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For every story you'll produce, effective interviewing will probably be a part of it. Before you start thinking up questions, you should ask yourself some questions about who you should spend time interviewing. You have to watch for subject, content and character.

Are you speaking to the right person? Will they bring the goods to the table? Do they have the on-camera character?

1) Are you speaking to the right person?

What experience does this source need to have? Obviously, if you're doing a testimonial, of course it's important to have a customer who your product or service really helped. True emotion will show through. So will a forced script.

2) Will they bring the goods to the table?

You need to ask the right questions to the right people. For example, will viewers find it very useful to hear you talk about the many features of your product, or how your product helped fix a problem in one of your customer's lives FROM the customer himself? Would a supplier be the right person to talk about why your company does what it does? No, that's the time for you to shine.

What type of source do you need for this story? Do you need someone with deep expertise and knowledge, or do you need a generalist who can relate to your audience? Think, who has the best credibility

3) Do they have the on-camera character?

Will their on-screen persona match the emotional appeal and tone you're trying to achieve with your story? Will they speak clearly and concisely on camera? Of course, your interview will be easier if you're interviewing someone who is well-spoken. But even the most well-spoken person can freeze when you put a camera in front of them. Thankfully, people are more used to having a smartphone in their face rather than the video cameras of yesteryear (the average teen takes something like 16 selfies a day, we hear).

Character also comes down to you, when you're choosing good quotes. What we look for most in quotes from our interviews is a lot of color, emotion, and a character to root for.

Consider what would be more powerful?

“We are very happy with X product.” Or…

“When we started using X product, I felt like I was finally able to reclaim my time. I finally felt like I was in control of my life.”

One is chock full of emotion, though both convey (generally) the same point, that the customer is happy with the product. Video is a great medium for empathy, but you need the right people in order to convey the tone you want your audience to pick up on.

The first few keys to a good interview is to find the right subjects to interview, based on their ability to speak well on camera, their credibility for the part of the story they're conveying, and their personality. Lastly, if you can say something better than the interview subject in your voice over, do it. Ultimately, we want all the information we present, interviews and other, to be clear and easy to understand.

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