AskPat 379 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and happy Friday to those of you who listen as these come out. If you don't, happy Awesome Day, whatever day it is for you. You're awesome because you're listening. Thank you.
All right. Here's today's question from Carlos.
Carlos: Hey, Pat, how are you doing? This is Carlos Montolio. I have a web site called, well it's a blog site, called QuietSalesGuy.com. And I'm looking to launch a podcast pretty soon, and basically the podcast is going to be sales advice, tips, training for non-typical salespeople, and I'm also going to give insight into different sales aspects. So I'm going to be interviewing a lot of sales execs and CEOs, CTOs, stuff like that.
So my question is, for you is, how do you structure your interviews? How do you come up with the questions, come up with the structure to do an interview, and have it come out so well? I mean, all your interviews on Smart Passive Income blog, podcast, sorry, are awesome. So I wanted to get that feedback from you. And just as a little tidbit, I attended the virtual 1-Day BB. I couldn't go to it in person because we were just having another baby boy, but I did attend virtually, and it was awesome. Thank you and Chris Ducker for all the information that you give us, and keep doing it. I mean, you're awesome, Pat, and I hope to keep learning from you in the future as well. Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Carlos, thank you so much for the question. All the kind words and also the great testimonial shout out for the virtual ticket for 1-Day Business Breakthrough. A lot of people attended that, and a lot of people loved it. And I'm actually really happy to mention it. I haven't mentioned this on AskPat yet, so I'll just take a moment just to pitch this really quick. But Chris and I actually put those recordings together from that day and put it together, and it's available for everybody to download if they want to purchase. Same price as the virtual ticket. It's at onedaybb.com/download. Again, that's 1DayBB.com/download. [Editor's note: 1daybb.com currently redirects to https://youpreneur.com/1-day-business-breakthrough.] And again, Carlos, thank you for attending and all the kind words, and I'll obviously let Chris know about it. And just thanks. We're gonna be doing those again in the future in some way, shape, or form. We don't know. We've had a lot of great feedback. A lot of ideas for what to do next with 1-Day Business Breakthrough, and so you'll see more from Chris and I later in the year in regards to that.
But enough about us. This is about you. So how do I structure my interviews? I said it was about you, but then I went back to I. But, you know, talking about my interview structures to help you. That's the point of this. So, interviews. I have a lot to say on this because I've listened to a lot of podcasts, a lot of podcasts that have interviews. I've conducted a lot of interviews on podcasts, and I've taken a lot of advice from a lot of people as well. I've used some of that advice and I have not used some of that advice. Now, there are on one extreme, interview shows where the questions are exactly the same. Every single time. And that's pretty helpful, because the interviewer, you, would be able to know which questions to ask, and your audience begins to understand what kind of content gets pulled out from each of the guests. So if there was a featured guest coming on, you know what questions are going to be asked of that guest. And that's pretty cool.
I am on moreso the other extreme, where I don't even really know what questions I'm going to ask. I think about, me in particular, the end. What is the endgame? What is the purpose? What do I want my audience to get out of this? What is the transformation? That's my keyword for interviews. What is the transformation? And that's important, because I want people to transform. I want people to, after listening to an interview, be a different person, you know? And it's my job as the interviewer to get the person who I am interviewing, to get them to spill that content that's gonna make that transformation happen.
And so our role as an interviewer, in this particular style, is to guide. To guide to do something. Those other shows, they're great. But we kind of know what kinds of answers we're going to get. With the way that I approach it, you don't necessarily know what answers you're going to get, but you know the purpose going into it. Your audience might not know, although based on your title of your blog post, or the podcast episode, or the show notes and the description in it, they will have obviously some idea of what it is that they can get out of it. Obviously, you want that to be apparent so that they will take action and listen to it. “Yes, this is episode I've been waiting for because Carlos asks So-and-So about this, and he's going to get him to tell me how to do that. And by the end of this, I will be different. I will know how to do that. I will know how to implement it.” That's exactly what you want.
