodwing and then associate eating a good chicken wing with them at the restaurant. ;0 some of the far-fetched and crazy associations are easier to remember.

The other thing I do if I meet someone for example if the name is John I would think of other people I’ve met called John and trying to think of a way to associate them with that. For example if I met a man called John and it was a plumber and I another friend car John he was a plumber try remember them through the Association. You should also what facial features of the zenith in predominance about their face we can associate the name with the says even if it’s a weak association will definitely help you remember.

As Dale Carney the mentioned that remembering someone’s name and send it back to them is one of the sweetest sound they will ever hear. It is also whining with this getting someone’s name wrong is also a major to do. Getting someone else’s name wrong can have the exact opposite effect so it’s a little bit of a risk if you want to jump in their when you’re unfamiliar and say somebody’s name if you get it right will once you if you get it wrong can be the start of a bad foundation. It wasn’t too long ago on the English apprentice that one of the candidates was trying to have a bit of rapport with someone you want to sell hot tubs. He said this name wrong three times in didn’t get the gig. The other team won and when asked why the salesperson said it is because you got my name wrong three times. Don’t let people’s names wrong and really make the effort to remember someone’s name.

9 psychological tricks

Mentalism is different from normal types of magic. It’s still delivers the feet of doing something that you don’t really think is possible but other slight twist diet. Mentalism is psychological base magic or mental magic. If you want progress in the Lord mentalism you should really start is trying understand human behaviour and human psychology. These are some cool little facts about human behaviour and what they can mean. When you think that this can help an incredible amount when it comes to understanding people and developing new acts a lot of these are based on observation and should start implementing them as soon as possible.

An interesting human response to laughter is that if you’re in a group of people after breaks out is very common to look at the person you have the strongest relationship with first. This will help you keep no of who’s got the strongest group friendships or who is sleeping with whom.

1. A persons name is sweetest sound they know. Make a habit of trying to remember people’s names when you first meet them. There are lots of memory mnemonic tricks you can use to try to remember people’s names. This is one the core principles of Dale Carnegies “how to Win friends and influence people”. If you remember someone’s name and use it they will immediately feel that they can trust you more and closer towards you.
2. When talking to somebody body language says a lot. If you want to improve your relationship then you should mirror the other person’s body language. To its subtly fully not notice on a subconscious level they will. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and Marin’s mum’s body language will make them feel comfortable.
3. As give the People’s help or asking favours as long as they’re not too big makes a subconscious belief that there are important to you and they have some value. This is also mentioned in a lot of relationship guides. That you want the other person to feel like they have some kind of importance asking for favours reinforces this.
4. If you’re in a situation where you know that conflict going to break out. For example if you know that you have a meeting coming up and your boss is going to have a go at you make an effort to sit closer to in don’t hide in the background. If you hide away from them than is can feel more distant and expresses anger more. If you decrease the proximity and sit right next to in this can feel a lot more personal and apology engage in a more reasonable manner.
5. Utilise the power of silence. It’s well known that sounds often wins battles. If someone gives you an answer that you don’t like you don’t necessarily after running straight away and start arguing. Silence often says more. In sales when a deal has been presented that is very tough for both sides they say that the first person to speak loses. Sometimes be found is the best approach.
6. When meeting someone new we on all that keeping eye contact is really important for also that if you overdo it can be quite creepy. A good way to get the right balance is trying to take note of their eye colour. You’re not going to use a any point in the future it’s just a very good way of looking at someone with the right amount of eye contact in a non-creepy way.
7. When it comes to memory retention people remember most clearly things that happen the start of the event and at the end of events things in the middle usually blur a little bit. You can use a magic acts if you want you can use the middle of the act is a distraction but it’s also useful in other aspects of life as well. If you have an interview for a job if you take the first slot on the last slot available this will also work to your benefit.
8. We on all of flattery can also help in social situations. Dale Carnegie talks about this and says that you shouldn’t actually flatter people it’s a little bit shallow and a lot of the time they can see right through it. Instead what should offer is sincere appreciation. The difference is that with sincere appreciation you know is something they do really well and you tell them so. With flattery is a bit more fake perhaps generic.
9. Repeat what you hear. Obviously this doesn’t mean repeat verbatim but if you paraphrase what person saying and repeated back to them it can show that you empathise with their point of view and there will be open to your suggestions a lot more. This can be applicable in all walks of life from friends and family to audience members and subject to magic tricks.

