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The Porch: How to Interview Like a Pro Workshop

In a 2015 New York Times profile, Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air described her philosophy of the interview: “I try not to make it about me.” Gross, after more than 13,000 radio interviews, has mastered the art of the carefully steered conversation—a performance so well-choreographed, it sounds natural and spontaneous. But how do you put an interviewee so at ease, they feel comfortable speaking candidly and openly? Genuine curiosity helps, and sincerity works best. Preparation is essential, but you’ll need to be ready to go off script. Most of all, a great interview is about listening. It’s an exploration into the largely unknown: Who is this person? Why have they chosen this particular life? 

As the famous interviewer and journalist Studs Terkel said, “What I bring to the interview is respect…Because you’re listening, [the person] feels good about talking to you.” In this 3-hour workshop, we’ll discuss how to listen and improvise, prep for an interview, connect with your subject, direct a conversation, and enjoy the privilege of hearing people’s stories. We’ll touch on interviewing for memoirs and print profiles, podcasts and oral/family histories. *Note: Bring a voice recorder or iPhone (optional)—you’ll have a chance to try out your interview skills with your classmates.

  • Instructors: Kim Green and Emily Siner
  • Length of workshop: 3 hours
  • Date: Saturday, February 25
  • Time: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Cost: $55 non-members; $48 members

About the Instructors:

Emily Siner is the assistant news director and an award-winning reporter at Nashville Public Radio. She also hosts Movers & Thinkers, a new live-interview podcast featuring creative and interesting Nashvillians. She's passionate about storytelling on all platforms, and she spoke at TEDxNashville in 2015 about the station's efforts to reach new audiences online. Before joining the news staff at WPLN, Emily worked in print and online journalism at the Los Angeles Times and NPR

Kim Green is a freelance writer and award-winning public radio producer whose work has appeared in the Nashville Scene and Fast Company, and on NPR and Marketplace. She has interviewed people as a print and radio journalist, for oral histories, for podcasts, and as the ghostwriter of a memoir-in-progress. Before writing, Kim was a flight instructor in Nashville. She co-translated and edited a memoir by a Soviet combat airwoman from WWII. Red Sky, Black Death was published in 2009.

Earlier Event: February 22