INTERVIEWING/ HOSTING 101
Jeffrey Callison, Insight
Capital Public Radio
- The first question should address the main reason why the guest is on Insight
Follow up by focusing on questions that ask “how” and “why” (the “when”, “where”, “what” and “who” can best be addressed in the intro, in resets and in passing elsewhere)
Toward the end, try to go off on a tangent with a personal or quirky or unexpected question that sheds more light on the guest or the topic
It’s usually best to end with a question that looks to the future
Take the guest back to a formative moment and ask what they were thinking and feeling at that time; also what they saw or heard
What does the guest know now that would have been good to know then?
Make connections between now and the past
- Make connections between different aspects of the guest’s life or the topic
When you have multiple guests, it’s usually best to start with a “real person”, if you have one, so that there’s human interest value; academics should be brought in later to add depth of knowledge and perspective
Guest info, transitions and production elements are vital details; if you have all that under control, you can focus all (or most) of your attention on the conversation
Regardless of how often this information was checked in pre-production, check the guests’ personal details by saying their name and title out loud and asking them to confirm that you have it right; better they correct you during the break than during the segment!
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