An element of mystery

Imagine you went to see a movie. It is a murder mystery. You bought the tickets and as you entered the hall, there was someone handing out an index card that had the words “IMPORTANT” written on them. Curious and you turn the card around only to find that there are two paragraphs of text that reveals the mystery including telling who exactly is the killer.

The moment you read it, the first thing you wish for is to forget that you read it. Unfortunately, that is not possible. The movie, however well made has lost most of its charm.

No element of mystery. No charm.

An element of mystery holds attention. This is true in a movie or elsewhere. It takes time and effort to create an element of mystery and the payback for that effort is mindshare and attention.

If you put reasonable effort, EVERYONE can introduce an element of mystery in their communication. You don’t have to use trickery or magic. To make it super simple, you need to know what gaps to create and how to present them.

A few examples

I can think of a few instances in my own life

1. When I wrote my first book at ten, I thought publishing that would be a snap. Little did I know that I would get a “Ph.D in Getting Rejected” over the next few years. Here is the story.

2. Our first company in the US was bootstrapped. We had to resort to thought leadership marketing not because we liked it but because we didn’t have a choice. Here is a video explaining what happened there.

3. I love writing mini sagas, stories that are exactly in 50 words. Here is how you can write one today.

Tell me more

How do you know if you have introduced an element of mystery?

If you hear the words “Tell me more” or detect that the other person is anxiously waiting for more, you have done your job.

“Tell me more” is an indication that there is anticipation and hence mindshare.

All the best!

Photo courtesy: Cecilia on flickr