Recently, Chris Hardwick of Nerdist interviewed someone who many consider to be the greatest interviewer of all time – Larry King. As a long time listener of this podcast, I can say that this is a departure for the normal Nerdist guest, but the conversation was amazing. Larry King talked a lot about his interviewing techniques, which can be extremely helpful for those of you who are also doing interviews, either on your podcast or on your blog (or even on video for that matter).
Here were some of my favorite quotes:
“One thing I’ve learned in the history of broadcasting (podcasting, whatever) is there are no rules.”
“I learned the secret of broadcasting, which is there’s no secret. Just be yourself. […] I never lie to the audience. You tell the audience the truth. You got a cold? Say you got a cold. Alright. You sneeze? ‘I just sneezed.’ It ain’t brain surgery.”
“I’m fascinated by the Q&A. I leave myself out of it. I never use the word I. My questions are short, usually one sentence, sometimes two. If it’s three sentences, it’s too long. […] That’s why I don’t like a lot of what I see on the air today, is these guys on the air are interviewing themselves. They just talk about the guest as a prop. The guest was never a prop to me. The guest is important to me. The reason for the show is why the guest is there. I’m the host. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“When you have confidence, when the interview subject has confidence in the interviewer, you can go anywhere with them. You’re not a threat.”
“I don’t think there’s an inherent need to talk about your personal life, but I never met anyone who didn’t want to talk about what they do.”
“I have many opinions. I’m very political. I have opinions on a myriad of things. But I leave it at the door. I leave my ego outside the door. I have a healthy ego. I know I’ve been successful. I know I’m good at what I do. But when I’m on the air, my role is not what Larry King thinks. It’s what the guest thinks. And then I’m a conduit. I ask good questions, the guest through me comes to the audience and the audience makes up their own opinion. I’m able to do that. I don’t like everyone I’ve interviewed, but I do the best I can to learn the most I can about them.”
“When you start learning, you might as well die. I don’t know everything.”
Check out the entire podcast for more great gems from Larry King to help you be a better interviewer.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons