The innovative tool for easing the path to successful cold reading
(now available as an e-book!) …
A Study Tool for the Nascent Cold Reader
“Cold reading” is widely used by successful mentalists, both as an end in itself and as a technique to enhance other effects (Annemann’s classic Pseudo Psychometry, for example, yields a completely different experience when performed by a skilled mentalist, compared to a traditional magician). Unfortunately, attempts to acquire this critical skill commonly result in confusion and frustration. This is ultimately to the benefit of mystery entertainment (if it were easy, anyone could do it), but that is poor solace to struggling students of the art.
Opinions abound on the topic, but skilled practitioners widely agree on two basic principles:
- The only way to become a good reader is to give lots of readings; rarely is the “practice makes perfect” adage so appropriate. A study of the literature (Ian Rowland’s encyclopedic The Full Facts Book of Cold Reading is a particularly effective textbook) can reveal the mechanisms that make cold reading work, but offer only scant insight into the “thinking on your feet” element that differentiates the successful from the would-be reader.
- The best way to begin giving readings is via the use of a traditional oracle such as astrology, cartomancy, palmistry, numerology, etc.
Of these, palmistry is particularly attractive, its application being more casual and convenient than most: it can be done in real time, and requires little more than a hand, which most potential participants will have available. These are among the several reasons why Richard Webster’s 1985 classic, Quick and Effective Cold Reading, is arguably the best book for the neophyte. With its focus on the most difficult aspect of the process (getting started), and the use of palmistry as its vehicle, Richard’s book is a superb treatise on actually becoming a cold reader, from one of the world’s most acclaimed practitioners.
Still, even with Richard’s careful focus on those elements of palmistry specific to the needs of the professional entertainer, memorizing the necessary phraseology and its correlation to hand characteristics is an intimidating first step. Yet it is one that must be fully mastered prior to giving those all-important initial demonstrations of one’s burgeoning skill.
Cold Front is a study tool, designed to speed this critical element of the learning process. It consists of an innovatively designed, helpfully illustrated, carefully edited, and easily navigated set of eleven pocket-sized (approximately 3×5") cards, printed on both sides, incorporating all of the material that must (more or less) be committed to memory. These cards include all the essential elements of the system, but by
- eliminating distracting elaborations, explanations, and discussions
- clearly illuminating the flow of the reading, and
- permitting frequent, repetitive study at times convenient to the student
they offer a much easier path to mastery of the process, and the confidence necessary to effective performance.
Cold Front was originally sold as a set of physical cards, as illustrated here. Alas, the production of such cards has become increasingly less cost-effective; consequently, the current edition is delivered as a PDF file, containing the original descriptive material, and all source images necessary to print the cards yourself (which also allows you to print replacement sets if necessary). This can be done in a variety of ways, using a standard computer printer.
Cold Front is designed to be used in stand-alone fashion, though its worth will certainly be enhanced when studied in conjunction with Mr. Webster’s original text, which provides a variety of additional supporting material. Quick and Effective Cold Reading can be purchased directly from Richard.
Cold Front — with on-line supplements — is available here only, and sells for a mere US$20. Order directly and safely—with a credit card if desired—via PayPal:
Some users’ comments:
“Cold Front is so good … a fine product.” —Craig Adkins [USA]
“… well-designed and should make it much easier to learn Richard’s palmistry system … in nineteen years I’ve never actually memorized it. Because of their portability, your cards should make this task possible for me at last … Cold Front is practical, convenient, and a worthwhile investment for anyone wanting to learn an elementary system of palmistry.” —Bob Allen [USA]
“Cold Front is nice—it’s very nice, and it’s something I’d use—actually I’m going to use it!” —Peter Arcane [UK]
“… very well thought out and professionally printed.” —Aaron Brown [USA]
“Cold Front is definitely a quick and easy way to learn a consistent approach to giving quality palmistry readings that we find people are willing to pay extra for—and tip better—as they are amazed at what they have learned about themselves … We both want to thank you for creating a very useful tool for the practicing palmist.” —Eugene Bourgault & Dr Charles Green [USA]
“I am very happy with Cold Front. It is a very good idea and well done.” —Phil Campbell [USA]
“I love Cold Front! It puts the keywords in context, which is essential … (I own and have read other palmreading ‘fast learning’ tools written for the magician/mentalist). I picked up Richard Webster’s book on Palmreading (one of the ones he has written for the ‘broad public’ … I haven’t yet read the whole book, but use Cold Front as my main study tool and if I need help to expand on the basic lines, I read the corresponding chapter in the book. It has been a fantastic study!” —Bjørn Christensen [Denmark]
“Doug did an amazing job of breaking down the learning process. With these cards you could give readings in a very short period of time. It’s that easy to learn. I think it’s great.” —Nick Compise [USA]
“The cards are laid out very well, and take you step-by-step through the lines of the hand. The cards can easily fit in your pocket and I guesstimate you could learn how to do a very impressive reading in one or two nights of study. Which brings me to my next point. A surprising amount of mentalists do not know how to do a simple ‘reading’. As most know, I have a strong aversion to doing traditional ‘cold readings’ (i.e., a spewed out series of fake lines). Palmistry allows you to follow a traditional and effective system. These cards allow you to quickly learn palmistry, along with Richard Webster’s fantastic ‘lines’. For years I've recommended Richard’s shut-eye palmistry books, especially Palmistry for Beginners. I think these cards along with this book would give any mentalist a valuable (and profitable) tool to impress with. Best of all? No props. Way, way underpriced. Recommended.” —Stuart Cumberland [Canada]
“Cold Front is a great addition to the system of palmistry, and a wonderful learning aid … both easy to understand and easy to use … [For] everyone who seriously uses it, it will make the learning process much easier, and cut off significant time between now and when you go out to read.” —R. Lee Davis [USA]
“What a terrific system. Exactly what I was looking for. The information is sinking in nicely. This will certainly get me up and running.” —Chris Deleo [USA]
“I am very happy with Cold Front: it is a very helpful accompaniment to Richard’s book. I am finding it helpful to move on to actually giving some readings.” —Mark Evans [UK]
“I think you have come up with another winner … I would recommend it to any aspiring mentalist, and those long-toothed mentalists like myself, who should have this easy to learn armoury of facts at their finger tips. Cold Front contains all that is necessary to give a little spice to many mental effects … and makes the performer look very experienced at cold reading. It adds a further layer of mystery to a performance. I like it a lot!” —Roger Ferriby [UK]
“… very well laid out, and the information is excellent.” —Peter Fillis [Australia]
“Cold Front is an indispensable tool for any cold reader. Particularly for the semi pros who are not doing it on a regular basis … Doug has done a great job.” —Charles Gauci [Australia]
“really helpful … my confidence is slowly but steadily growing” —SJ [Germany]
“Cold Front [is] exactly what I was looking for.” —Andrew Kimble [USA]
“Cold Front arrived the day before yesterday in perfect condition. Thank you very much! I have read Richard Webster’s book before, but, as you said, it’s not easy to get started. It’s much easier to develop presentations and scripts for mental routines than to ‘improvise’ readings … But now I’m confident that I’ll take my first steps in palm reading pretty soon!” —Stefan Kurth [Germany]
“… excellent work. These are very creatively done.” —George Luck [USA]
