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The “Good Morning America” anchor and host of “This Week” shared four things he does to get a tough interview to open up. And while they should also work for everyday conversation, his first tip to “prepare extensively” might come across as creepy if you’re talking to someone in line at coffee and you know everything about them already. So use your best judgement.
But if you interview people for a living, it can’t hurt to listen to a man at the top of his game:
1. Prepare extensively. Good preparation leads to better questions. It also demonstrates a genuine interest, Stephanopoulos says. “Knowing what you’re talking about breeds respect on both sides,” he says. Before a 2009 interview about health care with President Barack Obama, Stephanopoulos prepared extensively to show his guest he had deep knowledge of the subject.
2. Don’t be a know-it-all. After all that prep work, you might feel like an expert. But keep things simple by starting with direct, open-ended questions. Then, use your knowledge to get your subject to expand on pat answers. “I used to try to show off how much work I did,” Stephanopoulos says. “But sometimes it was all wind-up and no question.” Read more