Tag Archives: video interview

My No Budget TV Talk Show Pt 2

“Conversations” has been airing for three months.  Our first guest was VP for finance Mike Reid about a new community relations committee and some of its goals.

I did this to show that  the university is very involved in the community and the region.   We interspersed information about Mike’s farm, his family who created a business selling maple syrup and apiary products.

Admissions Director  Brian Barden was another guest.  I wanted people to see how complex his operation is, how the admissions process works year- around, and some of the challenges he faces to bring in not only a diverse mix of students, but the challenges of filling certain programs.

I followed up on one request and interviewed Mansfield University President Maravene Loeschke and local optometrist and trustee Bob Strohecker about a new  college/community committee whose first project is to raise money for a movie theatre.

We took the equipment into the field and interviewed officials on a new business park and what it would mean to the community.

I have a roster of potential guests that could fill the next year.   I  do a show every two weeks so neither I nor my producer will be inundated.  The show airs four times morning and evening each weekend.

In the show itself, I take two breaks which we use  to air MU commercials.  Possibly, in time, I’ll seek commercials from area businesses, charge a nominal amount and turn the money over to our Foundation for scholarships.    (I’m thinking out loud here.)

After several shows aired, I wrote a news release and we sent it out to local media.    People on campus and around the area have stopped me to tell me how much they like the show and what a great community service it is.  This is the kind of word-of-mouth publicity you can’t buy.

Like everything else that all of us do, the producer and I have fit it into a crowded schedule.  But the payoff on a local and regional level is worth it.

We pull the audio, lay down a music bed and turn some of the shows into podcasts.  I also have an intern breaking the shows into four-five segments to upload on Youtube.  (I actually had requests to do this from people not on the local cable. I’m sure alumni will be interested, too).

Some of you have also expressed interest in seeing them so I’ll provide a link in a future post when some are up.

I emphasize again that this show is no budget.  No special effects.  No set design.  We use a few still shots when appropriate.  It’s exactly what the show title says it is, conversations.

As we do more shows, I’ll keep you posted on our progress and what I learn.

If you have thoughts or ideas, please share them.


Excellent Interviewing — Just Ask

I’ve never liked to rely on a formal list of questions for electronic interviews.  When you have a big list of questions, you’re attention is always on the next question and when you can ask it.

The subject picks up on this  quickly and the interview becomes a little flatter.

I usually form a list of a few questions and use them for reference.  What is more effective –for me, at least– is to ask the first question and then engage in a conversation. Let it go in whatever direction it needs to.  If the guest is passionate about his or her subject, it will be interesting.

As an interviewer you have to be interested and help maintain the conversation.  Here’s an excerpt of a discussion with a guy who rescues handicapped canines.

“How did you begin collecting three-legged dogs?”

“Well, I saw this French poodle in the shelter and knew that no one else would want her.  When she looked up at me we bonded.  It was love.  I brought her home.”

“And this became a passion?”

“There are a lot of three-legged dogs in the world.   Within a couple years I acquired several.”

“Different breeds?”

“Mm hmm. A German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, pit bull and a Daschsund.”

How do they adapt to three legs?

“The Daschsund has the hardest time because he’s so long and low to the ground.  Sometimes he just rolls.  The pit bull just looks at you like, ‘Come on!  I might be missing a leg but I still got a good set of choppers!’

“What the greatest reward for you?”

“Knowing they have a good home and I guess, you know, being a two-legged pack leader of three-legged dogs.  We all feel special.”

Just be interested and ask questions as they come to you.  Chances are your audience would ask the same questions.

If I do have certain points I need to ask, I make sure the subject has completely finished with his or her answer.  I take a moment and look at the question then look back at the subject and ask the question in my own voice.  Never sound like you’re reading the question.

When you ask the question in your voice, looking at the subject, he or she will react in turn with an answer that’s honest and real and sounds it.  It’s a conversation.

I never worry about pauses, flubs or stutters.  Everything is cleaned up and edited.  The saying “garbage in, garbage out” applies to interviews.

Be interested and engaged you’ll wind up with a good interview (conversation) nearly every time.