Think of a number between one and ten

Okay so this trick might be a little bit gimmicky but it will help you understand some of the principles used in mentalism and mind reading tricks. In this trick were going to get the participants think of a number between one and 10 and then tell them what the number what’s. If it was left to pure chance then the odds of getting it right be one in 10. But given the human nature has predispositions towards certain numbers it’s not at all under much number they will pick. If you went out last 100 people to pick a number between one and 10 the majority of them will say seven. It’s socially a lucky number. Most people have some kind of affinity towards the number seven. With most mentalists tricks for you don’t want to the things up to chance that you want to do everything we can to reduce the odds of getting it wrong and use as many tricks you can to make it seem like you are not forcing them to pick a number and the your reading their mind. You can use the power of suggestion and saw the suggesting to them when you say things you can read this article about using the power of suggestion to make a participant think about two shapes from within the other. But not when a focus on the power of suggestion and will offer another way of doing this which is to reduce the odds against you.

think of any number

So in this example of going soft persistent think of a number between one and 10. Before you off at with voice changer ever so slightly. The grants asked them to think of an odd number between one and 10. This is automatically increased your chances dramatically if it was down Sir Ron them mutt a lawn you double one in five chance. It doesn’t seem like you’re narrowing the choice is too much to arouse suspicion.

The next thing you should do is to say that you want to clarify the trick and say an odd number like free and five not to win four. In most cases people will then be hesitant to choose those numbers if you’ve just said they are number the likely change. There will send to avoid the number three and five so now you’re left with the numbers one, seven, and nine.

At this point you can make an assumption just like at the beginning you can assume that it’s more likely that chosen the number seven. For the following sentence of cover and what numbers they can pick say that you can pick a number like the number seven. Present it in such a way that not only is it statement the stipulation of the task also suggesting that you might be choosing that number. Don’t fully commit to it and say you’ve picked the number seven or or exaggerate your hand motions to make it suggest that you hundred percent sure that the pattern on the seventh. Just throw out there like the number seven really casually engage their response. If they smile are looking you with a little bit of amazement you can pretty sure that it was a number seven and then you can reconfirm by saying it’s the number seven. If you look at them and you Gauge any reaction from them then it’s probably not the number seven in which case are left with the numbers one and nine. In this situation is probably going to be the number nine as you far is said at the very start think of a number between one and 10 and people like to avoid numbers that you’ve already mentioned so I would go farther number nine. If they say no then you’re likely that it’s going to be the number one and therefore you can say got it wrong by but it’s the number one and you more than likely to get right. Without the power suggestion this trick illustrates how the elimination of their choices can work in your favour. If you combine this with the power suggestion and subtly suggest the number 7 to them either through gestures or from subtly mention the number seven are a word that sounds like the number seven you can increase your chances further.

As said this is a little bit gimmicky trick and good beginners if you would through find out other mentalism mind reading tricks be sure to check out our mind reading tricks tutorials page

The Mentalism Shape Trick

A lot of mentalism tricks rely on the power of suggestion. This means you can give the appearance of being able to read someone’s mind without having to read body language or try to decipher what the person thinking. Simply make them think what you want them to think and then you’ll know the answer. The key here is to subtly suggest things to them to their subconscious without them knowing. If you do this successfully there was thinking of what you suggested and have no idea that you’ve actually suggested it to them. It will create the illusion that they picked it from free will and many mentalism tricks right lie upon this principle. This is one the funnest aspects of mentalism to me. In fact I think a lot of people are drawn to this idea that you can implant ideas and people and it has been a trademark trick of mentalism for a long time. It was made hugely popular in the mainstream when Derren Brown used it on many of his TV shows you can see below in the video embedded that Derren used the power of suggestion on the Richard and Judy sure to make her think of the letter A.

