52 PRIME Speaking Tips – #04 of 52

The Super Glue that never fails to stick!


Mystery is the Super Glue that never fails to stick your audience’s attention ON you and your speech.

Imagine that you are in a mall. You are waiting for your friend to arrive, so that you can have dinner together.

Your friend had just called to inform that he is going to be 20 minutes late.

You want to kill time. You walk into a bookstore.

Now, you are inside the bookstore.

You are not looking for any book in particular. You just want to kill some time.

You take a random book. You flip over the pages. You put it back.

Then you take another book. You look at the back cover. You open it. You smell it. You put it back.

Now, you start to think of all the books in your home library that you haven’t finished reading and probably will never finish reading.

You keep on flipping through books. This process continues. Soon, you get bored and think of going into the sports store instead. You turn around to leave the store.

Just then you see a book entitled “3 books you have to read before you die!”

What will you do?

Think about it for 10 seconds. What will you do?

You look at the book again. On the top of the book is written:

New York Times Bestseller, a must read!

Think about it, what will you do?

Any normal person like you and me, will be tempted to find out what those 3 books are.

Now, imagine you picked up the book. You flipped the cover and you notice that this book has only one page!

On this page, you see the following words written….

3 books you have to read before you die!




Yes, the name of the 3 books are hidden. Over the name of each book a red ribbon is pasted.

Let us replay this.

You had just walked into a bookstore without any real intention. You just wanted to kill time.

Now you have a new task at hand! A dire urge to find out what are the 3 books you have to read before you die!

What just happened?

What you are witnessing is the magnetic draw of mystery.
When you include elements of mystery in your speech, your audience gets hooked.

For example, if you started your speech by saying

“The 3 books you should read before you die are A, B and C.”

There is no mystery, there is no magic, there is nothing special that hooks your audience to listen to you.

Here are the 4 elements of mystery:

  • Misdirection through narrative
  • Escalation of Conflict
  • Inclusion of Suspense
  • Listing of Pointers

Mystery is the Super Glue that sticks  your audience’s attention ON you and your speech.

– Manoj Vasudevan

Now, there is no book entitled “3 books you have to read before you die!”. I made up that title.

However, I do personally think there are 3 books you have  to read before it is too late!

These 3 books will

  1. Help you immensely to build solid long lasting relationships
  2. Help you with a blueprint, techniques and action plan to achieve your goals
  3. Help you to identify your personal destiny and find its power and purpose

How do I know? They have worked for me! I love those books and I recommend them to everyone I coach!

Do you want to know what those three books are? I can tell you.

Post your comments below on what you think the 3 books could be and I will mail you the names of the 3 books. (Hint: These books are NOT religious books)

What do you think of the PRIME Speaking tips I send you every week? Let me know using the comments section below.


  1. Dear Manoj,
    Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I have read it 3 times and still find it mysterious…
    There are many books that definitely worth the read again and again but one particular book which I believe has the biggest impact on me is “The Law of Attraction” by Michael Losier.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Thanks Cecilia for your response. However, that’s not a book on my list.
    I will email you the list of 3 books.

    If I post my answer here, it will spoil the mystery for others who haven’t responded yet. 🙂

  3. Thank you Manoj. Sweet and helpful as always. It is a pleasure to be around you and read your articles.
    I want to share with you “three” books that impacted my life as well. Very difficult to read though, big and heavy. However, they are treasure.
    1. The Bible. I read it only once, when I was 9. I took it in and I lived it all along, I didn’t think it is “religious”. There were things that made sense to me at the time and stayed with me throughout my life.
    2. Guyton Human Physiology. You can call it a medical textbook but it is actually accessible to any high school graduate. Will teach you more that doctors know, if you are looking for answers about your health, they are all there.
    3. “The book of life” which I’m “reading” every day and take the time to reflect upon: my story and other people’s stories.

    In a world of noise and confusion this three books kept me healthy, happy and whole. I just want to learn how to share the blessing.
    All the best to you. Looking forward to see you again.

  4. Dear Manoj,

    Thank you for all the tips thus far; think I still have 47 to go!

    My guess for the 3 books are:
    1. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
    2. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
    3. The Secret – (Forgot the author)

    This proves that your point on mystery really works; I rarely comment on blog posts, but did so because I really want to unravel the mystery of which 3 books you’re talking about!

    Thank you once again for all the tips!

  5. Thanks Manoj for sharing the Tips. I’m a very curious person, therefore the mystery of the 3 books has heightened my curiosity.

    Right now I can only think of one book you have to read before you die, and that is ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.

    Best Regards

  6. Thank you, for the tips, excellent mysterious article. I will use them on my next speech.

    1. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
    2. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
    3. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie


  7. Dear Manoj , I am a workaholic . 3 books I have to read before I die would be

    1. Be Happy ( Patrick Lindsay )

    2. Celebrate ! ( Scott Friedman , CSP )

    3. An imaginary book . To be written by my husband, son and
    daughter to share their inspirations and reflections of a fulfilling life.

