I got called on and called out.
The Headmaster of Headlines himself, Brian Clark, over at Copyblogger.com called on me to write a post by using the headline you see on this post.
His wish, my command.
” I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening. ” ~ Larry King
Regardless of your profession – butcher, baker or professional sales maker – you gotta listen to learn.
That’s what I’ve been doing since Copyblogger started – “listening“, although I have to use my own voice, because I haven’t been able to talk Brian into doing enough telewebcasts to fill my mp3 player up with the spillings of his minds matter.
It’s also what I have to do on a daily basis. I have to listen to my customers and potential customers, otherwise I wouldn’t find their pain points and without those, I’d not be able to move $200K to $300K worth of product each month, the profit of which seems to feed my family fairly well.
So, in the same vein, I invite you to listen to me as I try, try and try again to teach you how to interview like Larry King … 27 times over.
1 – Get it on the human level. Larry says that Ted Koppell once told him that if they both covered a fire and one of the firemen came running out his (Ted’s) first question would be, ” What caused the fire ? “ My (Larry’s) first question would be, ” Why do you want to fight fires ? “
Larry always tries to get it down to the human level.
2 – Know little more than the average listener. Larry says, ” If I’m too knowledgeable, I’m not a good interviewer. For example, I’m a baseball freak, so I know a lot about baseball. But I’m not a great interviewer of baseball people because the knowledge impairs me. “
Unless you’re extremely curious about the interview topic or the person you’re interviewing, you risk not paying close enough attention to what’s being said and you may miss following up on and digging deeper into the answer to a question … one that’s never been asked before and holds the key to that person’s gold.
3 – Give all of the power to the one being interviewed. Larry gets interviews with high profile people because they feel like they’re going to come out on top.
The secret to a good deal is for both parties to feel like they got the better end of the deal.
Remember that. Use it. Profit from it.
4 – Don’t let your emotions get the upper hand. Larry says, ” I’m not a good interviewer when I get angry. ” He once remarked about an interview with then Alabama Governor George Wallace, ” Racists make me angry. Wallace got to me. We started getting confrontational. And he won. “
Wow. Is that not a powerful lesson to learn ? Personally, I’m fortunate enough to only have one or two clients, in my offline career, that “bother” me.
In my online career, which seems to be moving towards being the host, interviewer or moderator on virtual book tours, ASK methodology campaigns and creator of E-learning content, I don’t have to work with people who “bother” me. I suggest you try very hard to remove the negative influences from your world as well.
5 – A good interviewer is like a train engineer and keeps his interview on track. Larry seems to be able to “ever so gently” push his guests back to the task at hand and not let them get to far off-topic.
That also means you and I get the goods and the guest doesn’t get off easy.
Some people don’t take a hard enough line with their guests and we don’t really get enough meat to satisfy our appetite. You have to be willing to butt in and stop a wanderer before they waste your time and the listeners attention span.
6 – Realize there’s nobody you can’t talk to, if you have the right attitude. Larry’s proven time and again that you can get an untouchable to sit and spin, if you take the right attitude.
That attitude is one of service or of being a servant. You want to go places ? Let someone take you and your chances are greater.
If you’re a Lone Wolf McQuaid type, the journey’s a bit harder, a lot lonelier and a lot less fulfilling.
I’ve got what I consider to be a few big names lined up for telewebcasts. One of them will be on Tuesday, February 26th. The other’s are somewhere in the process of picking a date and agreeing on content.
In Part Three of this series of posts, I’ll divulge my current crush, or put another way, the one person I really want to interview on a telewebcast, so stick with me til the bitter, or sweet, end.
7 – Be genuinely interested in the other person. Why’s Larry the man ? Because he makes the guest feel comfortable.
Why do they feel comfortable ? Because they feel like he actually wants to know the answer to the questions he asks.
Why do they think he wants to know the answer ? Because he looks them in the eye, listens until they finish and thinks about it before he says anything else.
He’d make a helluva salesman. Learn from him and you might just make one out of yourself.
8 – Be honest. This one’s pretty damn tough for most of us.
I spend my day trying to think before I speak and deciding if total honesty will benefit the person I’m with or will they be better off if I just keep my opinion to myself.
Larry seems to just feel free enough to be totally honest with his guests.
More money than I could spend might do that for me. Until then, I will be honest, but I’ll try to be quiet when possible.
9 – You have to have the will to conduct the interview, even if it makes you uncomfortable or uneasy. Look at the lineup of people who’ve been on Larry’s show.
You know he had to have some moments of unease asking tough questions of tough people.
Life’s the same way. You’re gonna have to deal with people who make you uncomfortable. Get over it.
Be a professional. Be prepared. Be done with it.
Nothing’s finished til after you start, so Just Do It !
That’s the first 9 of 27 secrets. Stick around to the end and you’ll be well on your way to interview success.
I want to thank my friend Brian Clark for calling on me and forcing me to do a professional series of posts. Given the chance to be lazy and do a half-ass job, I may have done so, but when the Blogger of All That’s Copy calls on you, you have no choice but to come thru and do it in a big way.
The biggest props and thanks of all goes to my better half, who did some major research for me. Without her, I’d have fallen as flat as the roads to Wichita !
- 27 Secrets to Interviewing Like Larry King – Part Three ” Remember that the right word – the one instantly...
- 27 Secrets to Interviewing Like Larry King – Part Two I sat, I blogged, I loved it … after it...
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