Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Recently I referred to President Sarkozy’s divorce. It seems that it made the headlines again yesterday when the President lost his temper with Lesley Stahl, a CBS American Network presenter, and walked off the set whilst she was interviewing him. She had of course sought to question him about the breakdown of his marriage. Bearing in mind that I make a living out of quizzing people about this kind of thing, I would like to offer the hapless presenter a few tips:

  1. Don’t break the ice with anyone you meet for the first time by asking after their ex;
  2. Appreciate that an interview of this nature is very sensitive and not everyone can open up easily to talk about personal matters;
  3. Don’t try to film or record the content of the interview; this is difficult for a TV presenter but it is vital unless the interviewee is a self publicist;
  4. Assure them that everything they tell you is confidential (another difficult one when trying to put together a TV show);
  5. Have a box of tissues handy just in case;
  6. Let them tell their story in their own words and time;
  7. Listen, listen and listen again;
  8. Understand that people don’t always enunciate through words what they want you to hear;
  9. Don’t misinterpret or put words into the interviewee’s mouth;
  10. Empathise and tell them how you can help.

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