It Ain’t About You

Podcast radio concept. Girls in studio sitting in front of microphone, presenters or interviews. Recording audio cruises, modern technologies. Public speaking. Cartoon flat vector illustration

Being around great authors at the Santa Fe Literary Festival stimulated our imagination. We especially enjoyed determining which authors connected best with the audience. It depended upon the skills of their interviewer.

Kathleen McCleery interviewed Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and other books. Granted she is a correspondent on the PBS Newshour, but McCleery nailed it. Her questions were brief. She asked what the audience was curious about. And she cued Flynn to tell stories. Specifically, McCleery asked about Flynn’s method, inspiration, and movie adaptations. Clearly, she knew her subject well.

Jon Krakauer interviewed Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. A fellow climber, Krakauer focused Chouinard on the dangers and offbeat details of his ascents, but he never made it about himself. Instead, Krakauer brought out Chouinard’s humor and business philosophy. He gracefully cut Chouinard off to keep the pace lively. And he did his homework, so his questions were well researched. Even though Krakauer is a successful author in his own right, he got out of the way and made the closing night thrilling.

Good interviewing is a skill and an art. Effective facilitation enhances both parties.

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