How Do Mentalists Guess Names? (How to Master Mentalism)

How do mentalists guess names and what can you do to learn this technique

How do mentalists guess names

There are a few techniques in mentalism that can be used to guess the name of a subject. None of which involve true telepathy or mind reading.


The technique of how do mentalists guess names is explained in a number of ways. But what it isn't is telepathic mind reading. A mentalist uses their five senses to create the experience of a sixth sense. These techniques involve the use of psychology, reading body language or influencing via suggestion.

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How do mentalists guess names

On the face of it when mentalists guess names, they appear to be reading a person's mind. But as far as we know it, actual mind reading is not humanly possible.


If you want to master the technique of guessing names using mentalism, this article will help. However, you are better off signing up to master mentalism courses or reading mentalism books to speed up your learning.

If that's the case, how do mentalists guess names? There are a number of techniques at play here, which can involve NLP suggestion, slight of hand tricks, cold reading and reading nonverbal language (or reading body language), prior research or priming.

Let's take a look at these in turn.

NLP suggestion techniques to guess names

There are a couple of videos to demonstrate this technique at play, which both involve mentalist Derren Brown.

The first involves NLP suggestion where the thought is 'planted' into the subjects mind. This is a technique called embedded suggestion or embedded commands.

For this to work, the mentalist is wanting the person to say a name he wants his subject to say. This is the name he embeds into the persons subconscious.

The following video is not embedding a name, but shows Derren Brown embedding a gift idea into Simon Pegg's mind. The concept is the same.

After watching this video, you will see how powerful NLP suggestion can be.

The second suggestion method, which works on similar principles is through 'priming' the subject beforehand.

In this second video, Derren Brown gets the person to think of a song. However, before this, the person is subjected to hearing the song during the day. The song is therefore subliminally registered in his subconscious beforehand. When Derren Brown then asks the guy to think of a song, he is more likely to think of the song that he's been hearing all day.

It's a bit like the principle where if I say don't think of the colour red, you will think of the colour red. It's part of your mind's wiring.

Here's the video...

How mentalist might use slight of hand techniques in guessing names

Mentalist Lior Suchard is another Israeli Mentalist (see this list of famous mentalists for other mentalists from Israel). There must be something in the water in Israel that has an effect on people there, and why they make great mentalists.

People that have seen Lior Suchard's own shows have witnessed him asking people to write the name of their first love on a piece of paper. They are asked to do this when they are queuing before the show. The person he asked to write the name down handed the paper to Lior, who promptly ripped it up.

However, the obvious ruse here is a slight of hand. The piece of paper ripped up is not the one with the name written on it. Suchard cleverly switches the paper and keeps the one with the name written on it.

More ReadingHow much is Lior Suchard worth? (Mentalist Lior Suchard net worth)

Prior research trick to guessing names

Another technique that is adopted by mentalists is to carryout prior research into the people they know they'll be meeting.

Certainly, if a mentalist is appearing on a show with another famous person, there's the opportunity to do prior research. These days there's an amazing amount of information available if you know where to search for it.

So where a guess of a name may seem like mind reading to the audience, the mentalist knew the name beforehand.

More Reading: Master Mentalism Course review (Includes the features and the Pros & Cons)

Video with Oz Pearlman guessing a name

The above trick with Oz Pearlman is pulled off really well.

 Another Youtube video with Benji Bruce guessing names

In the above video Benji Bruce guesses the name of John's first kiss.

Lior Suchard guesses the name of Larry King's first girlfriend

In the above video you see Lior Suchard guessing the name of Larry King's first girlfriend.

In all the above three videos, I will leave it to you to work out how they all did it. Giving too much away is not fair on the mentalists or on the mentalism and magic performers.

However, giving enough away to wet the appetite is okay. But to progress further, you should consider either reading some books (see below). Or enrolling on mentalism courses, also see below.

Lucky guesses and cold reading

Another technique that you can learn is to master cold reading techniques. Combine cold reading with great observational skills and reading nonverbal language creates a very powerful set of skills in mentalism.

Recommended reading to learn mentalism techniques to guess names

Recommended Reading To Learn Mentalism Techniques To Guess Names

If you are learning to master mentalism I recommend you at least read Corinda's The 13 Steps To Mentalism book. I would also add Tricks of the Mind written by Derren Brown and although expensive The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy Volume 2.

If you would like to learn how to do amazing mentalist tricks that will make your friend’s jaw drop, look at the Master Mentalism course.

Master Mentalism is an in-depth course that will show you the secrets behind most of the popular mentalist magic tricks there are.

In just a short time after learning from Master Mentalism you will know exactly how mentalists do what they do!

For a ridiculously small investment on your part you will be learning some fantastic mentalism and magic skills. These skills will not only make you the life of a party, but they will set you on your way to become the next famous mentalist!

I hope you enjoyed this article about how do mentalists guess names…

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your journey to become a performing mentalist or magician (or both). Please comment below. Please also share your experiences, both good and bad.!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about mentalism or magic, I will try to answer them (or specifically about how do mentalists guess names), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about mentalism for you to read and learn about this fantastic skill.

Have fun and enjoy your journey to become mentalist!

How Do Mentalists Guess Names? (How to Master Mentalism)

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