if you’re keen on learning mentalism and just start learning this can of thoughtful suggestions that implant ideas and people’s sets and there’s a really nice want to use. It’s one way you daft people to think of a shape within a shape. Shapes are great because is only a limited amount of selections of people are going to make but they feel like they have a wide selection of choices. People are generally going and keep with simplest shapes squared circles triangles and not go off a silly shapes such as dodecahedrons. Especially if you problem with the right to start with and make them feel like they have to take snap decisions and impulse decisions. A lot of people try to be awkward and if you are sent to think of a shape they will try and change it so you must tell the first shape and stick with. You can see Derren doing the trick here but I want to analyse this and another video

Derren says in this video this trick is can work on the majority of people. It’s quite obvious and deliberate what he does here. I rose is a little bit over the top in that it’s not very subtle is quite an obvious suggestion but it is still going to work a lot of people. He clearly with his hands makes a shape other circle and the suggestion of the roof of a triangle. This will work with the majority of people and this is the principle of suggesting to influence most decision. This tricks also been done in a lot more sex seeing glamorise way for a TV sure which of the trick I want to talk about a little bit more. I think the delivery is back here and it’s gone a work better as well with a real subject.
The trick and talking about was quite well represented in a TV sure the mentalist. I’m not sure if you’v1e seen the mentalist but the main character is Patrick Jane who is a mentalist of the font a little trick on his colleague. I’ve embedded the video below and you should watch the video first and then I’ll explain how we does it.

First of all the video appears to be loosely based around Derren Brown’s type tricks. This also based around the same kind of camera angles and sold cues that Derren uses in his tricks. Obviously this is a TV show any of the fine your always do it but some of the foundation in here is how you should use it. The first thing you need to do is pick a correct an ideal candidates. Some people a lot more susceptible to this so if you cannot play Norwich the type of person you deal with and how susceptible the art of suggestion is can help a lot.. With some people as soon as you start making full suggestions W a notice what you doing or be unresponsive to it in which case you can’t really win all four you’ll not it is kind of person and just back out of the trick although there are a few things you can trying do that will increase your odds and even people who were awkward if you get them in the correct mind frame susceptible to suggestion.

Setting the scene

This leads to the next point which is picking the right moment. For this scanner trick is imparted not had too many distractions is not the kind are trick you be performing on the club scene are busy high street saw any of environment where there’s a lot of distractions. In the video you can see that it’s just the mentalist and his colleague who is perform the trick own. There are a few other observers but no one else is interfering with the participants trail of art. You need is built engage them and have their full attention. Please have in an environment where they are quite relaxed and feel comfortable and are open to suggestion. It’s no good trying this trick on someone who is an impending deadline are is stressed about other things. There were forced to involved in their own problems to pay that much attention to. Picking the ideal moment and situation is imparted to this kind of trick. Also if you can find someone who is wanting to do the trick. Rather than approaching someone randomly whom isn’t in the mood to entertain that kind of thing you want someone who can see you are is open to the idea of performing the trick.

Analysing the video

Okay so the first thing that the mentalist does is prepare the subject by asking them and they feel in okay relaxed and ready to continue. This puts the subject in a state of anticipating the trick. It opens up their awareness and their willingness to do the trick. This also increases the suggestibility. It was always good to get them to respond to questions such as “are you ready”. Also engage them make sure you have I contact and the full attention. You need positive affirmation than say yes saw a nod just them to come firm that they’re ready to continue this will set them on the right my state.

The next step in the video I think is a little bit risque where he asked them to imagine a screen between the two of them. Although this can be considered a blank canvas to which they are by project there are images which is the theory here I also think there’s an element that they may take it as suggestion to think of a square. So how you deliver this is going to be really important if you make it really obvious so that they are conscious mind picks upon the public are eliminate the square is an object. If you do make it obvious enough the subconscious may pick up on to it and then they choose that. That is the objective of using the power suggestion you don’t want the conscious mind to pick up on what you’re suggesting but you want the subconscious mind to. So I I would say experiment with the whole imagine a screen between me and you whilst trying out a square see what results you get.

