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George Takei’s interview with Scott Simon...

I listened to several interviews on NPR before I found one I thought was really good. I had never really paid attention to the structure of the interviews before, but several I listened to seemed monotone and boring. Although I often find George Takei’s voice a bit soporific, Takei’s interview with NPR’s Scott Simon is a great example of good interview technique. George Takei is interviewed about his new play, Allegiance. First of all, Simon asks who/what/when/where/why/how questions. He also asks deep questions that both explain the context in order to inform the listener and elicit thoughtful responses from George Takei. Several questions are prefaced with explanations of Simon’s own experience, so we get context of why the interviewer is asking a particular question. This makes it seem more conversational and puts the listeners at ease because they feel drawn in. I kept thinking, “That’s a great question that I never would have thought to ask.” Simon’s questions don’t feel pre-scripted. I’m sure they are to a certain extent, but the questions seem to match the flow of the interview. Simon is obviously listening to Takei and curious about what he has to say. The way the questions are structured allow George Takei to tell his story. The result is that in just a ten-minute interview, we get the story of George Takei’s family living in internment camps during World War II, Takei’s thoughts on issues of national loyalty, information about how he became an actor and how he came to write the play, as well as information about the elements of the play. I think it’s also important that most of what we hear is George Takei rather than the interviewer. Once, I think I heard the interviewer sigh or make an “I’m following what you’re saying noise,” but the interviewer was mostly silent while Takei was speaking. http://www.npr.org/2012/09/01/160264485/george-takei-takes-story-of-internment-to-the-stage...
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A Visit to the Salon

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Making a Mojito, with Katy Perry for Ambience...

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