Lose The Script …

by Erik K. Johnson


Lose the script.

(photo by sandrarbarba)

When you are interviewing a guest on your podcast, be real. Be present in the moment. Truly listen to the answers your guest is giving. Your next question may come from that answer, and the question may be nowhere in your notes.

As you prepare for your interview, don’t script your questions. When you have a script, you will be too focused on the script and less attentive to the answers your guest is providing. Lose the script.

Instead of scripted questions, follow bullet points. Be prepared for your interview by being familiar with the material. Have an idea of the questions you want to ask. Review your bullet points to the point that you are ready to ask various questions about a single topic that might come up during the interview.

Be sure to make your questions succinct. A long-winded question is hard to follow for both your guest and your audience. Ask one short question. Let it lead into another short question. It may take three questions to get to the same answer as it would with your one long question. However, three short questions will be easier to follow and digest by your audience.

If you are concerned with following a script, you won’t allow yourself to explore unexpected twists and turns presented by the answers of your guest.

Television hosts such as Jay Leno and David Letterman have a list of questions on their blue cards that have been previewed and screened by a show producer. The host may start with one of those questions. They will then let the interview flow on its own. If the discussion hits a lull, Leno and Letterman will revert back to one of the bullet points on the card to restart the conversation.

You will never see either of these hosts ask the card questions in order, in full or in a vacuum. The interview becomes organic and develops according to the answers of the guest. Your interview should do the same.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Don’t script your interview. Instead, use a short list of bullet points, and be familiar with the subject matter. By all means, lose the script.