Arts & Entertainment, Business

Interviewing People for TV

Robin Roberts

Lesson time 17:42 min

Robin breaks down some of her most memorable interviews, including with Selma Blair, President Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Talk to Them Before the Camera Rolls · Listen · Selma Blair · Michelle Obama · President Obama


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:06.84] - In my line of work, I have the opportunity to interview a lot of people. So I'm going to share my philosophy with you. And that is do your homework, people. [00:00:16.37] Get to know the person that you're going to sit across from. Take the time. Have a game plan. OK. Have some questions that you want to ask that person. Why are you interviewing them? Why is it that they are going to sit down with you? [00:00:32.30] What is it that they-- what information do you want to get from them to share with your viewers, share with the person, the group that you're trying to-- to reach? Have that game plan, but here's a funny idea. Listen to the person that you're interviewing. Have an ear open to be able to follow up. People-- I can't tell you how many times-- and I've been on the other end. [00:00:59.14] And you can tell when somebody is listening to you. The person that you're talking to, they know if you're listening to them. But there are people that you need to help. You know, they may have gone through something that's very difficult or there's-- there's something that they want to share. [00:01:18.09] And it's your job to help them tell their story. And the way you go about it is to care, is to let them know that you care, that you want to-- you want to be a partner with them in helping them share whatever it is that-- that they want to get to people. [00:01:50.53] There are things you can do even before the cameras start rolling. Talk to the person. How's their day? What's going on with them? Show an interest. [00:02:02.46] Don't really have to talk about what it is that you're going to interview them about, just showing an interest in who they are, making them feel comfortable, the people that are around them, an anecdote that you can share with them. Not necessarily opening with a joke or anything like that, but anything that can kind of put them at ease that's not really dealing with the subject matter, especially if it's very sensitive what you're going to be talking to them about or very controversial, and that you know it's difficult for them to talk about that issue. [00:02:36.03] So when you're getting to know them before the camera rolls, that's the last thing. But you also may want to reassure them that you're going to be fair. As a journalist, you are unbiased when you're talking to that individual. Even though they may-- even though they may have an agenda, you should not have one. [00:02:57.96] And you need to let them know that you're going to be fair but you're not going to shy away from asking those tough questions. And of course, you're not going to tell that person that, but it's how you-- how you present yourself. How you present yourself will go a long way in what you're going to get out of the person that you're interviewing. [00:03:30.07] The art of the follow-up. The art of the follow-up is listening. It's just having a dialogue. I-- I look at my interviews ...

About the Instructor

Millions of people spend their mornings with Robin Roberts, one of today’s most beloved broadcasters. Now the Emmy-winning “Good Morning America” co-anchor is sharing how she creates unforgettable moments through human connection. Learn how to communicate effectively, whether it’s in front of an audience, at work, or with those you love. Start embracing vulnerability, building resilience, and living life with optimism.

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Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts teaches you her techniques for powerful communication, building strength from vulnerability, and connecting with any audience.

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