Time Management

George Stephanopoulos

Lesson time 07:06 min

“No one remembers the question you didn’t ask.” George outlines how he prioritizes his communications when he has limited time, and how time constraints can give you the freedom to ask more direct and powerful questions.

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Topics include: Time Management * What's the One Thing You Want to Get Done Today? * No One Remembers the Question You Didn't Ask * Points To Remember


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I would say 7 out of 10 interviews, I wish I had more time. You always want more time, but that's just not life. (LAUGHING) I mean, that's a luxury, not a necessity. You know, sometimes it's just because the person you're talking to is so interesting. Sometimes it's because the person you're talking to is so boring. They filibustered through the whole interview, and you haven't gotten out what you need to get out and you've kind of been steamrolled through the course of the interview. Sometimes, you know, it happens. Sometimes you forget to follow up in the way you meant to follow up in a way that would have worked. Gosh, I wish I had a second chance at that. Wish I had more time to do that. But so that's a very common thing, but it's an important discipline to learn how to hold conversations within a time constraint, because, you know, that's also life. People don't have endless amounts of time. People have busy lives. Any conversation you're engaged in, there's often some kind of spoken or unspoken time limit on it. You want to be respectful of someone else's time, you want to be respectful of the viewer's time. So you have to learn how to navigate conversations in a way that is efficient. [MUSIC PLAYING] One of the things that most people don't know about most interviews is the severe time constraints you're under. You know, that almost always holds for even big taped interviews when you're seeing a President of the United States or Senator or somebody like James Comey, generally, they put a limit on how long you're going to have. With the President, you usually get 20 minutes, and you're really lucky if you get 30 or 35. Now, you can say, oh, sounds like a lot of time. It's not as much time as you think, and so you have to really think through what is the most important thing for you to do in those 30-35 minutes. Now, that gets even more important figuring out how to manage your time when you're dealing with live television, whether it's "This Week", where sometimes you'll get 6, 8, 10, 12 minutes at the most, or "GMA," where you often have to get the job done in 3 minutes. And what that requires is a strong, strong sense of priorities. You have to really know, what is the one thing I have to get done today? What is the one thing I have to get out of this interview, and make sure you figure out a way to get it fast. Now, what that usually means is I often try a technique, where in my mind, I'm telling myself I'm skipping the first question, which is trying to get beyond what I know they're going to say, find some way to signal to the audience, this is what you've said before in a very short way and then advance the question so you're getting straight to the news as quickly as you can. That doesn't always work. So often, people are going to go on and filibuster and give the long answer they want to give anyway. When that happens, you have to be willing to do a few things. Number 1, y...

About the Instructor

Legendary interviewer and broadcaster George Stephanopoulos has navigated challenging interviews for more than 30 years—as former White House communications director and presently as co-anchor of Good Morning America. Now he’s teaching you how to project confidence under pressure and draw the best value from your own professional and personal interactions, becoming a stronger, more intentional communicator.

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George Stephanopoulos

Award-winning interviewer George Stephanopoulos teaches you his techniques for producing authentic, meaningful conversations.

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