A mentalist uses technical skill, misdirection, psychological subtleties, hypnosis (suggestion), cold reading, and spectacle to demonstrate what seems to be extraordinary mind reading, foresight, clairvoyance, and telekinesis. They allow you to appear psychic by making incredibly accurate statements about a person. But if those statements are broad enough, it is very likely that some of them are correct. But how do mentalists seem to know private information about audience members? How do you apparently predict what someone is thinking? The main difference between a mentalist and a magician is that a mentalist tries to convince you that they have real abilities, whereas a magician never does.
While some people argue that the best mentalists probably have some psychic abilities, most people agree that most “wonders” are simply mind games that the mentalist plays with you. You see, mentalism is a performance, I've already told you that tricks aren't usually super crazy at all, it's the execution that differentiates you from other mentalists. You can become a mentalist by learning to do tricks, or you can become a mentalist by becoming an expert at reading people and disorienting.