Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mark Blevis - Podcast Interviewing Tips

Mark Blevis gave advice on how to conduct a good podcasting interview. His points:

  • No matter how knowledgable you are in the topic, let the expert talk. Don't talk for him.

  • Let your guest know that it's a taped interview. This will help them relax and know that they don't have to get it right the first time.

  • Cutting out every um or ah may make the interview sound artificial. If the person speaks using alot of verbal crutches to the point that it's annoying, then edit them out. Pick and choose at random the verbal clutter to make the interview sound natural.

  • Don't be afraid of dead-air. Often a person will take a breath before making their point. If it's edited out, often the flow of the sentence sounds like it was edited.

  • There are 3 people you need to respect in a podcast - the listener (give them what they want to hear), the guest (allow them to make their points) and yourself (don't embarass your host).

  • Mark made a difference between having a conversation and conducting an interview. A conversation will take the host off track as she or he introduces her opinions. An interview helps the host focus exclusively on getting a story from her or his host.

  • Tod Maffin popped up on stage and made a really good point that you need to read the book or blog, or visit the website of the person you're going to interview. In essence, get to know who you're interviewing. Otherwise it'd become a really, really bad experience.

I believe that the interviewing process is the weakest part of the many podcasts I listened to. Many podcasters really have no clue how to conduct a really great interview.

A journalist could really tap into this by providing services for podcaster on how to ask really great questions, how to make guests feel at ease and how to successfully craft a story from your expert for your podcast.

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