Drawing the triangle

okay this step is essential you want to tell them to think of a shape and project it think of a shape but not a square. This really limit your options to what objects they can pick. If put a high-pressure situation where you need to think of a basic object is said before you going to be limited to free objects a circle, square and a triangle. If you tell them to think of an object not a square it puts a little bit more pressure on them because the need to pour a little bit of four in their rather than just acting on impulse thinking of a shape. By saying not the square you make them have to think not a square it have to be another object which is a totally different effect on human behaviour than asking to mourn openly to think of an object. Whilst doing this the mentalist makes gestures with his hands much like Derren does. You can see between his form on his fingers he makes a so all suggestion of the shape of a triangle. This is done very subtly though it’s quite possible in the video. Remember it is the idea of pushing this into the subconscious without getting caught that you need to practice. Once you’ve given them a moment ass them if they have that clearly in the head want to say yes talent the lock in don’t change your mind and move onto the next stage.

Drawing the circle

in the stage is very similar to the triangle you just sell and think of another shape and put it around the original one whilst doing this you make a sort of gesture of a circle with your hands. With any luck you will have them thinking of a triangle within the circle. From here you can use your own creativity to make the performance have you like. Obviously Jake already has the answer in his head but he wants percent the illusion that you psychic in your project in the image to him. Deliver this release feel that. His delivery is pretty decent by saying this is the fun part trying project onto the back of my head. Then pausing and saying that you can feel it. Then tell them the ship you suggested hopefully should an elder and the be amazed and asked you how you did it. I really like the playful nature in which Jake says it was just a calibration and now you can read your inner most deepest thoughts. Always adding a little bit of humour helps with any kind of trick. You don’t need any preparation really just the right circumstances and situations try this trick. I suggest you try are a few friends don’t worry about consequences if you get it wrong just know that free trial and are you going to get better at it.

If you like this trick and you want is one of a kind of tricks then please make sure to read our article on How to be a mentalist – Simple Easy Steps or visit our homepage which is all about mentalism

Use Body Language to read minds


A lot of mentalism tricks rely upon the ability to accurately read your subject’s body language. In this article going to go through some of the factors on how to read body language. I’ll go through a number of points which should hopefully help you read and understand how to read people’s body language. You can then incorporate this knowledge into magic tricks and mentalism tricks. Been able to read people’s body language may also help you extract information and help with acts where you want to appear to be able to read somebody’s mind

1. The first point and it’s probably the most important is that there is not a one size fits all when it comes to reading people’s body language. People make this common misconception when they learn about reading people’s body language. They may hear or see that if people look to the top left-hand corner as they arrive then they’re accessing the creative part of their brain and are therefore telling a lie. There may be some way in this and you may be right but they also may look to the top left-hand corner just because they’re looking there. Assumed just because do something one particular thing that the telling a lie. You have to look at the whole picture.

2. The second point is also very important. That is that practice makes perfect. That’s quite a blanket statement any can be applied to most anything the life but there are many examples of people especially when dealing with deciphering body language sure that you start doing our subconscious level when you put in a lot of practice. This is a stage you want to get to you want to practice it so much that you don’t have to be reliant upon your conscious decisions. You want your subconscious to be able to pick up on the subtle nuances in people’s body language and then make a decision on instinct. This phenomena is also covered in this video by Orson Welles where you pretend to be psychic to the day. He mentions by then the day you can just instantly see someone tell what what their problem is. He also goes on to elaborate that so Hotel bellboy’s work or used to.

3. Body language varies from person to person. Depending on the context you may get more time to person than others. Take advantage of any opportunity you have spend extended periods of time somebody. For example if some people lying there will develop a nervous smile whilst other people will not. You can really draw something is from either of these if you performing magic usually want get the chance to understand that person individually see have to look at the individual cues and trying to upon the prior knowledge. Some of the biggest using body language are often mistakes. The more unique’s body language are typically the result of nervous dispositions. People put on the pressure made perform acts that you think are tells the lying but it’s really just a Telford be nervous. Try not to use unique non-verbal habits as an indicator.