Now, typically in my interviews, I start with the origin story. Some sort of beginning. How did they get into what they do? And that's always an interesting story. And I try to keep that as short as possible, because it's not always about the story about how they got there, but what is it that they went through. And also getting into the depths of that. The origin story is great. When they're telling that it's awesome, but at the very surface level, you want to understand why all that stuff happened. Why did they make those decisions? How do they feel? Because you want to put your audience in that person's shoes. “Well, how did you feel when that happened?” Or, “Why did you decide to do it that way?”
Those “why” questions, those follow-up questions are golden. And that's what makes me personally feel like this style of interviewing is much better and more, even if it's a little bit more difficult and it's harder to practice, it's much better for the end user, the end listener. Because those are questions that you would ask in a normal conversation, right? You would have a normal conversation with somebody not by having a pre-determined set of questions, but by having a real conversation and trying to understand why your friend went through that, or why they made that decision. You know, if you're having a conversation with your friend, you wouldn't have them tell a story, and be like, “Well, my next question is this.” You know, you would go deeper. “Well, why did you do that? What made you decide to feel that way?” Or, “What were the hardest parts about that?” Or, “Did you get any help when you were going through that, because it seemed like a hard thing for you to do.” Or, “I wouldn't be able to do that on my own. Did you have anybody help you?”
Those kinds of questions, which are hard to come up off the top of your head, I will admit. They do come with experience, though. So as you get into your podcast, just rely and have faith in yourself in terms of having a personal conversation with these people. And these people who are on the other end listening, they are that fly on the wall, and you know they're there. You're asking these questions for them, but also for you. To help you and your audience understand. Because you and your audience, you're in this together. You are asking this person the same questions. You are just hopefully reading the minds of those in your audience, and that's what I always try to do.
So that's how I approach my interviews. It's not very structured. I mean, it is structured in terms of you start with the origin story, and then you just get deeper. And then once that topic seems to be good or on point, then we go on the next thing. “You also did this. Can you tell me what made you do that?” Or, “How did you get started with that?” Or, “What were some of the challenges you wen through when you were doing this?”
Now I will say, going into an interview I have an idea of obviously what this person could provide for my audience. I also have an idea of what topics they are expert in, so that I can then pull out that information. I can also understand perhaps they've used some specific strategies or tips, or they are famous for something, for example. I know to talk about those. So I'll write them down in a bullet point list that's right in front of me. And that's all I need. I don't write down necessarily the particular questions. I used to do that.
Now, I will say sometimes, and this is the final point here. Sometimes you will interview somebody, you'll schedule it ahead of time, and they'll ask you for questions. Typically when that happens, I actually won't send the questions. I'll initially just send that bullet point list. We'll hear the topics I want to cover. I want to talk about your origin story and how you got started, but then how did you become and expert on quantum physics? And then from there, how did you turn quantum physics into something that helped that become a better father? Or I don't know, I'm just making that up. But kind of giving a person that path, but not giving them the questions. Because those follow-up questions, which you won't even know until that happens, because, again, you are having a real conversation, and you don't know what questions you're gonna ask when you're having a real conversation. You don't want to have that person be like, “Well, you didn't follow the questions that you wrote down.” Well, of course, because we're having a real conversation.
So that's my thought on that. So, Carlos, I hope this helps you in any way, shape, or form. My last piece of advice would be to listen to podcasts that you like, and discover why you like them. And also listen to a number of other podcasts and if you don't like them, try to discover why. That's what I did when I first started out, and what has shaped my podcast to be what it is today, or my podcasts to be what they are today, and the approach that I take with them, whether they are solo episodes or interview shows.
So hopefully that was helpful. Thank you again for your question, Carlos. You'll hear from my assistant in a couple of weeks, because we are going to send you an AskPat t-shirt. She's gonna collect that information so we can send that to you free of charge for having your question featured here in the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured in the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page using the widget from Speakpipe.com. You'll see it. You cannot miss it if you go to AskPat.com.
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Take care and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.