“ And then what  happened?” The Art and Craft of Interviewing
You can rescue a story from bad writing, but it’s tough to recover from  a bad interview .
Have a clue about what the story might be.
What would readers want to know? (Write these essential questions down.)
Now do some research.
The most seductive sentence in the English language:  “ I want to hear your story.”
Plan your interview.  Consider the order of your questions.
Were you afraid when the tornado struck? What was it like when the tornado hit?  Which is better?
Crafting questions Want quotes? Begin your questions with “what,” “how” and “why.”
A cop’s advice: "Don't ask them if saw a red car. Ask them what they saw."
Listen and follow up.
My favorite follow-up question:   “ What do you mean by that?”
A close second: “ What example can you offer?”
It’s a lot better looking stupid to your sources than looking stupid to your readers.
Silence can be your friend.
Take control. An interview is not a conversation. It’s not a debate. And it’s not about you.
“ A clean window gives a perfect view. When we ask a question, we want to get a window into the source. When you put value...
Colorless questions usually provide colorful answers.”   Let Oprah be Oprah.
Revealing questions; What doubts did you have? How did you overcome them? What was the turning point? What would you do di...
Ending an interview: Ask for the names of others who might illuminate your story. Ask if you can call with further questio...
Resources <ul><li>AJR article on John  Sawatsky . </li></ul><ul><li>The best interview ever </li></ul><ul><li>ESPN on  Saw...
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And then what happened?

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The art and craft of interviewing

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And then what happened?

  1. 1. “ And then what happened?” The Art and Craft of Interviewing
  2. 2. You can rescue a story from bad writing, but it’s tough to recover from a bad interview .
  3. 3. Have a clue about what the story might be.
  4. 4. What would readers want to know? (Write these essential questions down.)
  5. 5. Now do some research.
  6. 6. The most seductive sentence in the English language: “ I want to hear your story.”
  7. 7. Plan your interview. Consider the order of your questions.
  8. 8. Were you afraid when the tornado struck? What was it like when the tornado hit? Which is better?
  9. 9. Crafting questions Want quotes? Begin your questions with “what,” “how” and “why.”
  10. 10. A cop’s advice: &quot;Don't ask them if saw a red car. Ask them what they saw.&quot;
  11. 11. Listen and follow up.
  12. 12. My favorite follow-up question: “ What do you mean by that?”
  13. 13. A close second: “ What example can you offer?”
  14. 14. It’s a lot better looking stupid to your sources than looking stupid to your readers.
  15. 15. Silence can be your friend.
  16. 16. Take control. An interview is not a conversation. It’s not a debate. And it’s not about you.
  17. 17. “ A clean window gives a perfect view. When we ask a question, we want to get a window into the source. When you put values in your questions, it’s like putting dirt on the window. It obscures the view beyond.” - John Sawatsky
  18. 18. Colorless questions usually provide colorful answers.” Let Oprah be Oprah.
  19. 19. Revealing questions; What doubts did you have? How did you overcome them? What was the turning point? What would you do differently?
  20. 20. Ending an interview: Ask for the names of others who might illuminate your story. Ask if you can call with further questions. (Get a number.)
  21. 21. Resources <ul><li>AJR article on John Sawatsky . </li></ul><ul><li>The best interview ever </li></ul><ul><li>ESPN on Sawatsky . </li></ul><ul><li>InterviewingInterview-Off the Record.pdf </li></ul>

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