I belong to a national group of government webmasters and public relations specialists. Someone asked about audio or video presentations for websites; should the person speak to the camera or microphone without assistance or should they be interviewed by a host?
I responded that all presentations should have a host asking questions. I suggested that interviews are not forums to simply convey information; listeners and viewers need to “know” the person being interviewed. They need to be exposed to his or her humanity and unique qualities.
You may be an expert and your information may be of importance but an audience will only engage and learn if they have a strong sense as to you are. That’s best accomplished through a hosted interview.
Is the audience interested?
I had college professors who droned on about their subjects without interjecting an ounce of personality into their presentations. I entered their classes with a sense of dread.
The truly great professors injected their hopes and fears and life experiences into their lectures. They were filled with energy. I looked forward to what they had to say.
Information is “effectively” conveyed when the audience is interested. They are interested when they see you as a person rather than simply a conveyor of facts.
So what does this have to do with me?
But for most of us, it takes someone asking the right questions to bring out the humanity of the person being interviewed. Talking about a troubling period in your childhood or an important moment in your life is almost impossible without a skilled interviewer helping (and protecting) you along the way.
You can convey how you felt and be safe at the same time. That’s almost impossible to do on your own.
People are more interested in you than your message:
People are more interested in how you feel about issues than the details of your life. I have no idea as to the exact date I proposed to my wife, but I can feel the mild breeze and mountain air and I can remember the view and smell the flowers. I can remember how I felt as I got down on one knee and displayed the ring. “That’s” what people are interested in knowing and “that’s” what you are probably interested in conveying.
Bottom-line? Don’t worry about the details of being interviewed.
When I coach people for media interviews, I make sure they know their facts. But I also make sure they express their humanity. I want the interviewer and the audience to know that you are a good and caring person who tried to do the right thing.
That may be the most important “fact” you convey.