4. While the major first force people fall into when trying to read body language is paying too much attention to the face there are also lots of signs that will throw you off. People say that the hands have it all. Pay attention to people’s hands people who live can spend more time gesturing with their hands. They tend to do this more than if they were just simply nervous. Don’t discredit the face entirely as are a few Q is there for a lot of the time it involves a combination of hands. Look at Bill Clinton in his interview about Monica Lewinsky. He touched his nose a lot more than is normal approximately every four minutes. This is accommodation of his face and it sounds.

5. If you are a focus on cues in the face the lips can give a lot away. Condit when he was lying on television in 2002 sucked and licked and bit his lips more than 14 times in a television interview. This is an indication that can be nervous but also it cannot say that you are trying to withhold information.

6. Lack of animation. People who are adept at lying are done it frequently will know that you give a lot away we are body language. To counter that they often try to hide their body language. They don’t give anything away with their hands are the body motions saw they have a lack of animation. So being overly controlled in this way can certainly act against you. You can often spot a liar from someone who is to rigid and firm.

7. Finally get the advice from an expert in the field. While you can get quite a few tips from websites such as this year at mentalism central and other websites like wiki how or you tube your not going to get the same level of information in confidence in the information that you going to get from someone who’s done it for a career and published a book on it. If you want to read somebody’s mind or give a appearance in your mentalism acts and being able to tell someone stole I is essential. Adult think is a better place to learn from than “what everybody is saying” it’s written by an ex-FBI agent who is job it was to extract information from people and tell whether they were lying are not. He was a counterintelligence officer’s years to become an expert in non-verbal behaviour. The book is amazing and has over 685 positive customer reviews on Amazon. It talks about how you can speed the people record people’s true intentions and also talked about some of the pitfalls I’ve mentioned in how not to make assumptions of pick up false positives. Even if you don’t want to perform mentalism but you want to build to read someone’s body language this is got to be the best place to start. You can find on Amazon on here

The top 10 mentalist

This is a list of the top ten mentalists in my opinion. Some of them you might not agree with but you can definetely take something away from each of them especially if you want to know how to become a mentalist Feel free to stay and watch a few of the videos of these master mentalists in action.

1. Derren Brown.

Without doubt the most prolific and influential mentalist of our time. Derren brown was born in 1971 and is an English born mentalist, i’m sure you are all familiar with the works of Derren brown. Since his first broadcast in 2000 (Derren Brown mind control) Derren has been constantly refining his skills and looking to out do himself with each appearance. Whilst some people actually believe he has psychic or real magical abilities he openly admits everything he does is the result of suggestion, psychology, misdirections and showmanship with a little sprinkling of “Magic”. Derren Is by far the most recognizable and publicly influential mentalist of our time and perhaps the best person to watch if you want to learn mentalism.

2. The Amazing Kreskin

I love Kreskin, though his popularity only really picked up in America. Those from a UK or other audience outside of America might not be familiar with his mentalism feats. He became famous around the time that Derren Brown was born and therefore was performing way before Derren brown. He was inspired in his early years by a comic by Lee Falk which featured a crime fighting magician. In many ways he prepared the audience for future mentalists to dazzle them.

3. Max Maven

Max Maven is another great mentalist whom on first glace you can tell he believes in showmanship. The way he looks and the way he speaks really helps immerse people and prepare the audience to expect something special. I find him very entertaining.

4. Uri Geller

Uri Geller is on this list mostly because he put bums in seats. Many people around the world watched Uri Geller he is possibly still the most famous Mentalist/Illusionist. The major difference between Uri and Kreskin or Derren Brown is that he tells people that he has supernatural abilities. Uri is most well known for bending metal objects. He also got exposed by James Randi but it’s not really a secret that he doesn’t actually have paranormal abilities

5. Marc Salem

Marc Salem is a mentalist that specializes in non verbal communication. He refined his abilities to read body language. He also has a good sense of dry humor. Who can stop and start his pulse at will and identify objects whilst blindfolded. He believes that people give off a tremendous ammount of information non verbally and he has an amazing ability of acurately assessing what someones non verbal communication is telling you. He is actually really good and definitely should receive more attention.

