Bag of Black Dots

What Interview Subjects Need – A Bag of Black Dots.

Well not a literal bag of black dots – I mean that they need full stops. Why would I say this?

Think of a recent television or radio interviews that you have seen or heard. How often do you hear the person giving the interview speak in sentences of 100 words or more? Sometimes they don’t even take a breath!

They tend to link all their important messages with what I refer to as “JUNK” words, expressions or sounds. Examples include “like I said”, “now”, “look”, “and” and “ummm”.

The result is a long, meandering and boring string of words.

So why is this a bad thing? Let’s consider the purpose of an interview.

The purpose should be to share important or interesting information. As human beings we have a limited capacity to absorb and retain information given at speed. Yes our ears are able to hear all the words, because our ears handle the speedy delivery well.

Yet our brains absorb the ideas or concepts in these speedily delivered interviews at a much slower rate than our ears hear the words. The result is that some of the key messages presented in the interview are missed due to the speed of delivery.

I saw a recent example of this problem when, as a football (soccer) fan I watched the CEO of Football Federation Australia give an interview on the subject of the Socceroos going to the World Cup.

Well his mind must have been thinking “I have a lot of information to download here so I better make sure I spit it all out.” The result was that I had no idea what he said. So what was the point of the interview?

All publicity is NOT good publicity. If you do not convey the important messages that you wish to convey in an interview then you have wasted a great publicity opportunity.

The answer therefore, is to break up the information that is being provided in an interview, into easily digested parts.

Thinking about delivering an interview should entail breaking up your key messages into bite size sentences – using black dots, or full stops. It results in useful pauses for your audience between the key points of your interview. This enables your audience to absorb that message rather than simply hear the words.

If you are to be the subject of an interview make sure to leave the junk words at home and remember to take your bag of black dots with you.

Ray Hartley

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