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"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

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Entries in interview tips (4)


How to Maximize (Leftover) Interview Content

You interviewed someone.
You pulled the quotes you needed for the project.
You dumped the rest of the interview.
90% of that interview is now sitting on the floor.


Doesn't that just bug the daylights out of you?

Wasting all that material used to drive me nuts. Then I figured out how to maximize the remaining content from an interview. After all, there’s a pretty good chance that the interview leftovers would make for great content somewhere in the marketing mix.

Well, there’s good news

You can easily turn that one interview (and its leftovers) into five different marketing products. To find out how, head on over to Content Marketing Institute.

Check out my latest article, “How to Create 5 Marketing Products from 1 Interview.

Feel free to dive into the conversation and post your thoughts, comments or ideas.

P.S. If you're new to this site, be sure to pick up your free 25-page e-book just by subscribing for future updates.


Revealed: My (Best) Video Interviewing Secret Ever

After interviewing 1,500+ people on-camera, I've learned how to deal with lots of different interviewing challenges.

And I've learned lots of little secrets to work around those challenges.

But there is one very cool interviewing secret I learned (um, the hard way)
And now, you can use it, too.

Once I discovered this technique, I started using it successfully in every interview from that moment on.

Nowadays, content comes from a variety of sources
If part of your marketing content depends on capturing great material from interviews, then you'll be interested in knowing about this technique.

Head on over to Content Marketing Institute to read my article
"Why Video Interview Content Falls Short (And How to Fix It)."

While you're there, feel free to add your comments, "like" it or tweet it.

Thank you.


P.S. I almost forgot.

You can use this technique in your audio and print interviews, as well.


Can You Prevent Frozen On-Camera Interviews? Try The Defrosting Technique 

It’s bound to happen. It’s just a matter of time.

Imagine you are about to interview someone for your company’s video.
They enter the room. Your interview guest sits in their chair. You sit in yours. The camera rolls. You fire away at your first question.

Then you begin to notice something unusual.

About two minutes into your conversation, it’s clear the person you’re interviewing is visibly nervous– almost like they’re “frozen.”

Quickly– how do you melt the fear your guest is having?
You would think saying, “Be yourself” and “Ignore the lights” would help, but it usually doesn’t. So what do you do? How do you warm up and prevent a “frozen” interview from ever happening in the first place? Try this “Defrosting Technique.”

What are the three steps in the “Defrosting Technique”?
1. Trade places
2. The more, the better
3. Be a “story steward”

It’s that simple.

1. Trade places
After your initial greetings, have your guest sit in the “director’s chair.” You sit in the interviewee’s chair. Have your guest look at the video monitor so they understand how they will look on the screen.

Then, have your guest ask you a question, as if they are interviewing you. Answer your guest’s question in depth. While you are answering, your guest will begin to see how they will look, how easy it is to answer the questions, where their eyes should be looking and so forth.

2. The more, the better
While you’re still sitting in your chairs, explain to your interviewee “the more, the better” concept. Tell them if they answer your question with only a few words, it makes it extremely difficult to edit their responses into something interesting. Sharing more words is better than less. Reassure them that if they go off-track that you are there to bring them back “home.”

3. Be a “story steward”
What’s a steward? A steward is a “caretaker, overseer.” How do you go about becoming a “story steward”? Tell them you are the one responsible for their story. Most people who appear on-camera don’t have any idea who will see their footage or edit it. They naturally feel apprehensive in sharing their thoughts

Reassure your guest you are their “story steward.” It’s your job to capture and present their point of view as best as possible. Chances are, your guest will show signs of great relief when they hear these words!

Why does the “Defrosting Technique” work?
The “Defrosting Technique” works well because it quickly defuses the anxiety a guest has about appearing on-camera. For most people, appearing on-camera is not part of their normal routine. These three easy steps help demystify their video experience.

When is the best time to use the “Defrosting Technique?”
a.) Several days before the interview occurs.
b.) The day of the interview- right before the interview is about to begin.

There you go. Three simple things you can do to help your next interview go smoothly:
1. Trade places
2. The more, the better
3. Be a “story steward”

Just by using the three simple steps mentioned above, your interviewee will begin to relax and feel comfortable under the lights. By the end of the interview, they will not be nervous anymore and you'll also end up with some great footage to edit into an interview worth watching.


P.S. Of course, there are more ways to help people feel comfortable on-camera. This post is just a beginning. Feel free to add your comments or questions to this list:

  • What methods have helped you capture a conversation organically and comfortably?
  • If you were appearing on-camera, what would you want to know to help you feel comfortable?


My 2008 "Simply the Best" Post

Hat tip to Kathy Hansen of A Storied Career for alerting me to Joanna Young's neat group writing project, "Simply The Best: Group Writing Project."

To make the entry a bit different, Joanna wants us to share why we think our entry is our best post of 2008 in 30 words or less. Of course, what is "best" is entirely open for interpretation.

Joanna will post all the submissions next week. There should be some great reading next week!

My "Simply the Best" post of 2008?

Are You Asking These 11 Stimulating Interview Questions To Capture Your Company’s 'Honest-To-Goodness' Video Story?

My "30 word" reason?

“This post is simply the best because after 25 years of filming conversations, it collects the most interesting and engaging questions I've asked people on-camera. It's designed to create new possibilities for telling new stories.”

If you missed this post, I hope you find my "11 Questions" helpful in your future projects.

Do you have your favorite questions to ask while filming conversations?
Share your thoughts here or with the rest of the comments on the post.


PS You counted the words, didn't you? I know you did! The word count excluded the words, "This post is simply the best because..." Just sayin'. :-)