6. Gerry Mccambridge

Gerry comes from a different background that you might imagine one would follow to perform mentalism. His father was a New York Detective and an expert in interviews and interrogation and what he learned about observation and reading body language really rubbed off on Gerry. A testament to how important reading body language is. You can find some of the best mentalism books here there are some great ones about body language written by people from intelligence agencies.

Gary use to run the las vegas strip and has performed over 500 shows there. in 2004 Gerry had his first prime time TV show which had over 6.2 million viewers tune into watch. Watch the show below

7. Craig Karges

The self proclaimed “extraordinist” (he invented the word) he’s very good at what he does which usually involves reading minds, levitating tables and bending metal. He is a big performer and has performed over 5000 times through out his career.

8. Banachek

Banachek is a quality mentalist whom has written quite a lot of literature on the topic and even invented a few tricks such as the famous Penn and teller bullet catching trick.

If you like Joe Rogan there is also a really good skit with Banachek and Rogan.

9. Bob Cassidy

Bob Cassidy has done a lot for mentalism his book is mentioned in our essential reading list he also breaks down the 37 best books to learn mentalism (all in his book). You will probably recognize him. I love his confidence whilst he performs.

10. The Evasons

The only mentalist mind reading duo on the list. Watch them if you haven’t already.

Mentalism number trick | A simple mentalist trick

Okay just for something a little more light hearted and for the younger audience of the site. This maths trick is about as simple as it gets and its best used on kids if your looking for the more hardcore mentalism tutorials to learn how to learn mentalism.

think of a number

Tell a member of your audience or collectively your entire audience to pick and number they want but forewarn them that they will be some basic maths so they should probably keep it simple unless they have a calculator.

multiply by 2

Then tell them to multiply their number by 2


Next tell them to add 14 to their number.

divide2The next stage is to divide the number by 2 and the main reason you would want to keep the original number low


This step is the hardest to explain but again very easy.  Just ask them to take the number they now have away from their original.

number is 7

The number they now have if they followed all the stages correctly should be 7. The number you add, 14 in this case can be changed depending on your audience whatever this number is divide it by 2 and you have your final answer so if you are using it with really young kids then pick 10 as its easier to work with. Add a larger number if you want to make it a bit more difficult and less obvious to what you are doing. Whilst this is an incredibly simple trick and ideal for children its very basic and obviously isn’t that impressive for many adults but its still a good starter trip if you haven’t performed any magic before. If you want more easy mentalism tricks then this is a great place to start it has some great mentalist tutorials.

You can continue the trick by before asking what number they have to tell them to pick the corresponding letter to that numebr (1 = a, 2 = 3) so they have “G” think of a question where their is only one popular or obvious answer that begins with the letter “G”. For example a sport beginning with “G” they will more than likely pick golf. ask them to think of a sport beginning with G and then deliver the answer in a way you find appropriate for your type of performance. i would use the approach of “I never had you down as a golfer”.

Mentalism the magic Lemon Trick

Okay a quick disclaimer about this mentalism trick in my opinion its rather lame but it is also incredibly easy to do if you have access to lemons and you can win a few bets with this. You simply predict the number of sections in a lemon before it is cut open and you should always get it right. Here is the trick

David blaine mind reading

Typically I’m not a huge David Blaine fan. I know it’s important to create a persona to sell the act and he has gone for the slightly crazy type of charter. Which can definitional work for mentalism but the majority of his acts aren’t mentalism he mostly partakes in street magic which i don’t have a problem with at all. I just don’t feel that he is on the same level as Derren brown and puts too much emphasis on the weirdness of himself. As if he is trying to sell himself as actually having mind reading capabilities instead of being transparent like Derren who admits its trickery, cold reading and the power of suggestion. Having said that David blane mind reading as you can see in the video below is done quite well and worth a watch.

Some people actually think that he is the reincarnation of the devil so i guess his character does work to help sell the act. If you are interested in mentalism and in particualar the illusion of mind reading make sure to check out our mind reading tricks revealed page.