How to tell if someone is lying without even hearing them talk

salon how to catch a liar with Magician David Ranalli

David Ranalli was recently interviewed by’s Matthew Rozsa, who was interested in learning about non-verbal communication and lying. Matthew, who is also autistic, wanted to get very specific in the article on actual techniques. David contributed a lengthy amount of tactics and stories from his life as a magician and mentalist. Read the Full Article Here.

– David’s Contribution –  

David was quoted in the article, saying, 

It is also important to trust your instincts. David Ranalli, a magician, speaker and emcee, wrote to Salon that in his experience “there is no foolproof way to know if a person is lying.” Ranalli explained that he gathers information from a number of places at once — whether the person’s body language indicates they are nervous, whether their story seems believable, if they stay on the same subject for a long time — and draws his conclusions accordingly.

On one occasion, his honed instincts may have prevented a grisly incident.

“I once spotted someone lying during a very important and dangerous moment in my show,” Ranalli recalled. “I play a game of Russian roulette with staple guns in the show, and I have someone mix a loaded gun among three empty ones. At the end of the routine, I staple one of the guns to my neck, betting on my ability to know which gun is loaded.”

On one occasion, someone switched out the staples in the gun. “While it didn’t matter which gun the staples were in, adding a lie into the fold gave me an eerie feeling that could have resulted in a dangerous outcome,” Ranalli explained. When he asked if the staples had been switched and the person said no, Ranalli asked the audience if they had witnessed something sneaky.

“They all shouted yes,” Ranalli told Salon. “It still ended with a fun outcome, but could have ended badly if I didn’t notice that moment.”