Just Ask the Question

Posted by Brian Lee in Radio, Television |

I’ve been listening to more and more podcasts recently. Here’s something I’ve noticed: Interviewers need to get better at asking questions concisely. For example, they’ll start a question, reword it to provide unnecessary clarification and then throw in an anecdote to provide unnecessary illustration.

The interviewee and the audience have long understood the gist of the question and now have to wait until the interviewer finally finishes. Sometimes, the interviewee commences with an answer, but the interviewer interrupts by continuing to ask the question.

I’ve also noticed this during press conferences–especially in sports–in which reporters overly complicate their questions, and the respondent consequently provides a poor answer.

In PR, we provide media training to prepare spokespeople how to speak on message because it requires practice. This may sound odd, but you also should practice asking questions. You’ll avoid sounding like you’re rambling, and you’ll hopefully get better answers as a result.

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