Interview Tips For Podcasters and Livestreamers: Dos and Don’ts For Brilliant Broadcasts
With more than two decades in the media — as both interviewer and interviewee — Taz Thornton shares insider knowledge for hosting podcast and livestream guests.
I STILL remember conducting my first interviews as a junior reporter. I was just 16 years-old and cutting my journalistic teeth with a regional newspaper group in Leicestershire.
It was 1990. My desk was in the middle of a bustling newsroom and my kit consisted of an old-fashioned push-button phone, wired into the telecoms system, a notepad and an Amstrad word processor with a black screen and green typeface.
At first, I was tasked with re-writing press releases and accompanying a ‘grown up’ reporter to cover court proceedings but, as my confidence and writing skills grew, I started to feel that uneasy stretching sensation in my comfort zone (nope, not a euphemism)!
I needed to interview people.
Over the telephone.
In the open office!
What if I messed it up?
What if the other journalists listened in and laughed at me?
What if I got distracted?
That little voice in my head was turning into a gigantic worry monster.
At first, I’d write down questions I knew I needed to ask and run through them with my interviewee, one by one.
Sometimes, if I missed something out, I’d need to call back and clarify.
On the days where my nerves really got the better of me, I’d sneak out of the newsroom and use the telephone in one of the back offices nobody ever used.
I stayed with that newspaper group for four years. By the time I left, I’d made it to the lofty heights of news editor — at the ridiculously young age of 20. I always was quite driven!
I’m telling you this because it’s important to set the scene — and even more important to acknowledge that we all need to start…