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A potentiating mutation is one that, while not affecting the organism in itself, can later be utilized by a further mutation to produce a beneficial effect. An example of this can be found in duplicate genes; initially this mutation may have no effect upon the organism, but if the duplicate gene is passed along and undergoes change itself, it may induce a feature or ability that was previously not present.
That is to say; there are two potential mutations, Mutation A and Mutation B. Individually, neither of these mutations change the organism's life habits, but if the organism has undergone both A and B, it becomes markedly more successful, and evolution happens.
An example of a potentiating mutation occurred when Richard Lenski's famous bacteria developed a mutation which, while being initially irrelevant to the organism, allowed them to metabolise citrate following a subsequent mutation.