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The One Ahead technique is an absolute staple of Mentalism. Using this technique, you appear to be able to read the minds of several audience members at once.
Although there are many different uses of the one ahead, here is a simple one to give you a proper example of how it works...
Have six audience members write down the name of a child on a small piece of paper, fold it once or twice, and return it to the magician. The magicians hold one to his head and announces "Tiffany". He then confirms that one of the audience members did in fact write Tiffany on one of the slips. The catch: The audience member who said they wrote Tiffany was a plant, a friend, a confidant. This was agreed to beforehand.
What actually happened was - the magician opened a slip that had a totally different name on it, something like "Luke". He announces "Tiffany", opens the slip, and casually drops it on the table as he and his confidant carry out their ruse. Now, the magician is officially 'One Ahead'. He knows that Luke is one of the audience members child. So, as he picks up the second slip and holds it to his head, he announces "Luke", opens it and drops it on the table. The second slip actually said something like "Robbie". He is still One Ahead, and will be one ahead throughout his performance.
The only manipulation required is that the slip given to the magician by his friend must be the last slip picked up and opened. The magician will have to collect the slips in a way so he can keep a close eye on this slip. Although the last slip says Tiffany, the magician will announce that it says whatever name was on the previous slip... again, always 'One Ahead'.