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What Questions Are You Going to Ask Me?

By Gary Hornstien on November 2, 2018

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of journalistic style interviewing. It’s story driven stuff, because what isn’t, but the pre-production/pre-story work is happening the way it does when we’re working on a feature. These are the kinds of stories we do to follow up with giving initiatives or highlighting ministries within the organization. So, typically, I set up a time to interview on camera and boom, we’re ready to go…almost. I’ve been noticing the same thing happening time and time again, a day or so before the interview, the talent texts me and asks me to send the questions ahead. 

Here’s the problem, you’ll get canned answers. They’re the kind of answer that they’ve really thought through, and they just won’t come off very authentic. For a while I would just say, “No,” but that didn’t work out super well, either. Often, they had a hard time putting a sentence together, just because of their nerves. So, what’s a storyteller to do?!

I’ve found a happy medium. I don’t send the questions, but I DO send the topics.

“Hey, Hank. Thanks for reaching out. I don’t specifically have the questions on hand, but here are the topics we’ll cover: We’ll talk about how you got into this kind of work. We’ll talk about the goal of the ministry. We’ll cover who you’re reaching.

Guaranteed, you’ll find yourself getting some less-canned answers and quite a bit more authenticity. Give it a shot and let us know how it works for you.

Happy storytelling.

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