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5 Tips to Improve Your Interviewing Techniques for Teleseminars

Nov 13, 2007
Here are five tips to improve your interviewing techniques for teleseminars:

1. Tell them what they want to hear
The best interviews are structured around what your listeners want to hear and the best way to do this is to ask them beforehand. This interview approach means that you need to have a reasonable amount of lead-in time. Some interviews take months of preparation.

Conduct a survey to discover what your listeners want to learn. The answers may be very different from what you think they might be. You will be able to group and prioritise the most frequently asked questions for the foundation of your interview. You need just about 10 of these for an hour-long interview. You will also be able to discern the language that people are using which can be very revealing. It also gives you the opportunity to use the language of your listeners to further build rapport.

Another advantage of using survey questions to form the structure of your interview is that it gives your guest the chance to prepare for the interview. Naturally, if you are interviewing a guru or expert they will know their subject matter inside and out. Yet, the consummate professional will appreciate the opportunity to consider how they want to address the questions raised.

If your concern is that with so much planning the interview may come across as too staged, fear not. This technique will help to ensure that your interviews are jam-packed with content that your listeners are eager to hear. Also, even with detailed advanced planning there will still be plenty of opportunities during the interview for spontaneity.

If you don't carry out a survey before you schedule an interview, you can still get listeners to submit questions before the interview. This does not give you as much preparation time as doing a pre-interview survey, nevertheless, it still gives you information that can be invaluable in shaping your interview.

2. Introductions
Ask the person you are interviewing to supply their bio and introduction. Several times I have heard interviewers say that they don't know enough about their guests to introduce them. This comes across as though you haven't done your homework and it is also discourteous to the person you are about to interview. There are exceptions to this. You may want the person to give their own introduction. Sometimes it comes across better and more interesting this way than you just reading their bio. However, even in this case you still need to be able to give a brief introduction and it should be clear that you are not shirking from your responsibility as a host but instead you want to more quickly put your guest into the spotlight.

Another way around this is to have a co-host and invite another individual you conduct the interview. For instance, Ben Mack, author of "Think 2 Products Ahead", recently hosted a series of interviews as part of Magic Week and he invited individuals such as persuasion expert, Dave Lakhani, to conduct some of the interviews.

3. Listen
The best interviewers are also the best listeners. You have to let go of your ego and your desire to get your point across and allow your guest to speak without interruption. Sometimes you may need to pull an interview back on track but most of the time when guests are interrupted it is because the interviewer just wants to interject their opinion. This can have the undesired effect of breaking your guest's concentration and disrupting their flow. You have to bear in mind that those listening to the interview are attending mainly because they want to hear what your guest has to say.

However, there are exceptions to this rule too. For instance, your guest may say something that is a real gem and to capture those nuggets you could say "Could you repeat what you just said?" Interviewees will not mind this and will even feel complimented by this for you are demonstrating that you are listening and that you find what they are saying to be valuable. It is also what we tend to do naturally in a conversation and really good interviews should sound like a conversation.

4. Repeat and Recap
This will help to ensure that you fully understand the point that your interviewee has made and help your listeners to do the same. It also reinforces important points that are made. In addition, repeating and recapping what has been said helps you to monitor the progress of the interview. For instance, if you selected 10 questions to discuss during the interview, it would be a good idea to quickly summarise the main points covered in answering question number seven before moving onto to question eight. With teleseminars people may tune in late and this technique helps to rapidly bring latecomers up-to-date. If they feel that they cannot easily pick up the thread of the conversation they may simply hang up.

A great teleseminar not only informs and educates but it should also motivate individuals to take action. Therefore, a good way to ensure that your interviews have maximum impact is to have a Notes Sheet or Study Guide that your listeners can print and fill in as they listen to the interview. The act of writing things down will help your listeners to better remember the content of the interview. At the end of your Notes Sheet have room for listeners to make a note of at least three action points, i.e. three things that they will do as a result of listening to the interview. When people listen to a teleseminar, are motivated to take action, do so and get positive results it will deepen their relationship with you and or you interviewee and this is good for business.

5. Check in with the audience
The disadvantage of a teleseminar is that you cannot see those attending and this makes it difficult to judge how the interview is being received and how listeners are doing energy wise. So periodically check in with the audience, ask them how they're doing and affirm that they are receiving great content. This feedback is also important to your guest as it helps them to evaluate how they are doing and whether or not they might need to make any adjustments to the content they are presenting.

Having said this, it is important to mute out listeners once the interview has started. If you don't do this, expect your interview to be interrupted in some manner. Someone may start having their own conversation, you may get a heavy breather on the line or you may hear dogs barking or babies crying - in fact, just about anything can happen. The noise will be distracting to your listeners as well as your guest. Plus if you are recording the interview it will ruin the quality of the interview.

For great results use these techniques when planning and conducting your next interview and teleseminar.
About the Author
For further tips on how you can become a great teleseminar host and use teleseminars to boost your business results and profits visit Lovemore Teleseminars .
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