“When I first opened [Cold Front] I thought it was expensive for such a small package … however, after using them for an hour and being able to do basic but convincing palm readings I soon realised their real value. This set of cards, Richard Webster’s book [Quick & Effective Cold Reading], and Ken De Courcy’s Systematic Seer booklet (out of print and very hard to find) are the three things I would recommend most to those wishing to learn to cold read.” —Will Morton [UK]
“Cold Front is an excellent tool for learning and using palm reading, based on Richard Webster’s work on the subject. Highly recommended.” —John Nesbit [USA]
“I love it. Everyone who has Webster’s Quick & Effective should also purchase this little gem. It is organized extremely well, [incorporates] virtually all of Richard’s lines and patter to accompany the various aspects of the hand … and make[s] the memorization so much simpler! … I really love Cold Front, and consider it a major boon to beginning palm readers like me who really want to utilize Richard’s book.” —Seth Parker [USA]
“Great! Thank you for your work.” —Olivier Peeters [France]
“The product is excellent, exactly what I was expecting and very useful … very nice indeed.” —Shaun Porritt [UK]
“… excellent product … the perfect complement to [Quick & Effective Cold Reading]” —Larry Rice [USA]
“… a beautifully concise and compact set of notes that can be used to learn the Webster system and refresh the reader’s memory on the fly. If you were to attempt a similar note-taking exercise yourself, you’d be hard pressed to produce a more succinct and carefully worded document in such a small space. Cold Front expertly strips down the original Webster material, leaving only the parts of the system that really matter … It’s the little touches that make Cold Front such a worthy investment: the diagram of the hand drawn upside down, the way the reader sees the hand; carefully considered shorthand terminology; a review card listing every reading component. Small details that make a big difference … For those performers who want to get out there and start doing some quick readings, want to learn a powerful system quickly and easily, or just want to reacquaint themselves with Richard Webster’s classic system, Cold Front will certainly be a very beneficial purchase.” —Harrison Richards [UK]
“Doug Dyment’s Cold Front is a wonderful aid to learning cold reading using palmistry. It’s filled with useful knowledge, yet wonderfully succinct. It consists of one double-sided 8½" × 11" page + eleven approximately 3" × 5" [double-sided] cards. The single page describes an introduction to cold-reading, the cards (which draw heavily on Richard Webster’s work), the nomenclature used (which is very clear), further suggested readings, and suggestions for flashlights and magnifiers, which can help to more clearly see lines.
The first card shows a hand (facing the reader since that’s how palms will appear when doing a reading), with the key lines indicated. The next four cards describe the major lines (Heart, Head, Life, Destiny/Fate). The next 2½ cards deal with the mounts, thumb, and fingers. Then 2½ cards dealing with lesser lines (Money, Humour, Common Sense, Relationship & Children, Psychic). Finally, all the material is summarized on one single double-sided card.
In all cases, suggested scripts are provided for the particular lines, fingers, and mounts.
This project clearly took a great deal of work to gather so much useful material into such a small amount of space. Highly recommended.” —Robin Robertson [USA]
“[Cold Front is] a fantastic way to learn Webster’s Quick And Effective Cold Reading method. For years I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to learn from my highlighted and underlined copy of Richard’s book. But Cold Front lays it all out for me in an easy to learn way. By the way, turning the palm to the proper orientation is genius!” —Ben Salinas
“[Cold Front] is really quite outstanding. And the format is ideally unique. Thanks for your expertise and sharing this. I look forward to definitely using this in my work.” —Milton Scheuermann [USA]
“I can see where [Cold Front] is going to be a very useful tool … I am already carrying the cards with me as a kind of ‘study guide’, to better learn and remember key attributes for palm reading … I think that these are very useful tools for someone like me who is a neophyte.” —Randy Schostag [USA]
“This is exactly what I need as a continual learning tool … The Cold Front cards are a perfect pre-show study tool, as well as a regular study tool. So the bottom line is I like them a lot …” —Steve Solarzar [USA]
“I’m really impressed with [Cold Front]. I’m a beginner in cold reading and this is really going to help me.” —Mark Sperling [USA]
“The highest recommendation I can give is that I want you to send a copy to my best friend … What a wonderful tool.” —Paul Vigil [USA]
“[Cold Front] is just what I wanted. Thanx mate!” —Lyndon Webb [UK]
“I think [Cold Front] is a brilliant idea. People can carry it around in their pockets and study it in spare moments … it’s great.” —Richard Webster [New Zealand]
… Doug Dyment