One of the major identifying marks of the Evelyn Wood approach to reading has been the use of hand motions. Upon seeing a person's hand or finger sweeping back and forth, up and down on a page in strange or exotic movements, a typical first response may be: "That's an Evelyn Wood student."
As you already know, Evelyn discovered the hand-motion concept as she was brushing dirt off a book that she had tossed down on the ground. In cleaning off each page, she began to read simultaneously at supersonic speeds—and thus the Wood hand-motion concept was born.
Over the years, this technique has been refined so that now there are many possible hand movements for every step of studying and reading. Also, when a student becomes adept at using several of the standard motions, he may want to experiment with his own personal variations. A number of our students have even formulated completely new techniques that are more appropriate to special tastes or needs.
Why use hand motions at all? They serve three basic functions:
• They help establish the fastest possible pace or rhythm for eye movements during the study of written material.
• They enhance concentration. Remember, if you're not paying attention to the words when you use this technique, you'll just be wiggling your hand on the page— and few people will allow themselves to do that for very long.
• They prevent regression, or going back over material you've already read.
Now let's consider how the major hand motions work. Many of the following explanations, beginning with the underlining motion which you've already learned, are accompanied by illustrative diagrams. The darkened path on each of these diagrams indicates the route your hand should follow in executing the motions.
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.