The folks over at Skeptic.com have produced a fantastic document which outlines how anyone can be a psychic. This is a must read for an aspiring Sylvia Browne! The abbreviated version is below.
Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation. While some psychics are known to cheat and acquire information ahead of time, these ten tips focus on what is known as “cold reading” — reading someone “cold” without any prior knowledge about them.
You can download the pdf here.
- Set the stage for an intimate, comfortable, experience. Establish your psychic authority with props such as important looking charts, or bookcases, full of reference books.
- Project a sympathetic personality. Put your client in a receptive, cooperative mood by explaining that a reading is a team effort.
- There are seven things people most want to talk about: Love, Health, Money, Career, Travel, Education, and Ambition. Stick to these themes by asking a lot of questions and making plenty of statements from each category.
- Start with a “Barnum” reading that offers something for everyone.
- After general statements, you can begin to home in on specifics that apply to most people.
- Extract information from your client by disguising questions as statements.
- Appeal to the authority of ancient wisdom and mysterious secrets by peppering your reading with esoteric jargon.
- Don’t be shy about using a little scientific knowledge from psychology or sociology to deduce your client’s concerns.
- Don’t forget the obvious. Flatter your subjects. Tell them what they want to hear.
- Have your excuses ready. Turn every outcome to your advantage.