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And then what happened

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    And then what happened And then what happened Presentation Transcript

    • “ 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 .
    • Mitch Albom’s nominee for the most seductive sentence in the English language: “ I want to hear your story.”
    • Have a clue about what the story might be.
    • What would readers want to know? (Write these essential questions down.)
    • Now do some research.
    • Plan your interview. Consider the order of your questions.
    • Crafting questions Want quotes? Begin your questions with “what,” “how” and “why.”
    • Were you afraid when the tornado struck? What was it like when the tornado hit? Which is better?
    • 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: “ Can you give me an example?”
    • Trust me. It’s better to ask a stupid question than look stupid to your readers.
    • Take control. An interview is not a conversation. It’s not a debate. And it’s not about you.
    • Colorless questions usually provide colorful answers.” Let Oprah be Oprah.
    • Loaded questions are deadly.
    • “ 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
    • Play the Devil’s Advocate: “ How do you respond to critics who say … ?”
    • Silence can be your friend.
    • Revealing questions: What doubts did you have? How did you overcome them? What was the turning point? What would you do differently?
    • 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.)
    • “ Of course, this is all off the record.”
    • Sawatsky and more
      • AJR article on John Sawatsky .
      • The best interview ever ?
      • NPR interview
      • The Power of Simple Questions
      • Sawatsky on Mike Wallace