Ask More Questions, Win More Books
The questions are getting so interesting that choosing one is becoming an arbitrary action—so much so that I think we're going to start backlogging the surplus for a rainy day. Today's choice falls on this from @Babss46:
"What's the best advice your mom ever gave you?"
My mother, Barbara Frum, for those unaware, was the leading Canadian TV and radio journalist of her time. When my sister and I were starting in journalism, she offered this advice for how to do an interview:
"Ask short questions."
"That's it?" my sister asked, startled.
Of course, that's not it. Asking short questions is hard, which is why so many interviewers burble their way through long ones. To ask short questions requires organizing one's thoughts in advance, not only about the one question, but about the whole sequence of questions. It means having a plan for the interview, a master-thought about what you hope to learn and to help the listeners learn. It requires being able to react quickly and decisively, so that if anything unexpected is said in answer, you are able on the spur of the moment to compress a new thought into few words. And it means finally being possessed of the humility to understand that the subject of the interview is the person of most interest—and of the discipline to close your lips and cease the sound of your own voice.