    Will not go for self-improvement books . Before I die , time out to celebrate
    with loved ones and friends 🙂 thank you for this learning space Manoj !

  8. Yes, three books have changed my life forever and I strongly suspect that those 3 books that forever awakened me to my true destiny are the very same that set you on the path towards fame, glory and indentured servitude in a capitalist society:

    1. Lizard Social Behaviour, by Stanley Fox

    This book, more than any other, helped me to navigate the labyrinthine maze of social relationships and etiquette way back when I was but a wayward youngster trying to make my mark in the world.

    Used copies available at: http://amzn.to/1hXfGjK

    2. How to be Idle, by Tom Hodgkinson

    Contrary to popular belief, idling is hard work and takes meticulous planning and preparation. Menial tasks like writing corporate reports are too rough on my delicate hands, and I’ve always known I wanted to so absolutely nothing anyway. This book gave me the blueprint to achieve that goal.

    Copies are available from http://amzn.to/1lwHJWw

    3. Let’s Talk Hair: Every Black Woman’s Personal Consultation for Healthy Growing Hair by Pamela Ferrell and Lurma Rackley

    I know what everyone is thinking, but hear me out. I bought this book during a phase in my life where I wanted to look inclusive, but harboured a subconscious bigotry that I would never admit to. However, it turned out to be an absolute steal. For USD24.99 (which was the retail price of the book when it first came out), I read the book in one sitting and learnt 3 truths:

    A. Personal destiny begins with a healthy mane.
    B. You cannot – I repeat – you canNOT exude charisma when you iron your shirt while wearing them.

    These two truths marked a turning point in my otherwise maneless career trajectory, but it was the 3rd truth that really propelled me to where I am. Do you want to know what this 3rd truth is? It is a powerful motto applied by the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The only difference between the 500th and the 501st company on Fortune’s list lies in this singular truth. Do you want to know what it is?

    No, maybe I should rephrase.

    Do YOU -yes YOU – WANT to know what it is? It’s actually very simple and there’s no mystery surrounding it at all. Here goes:

    C. Every time we st

    p/s: man, the fun I would have had if you included religious books on the list!

  9. Dear Manoj Sir,

    It is an amazing experience to walk with you.
    The 3 books will ( this is purely my guess)
    1)How to live 365 days a year. by John A Schindler
    2)Seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
    3) Life is worth living-26 by Fulton Sheen

    Waiting for your earliest reply.

    Simon C Raphael

  10. Thank you sharing these tips. I’m glad that I met you attended your highly effective program.

    My list of three books:

    Who will cry when you die – Robin Sharma

    Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

    Seven habits of highly effective people – Stephen Covey

  11. Dear Manoj sir,
    Thank you very much for your PRIME speaking tips,
    which are highly reliable and mindset-changing.
    I’m eagerly waiting for the next tip to come, after the receipt of one.

    About this post, I think your demand for the prediction of ‘3 books’ itself is ‘the greatest mystery’ in this article… :). And it probably would result only in addition of some more to-be-read books to your collection.. 😀
    (Pls take this only as a joke, sir…)

    Thanks a lot….

  12. Thanks for these tips.

    I really like this one and will definetly use it in my next speech.
    My three books:

    The bible
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
    “The Law of Attraction” by Michael Losier

    thanks a lot

  13. Hi Manoj ,

    I hardly read books so I would try to make a guess for one of the 3 books. I suppose one of the books would be “Pride and prejudice” by Jane austen


  14. Hi Manoj, Everytime i read your tips, l feal I am reading something which can change my life if I apply it. So much of conviction has come to me by reading your words. Thank you for that. I have hardly read any books. I remember I read How to make friends and Influence people by making a photo copy as I was not having enough money to buy the book. I loved the book so much.

    Pls do share the names 3 books, I wish to at least know them even if I don’t get an opportunity to read them. Thank you once again for your mail. I wish you all the very best. Stay Blessed. Satish

  15. Dear Manoj,

    Thanks for the 4rth week of tips. I have reply/acknowledged my thanks. I am really interested in the three books. Is one of that is the “Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” ?. I have no clue for the other two.

    I shall be extremely thankful, if you could let me know the 3 books.

    God bless you

    Santhosh Nair

  16. Dear Manoj,

    Good to see a tip that focus on Reading and having a mystery element in speeches.

    The 3 books which I guess are:

    1. “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”
    2. “Power of Positive Thinking”
    3. “Awakening the Giant Within”

    I look forward to receiving your update with your choice.


  17. Hi Manoj,

    Thanks for sharing the tips. I guess the 2 books that influenced my life

    Bhagavad Gita
    Mystic’s Musings by Jaggi Vasudev

    I ‘m eagerly waiting to find out the 3 books in your reply. Once again thank you so much for all your efforts to share the knowledge indeed its a great accomplishment

  18. Dear Manoj,

    Thanks for the excellent tips. My guess for the books:

    1. 7 habits of highly effective people
    2. Awaken the giant within
    3. How to win friends and influence people.

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