Cold readings are employed frequently in actor auditions. They are also used for performance classes and by playwrights who need to hear their play read aloud by actors. Many actors and other performers and public speakers take classes and practice at length to improve the quality of their cold readings.
The term cold reading also refers to a technique used by salespeople, hypnotists, or interrogators to evince a particular reaction from another individual. Generally, the reader will make a series of vague statements, and alter the reading based on the subject's reaction. This technique is sometimes abused, and may be applied in order to falsely convince an audience that the reader possesses psychic abilities.
If the techniques of cold reading are combined with the use of information obtained covertly, this is known as hot reading.