What makes a great interview? Iconic talk show host Larry King should know. After 50 years in the business and interviewing more than 50,000 people, it’s safe to say that Larry, the host of Ora.tv's Larry King Now, knows the secret. "Everybody is interesting, everybody has a life, everybody has a story," says Larry. "So when you are interviewing somebody, the object is to learn about them and find out what they have to say." Here, Larry's secrets to how he's created his most memorable interviews:
1. Ask questions. "A good interviewer is someone who asks questions all the time, someone who is naturally curious," says Larry. " I begin my day asking questions to my family and friends: 'How was your sleep last night?' 'What did you do in school today?' 'Where are you going?' I was recently getting my hair cut and the guy went and trimmed something, and I was like, 'What are you doing?'"
2. Listen. "The most important thing to do when you're interviewing someone is to listen. Oftentimes, the answer you get will lead you to another question," says Larry.
3. Assess the situation—and be flexible. "In the interviewing business, if you've got someone who is very shy or very timid, you switch gears," says Larry. "I had an American flying ace, this is a man who shot down many enemy planes in the war, but when I interviewed him, he was very nervous and he didn't want to talk about it." So Larry switched the conversation to talk about fear, "and it made a fascinating interview."
4. Make eye contact. Whether you're the interviewer or the interviewee, Larry's advice is to look the person straight in the eye, and answer your questions definitively—you'll come off strong and confident.
5. When in doubt, ask someone what they do. "I never met anyone who didn't like to talk about what they do," says Larry. "They might not want to talk about their personal life, but they always want to talk about what they do."
Celebrated television host Larry King's latest show is Larry King Now! on Ora.tv and Hulu.com.
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