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Re: [videoblogging] Re: If you conduct interviews, I would like your opinion

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  • Ed Smith
    Hi Jonny, thanks for that comment, I couldn t agree with you more, and really wish more of the hosts out there would really be into their guests. I just put
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 4 9:04 AM
      Hi Jonny, thanks for that comment, I couldn't agree with you more, and
      really wish more of the hosts out there would really be "into" their
      guests. I just put a post on my blog
      http://www.conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog/ that touches on this
      issue. I single out Ms. Paula Zahn as an example of a host who time after
      time, seems to ignore her guests, run over them, or not be interested in
      them. OK, Jonny, thanks again for your solid advice, Edward Smith.

      On 9/4/07, jonny goldstein <spamjonny@...> wrote:
      >
      > One of the most important things is to really enjoy interviewing
      > people. Be happy to be there. Your subject will sense that and loosen
      > up. You may be nervous (a la Scoble interviewing Gates) but if you are
      > genuinely interested in what that person has to say and are excited
      > about having the chance to find out their story, your subject will
      > respond to that.
      >
      > --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com <videoblogging%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "Ed Smith" <edd666666@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Hi Robert, wow, what a great list of things to do/not do in order to
      > conduct
      > > a knockout interview. You really hit on some good stuff there. I
      > like the
      > > point of clarifying jargon with the point of view of the listener in
      > mind.
      > > You see that missed so many times I know we all need to hear that
      > again and
      > > again.
      > >
      > > I just added a post to the
      > > http://www.conductknockoutbroadcastinterviews.com/blog/ that suggests we
      > > move our dress code up a notch when doing interviews that the guest
      > and/or
      > > listeners will not see. I think our dress affects our performance
      > in subtle
      > > ways and will help us focus on the things you have suggested.
      > >
      > > OK, Robert, thanks for that great info, and please continue to offer
      > > suggestions, comments, etc.
      > >
      > > Edward W. Smith.
      > >
      > > On 9/2/07, Robert Scoble <robertscoble@...> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I've interviewed many of tech's biggest names (Gates, Schwartz,
      > > > Chambers,
      > > > Ballmer, etc) for my video show, ScobleShow.com.
      > > >
      > > > Some things I've learned:
      > > >
      > > > 1) Don't go for "gotcha" questions. These people all are very
      > astute at
      > > > answering questions (at Microsoft they prepare execs for the press by
      > > > doing
      > > > "rude Q&A" sessions). They'll turn your rudest question into something
      > > > they
      > > > want to ask. That strategy never works and usually ensures you
      > won't be
      > > > invited back.
      > > >
      > > > 2) Instead, ask at least one question they've never been asked before.
      > > > With Gates I knew he'd been asked any question I could come up
      > with so I
      > > > turned it around: asked him what he'd ask the world's richest guy
      > if he
      > > > were
      > > > in my position.
      > > >
      > > > 3) Do your homework. Know what your interviewee will probably say
      > > > BEFORE he/she says it.
      > > >
      > > > 4) Listen. My best questions came AFTER they said something and I
      > asked
      > > > for more in depth. Best followup? "Why do you say that?"
      > > >
      > > > 5) If you hear jargon ask them to clarify. Often times this brings up
      > > > some interesting stuff. For instance, if I were interviewing Marc
      > > > Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, and he talked about "the social
      > graph"
      > > > I'd
      > > > ask "some of my listeners don't know what you mean by 'social
      > graph', can
      > > > you give us a short definition and explain what you mean by that?"
      > > >
      > > > 6) Have a thesis for the interview. If you interview someone
      > > > interesting there are 100 ways you could take the interview. I'd
      > focus it
      > > > on
      > > > one theme and try to get them to tell a story with your questions.
      > Lead
      > > > them
      > > > down a path. If you're asking Gates about how he took over the
      > operating
      > > > system business, for instance, I'd ask him a question about his high
      > > > school/college experience, then early days at Microsoft, then ask
      > about
      > > > the
      > > > DOS purchase, etc etc.
      > > >
      > > > 7) Have an outline of questions to ask, particularly if you'll be
      > > > nervous. With Gates I started out very nervous, but then I calmed
      > down and
      > > > my brain started working again. That's when you can start having a
      > > > conversation and not just going off of your prepared questions.
      > > >
      > > > 8) Listen, listen, listen. I always look my interviewer in the
      > eyes and
      > > > try to give them 110% of my attention. That leads to a better
      > interview.
      > > > When I'm distracted or not totally focused for some reason I find
      > > > interviews
      > > > don't get as interesting.
      > > >
      > > > 9) Start out with stupider questions just to get you both going.
      > That's
      > > > why I ask EVERY INTERVIEW "who are you?" and "what do you do?"
      > Those two
      > > > questions aren't really all that important, but they both get us
      > going and
      > > > also give your heart a chance to calm down (if you're interviewing
      > someone
      > > > famous) and also get you into the listening mode. Often times
      > people will
      > > > say something interesting in response to the "what do you do?"
      > question.
      > > > John Chambers, CEO at Cisco, for instance, talked about his being a
      > > > father.
      > > > That opened up a part of his life that makes for great conversations.
      > > >
      > > > 10) Listen, listen, listen. It's amazing when I listen to podcasts
      > and I
      > > > can tell the interviewer isn't really listening and isn't asking for
      > > > clarification of jargon, or more depth on something really interesting
      > > > that
      > > > was put on the table. "Can you explain more about what you mean by
      > that?"
      > > > I
      > > > really hate it when an interviewer is clearly NOT having a
      > conversation
      > > > and,
      > > > rather, only has 10 questions that were prepared and is rushing to get
      > > > through those. Use your prepared questions as a guideline, or a way to
      > > > start
      > > > a conversation but DO NOT be a slave to them. That's the quickest
      > way to a
      > > > boring interview that sounds stiff and stupid. (out of 600
      > interviews I've
      > > > done I've only gone into two with prepared questions for just that
      > > > reason).
      > > > PR people, by the way, will ask for your questions in advance. I
      > always
      > > > answer that I don't prepare questions in advance, but will give
      > them some
      > > > examples of things I'd like to talk about. Again, talk about
      > themes, not
      > > > specifics. "I'd like to talk with Steve Jobs about the development
      > of the
      > > > iPhone and the design process that led to that."
      > > >
      > > > Hope these help you with your questions.
      > > >
      > > > Robert
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >


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