Preparing for Interviews

I taught interview techniques for six years back in Nevada. There are a few basics that everyone should observe whether the interview is in person or online or over the phone/radio.

<> 1. One word answers are not good. They MUST be followed by elaboration. If you say yes or no to something, explain WHY.

2. The more clever/entertaining you are, the more apt the reader/listener is to stick to the end of what you have to say.

3. Give real details. Readers/listeners/fans want to know what makes you who you are. When they get those details, they feel like they know you, and become loyal. That does NOT mean you have to go into every aspect of your life to the tiniest detail.

4. Interviews have basic purpose, just as speaking engagements do. A good interview OR speech should include 1-3 of these following things:

Education

Motivation

Entertainment

Do you want to tell your audience about something? If so, give them the facts, info they can use later. If they learn something, they’ll remember you.

If you want them to buy something, like your work, or to at least read what you’ve written–whether they go to a library or online or whatever–you have to give them the desire to make the effort to hunt it down. So, think about how you can present your stuff with a slant that makes it intriguing, interesting, or exciting enough to warrant some time and energy.

And, last, if you can entertain your audience, they will come looking for you again, and word of mouth will spread that you’re good enough to “waste time on.”

If you can do one of those three things, you’ll rise above the bad speakers/interviews. If you can do two, you’ll be considered a good speaker/interview. If you can do all three, you will rise to the ranks of GREAT.

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