Tag Archives: NPR

Rob Lawrence Gives Truth On How To Kickass At Interviews

Rob Lawrence

One thing that everyone in the media industry pays attention to is how well an interview is done. Rob Lawrence, host of Inspirational Creatives, is one of the best there is at doing amazing interviews. That’s why I invited him to join me on the DIY Artist Route Podcast to share his wisdom.

What we discovered in our conversation is that it’s important for hosts who interview and guests being interviewed, can both gain clarity on how to have the most kickass interviews.

When the guest and host connect on a deeper level than just a basic Q&A, the audience gets the best experience. Everyone wins.

This is not something I’m seeing a lot of lately, in terms of discussing how to create amazing interviews. Which is why this podcast is a great resource for you because Rob gives some clear insights and very actionable suggestions to help you be a better interviewer or question-asker in any medium.

My Perspective On Great Interviews

My background is in public radio. I cut my teeth in learning the art of doing captivating interviews for KACU FM in Abilene, Tx way back in the early 2000s. My inspirations are folks who have made NPR a standout media platform for decades. I’m talking about radio icons like Scott Simon (one of my personal heroes), Steve Inskeep, David Dye, and Linda Wertheimer.

Those folks really know how to go deeper than the questions to get to the heart of their guests, and ultimately create heart-connections with their listeners.

It’s something that comes from what Rob Lawrence calls “having a natural curiosity.”

This podcast session ended up being something that led to a different kind of production for me: a two-part episode.

Closer Look At Part One

Here in the first part, we take a closer look at how podcasters, radio hosts, bloggers & writers, and other media personalities can create the bedrock for a truly engaging interview.

It’s a How To Be A Great Interviewer 101 lesson, from one of the best podcast interviewers there is.

Rob has a gentle presence, a great voice, and enters discussions with both his mind and his heart. There’s a noticeable kindness in his presentation, which makes him both intriguing, engaging, and easy to talk with.

These qualities make for a conversation that moves both the question-asker, and the answer-giver. Aka, the person hosting and the person being interviewed.

You’ll notice that we switch roles a few times, another mark of a great interview. When an interview feels more like you’re sitting in on an intriguing conversation, everyone wins. Because you feel like you’re joining in a rousing chat that is more than just a “let me pick your brain about XYZ” kind of experience.

If you’ve watched any of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, you see a very similar dynamic. Sure, there’s a bit of comedy and humor involved, but essentially Seinfeld is asking a lot of questions to learn more about his friend. In the process, we all gain both an intellectual and entertaining experience.

What Makes For A Great Interview

When both the mind and the heart are engaged in what’s going on, you find yourself challenged to think differently, and also feel something in the process.

What makes for powerful media, audio in particular, is the presentation of something that connects with the audience’s emotions. That makes for great songwriting and musical performance, as well as any creative medium.

The mind and the heart. Nail the engagement with both of those vessels and you have the makings for a seriously kickass interview.

There’s a whole lot of gold in this podcast episode, and there’s even more in part 2 where we will talk about how to best prepare to be interviewed.

Jumping over to the other side of the microphone, you’ll gain even more perspective on how to craft the best interview to engage both your compatriot (either host or guest) and the audience.

Reach out to Rob and connect with him (email rob@inspirationalcreatives.com). Tell him you heard his talk with me on The DIY Artist Route Podcast. And be sure to subscribe to Inspirational Creatives. It’s one of the best interview podcasts there is. Rob’s also a great coach for podcasters who want to take their work to the next level, build a killer podcast, and gain serious success.

–Episode Notes & Quotes–

-Great interviews require more than just curiosity. Passion is needed as well. Experience helps too. A small amount of research is helpful.

-Preparing for an interview includes finding out about what the guest is curious about right now, and meeting them in that place will really help. Also, making sure that everything is working on the technical end.

-Make sure that the experience is good for the guest so they have the best time and feel a warm welcome.

-Good interview prep for the interviewer includes: Looking up the person’s audience and their site. Dig in deep here.

“I’m more of an explorer than an expert, if you like?” -Rob Lawrence

“A journalistic approach to interviews typically puts the guest on their back foot sometimes. So when it comes to talking about, as we are here, a great interview to build relationships, through a podcast for example, I tend to take a lighter approach. Which is to try and help my guests shine and see them in their best light rather than trying to have them defend the point.” -Rob Lawrence

Send Me Your Feedback!

What was the biggest takeaway you found in this podcast?

Was there anything you wish we would have discussed involving how to be a great interviewer? Let me know in the comments.

If you want a personal strategy for ensuring your next interview(s) create a line of new fans out the door, set up a free strategy session with me here.