What is it?

Interviews can play a pivotal role in the presentation process by enabling us to gather valuable insights, validate content, refine messaging, improve visuals, and assess the overall impact.

To conduct interviews effectively, we can use an interview guide, which serves as a structured framework. This guide helps us systematically gather insights and feedback from various stakeholders involved in the presentation process. These stakeholders may include the target audience of a high-profile keynote, subject matter experts in specific areas, and participants of workshops and training sessions. By following a guide, we ensure that our interviews are organized and productive, allowing us to gather the necessary input from these key individuals.

      When to use it

      1. When you need to understand the audience's needs, interests, and preferences.

      2. To test and refine content to ensure it resonates effectively.

      3. Obtain feedback on a draft presentation before a high-profile event.



      Remember to:

      1. Test your guide out before your first interview.

      2. Include time for introductions and  wrap-up.

      3. Let the conversation evolve around the guide—ask follow-up questions to clarify any ambiguities.

      Basic outline


      Interviewer introduction and project introduction: 10 minutes

      Introduce yourself and tell (or remind) the participant(s) the purpose of the interview. Give them an overview of the format, and ask them if they have any questions.

      Remember to: maintain a comfortable atmosphere with eye contact, positive body language, and reassurance when needed.


      Interviewee introduction: 10 minutes

      Take a few minutes to allow the interviewee(s) to introduce themselves. Before the interview, make sure to conduct thorough research on the interviewee(s) to familiarize yourself with their background and relevant information. This will help you establish a connection and ask more targeted questions. Be prepared with prompts or follow-up questions to facilitate the introduction process if needed.


      Context questions: 20 minutes

      During this portion of the interview, we delve into the background of the topic by asking a series of questions that help us gather the relevant information. The objective is to establish the necessary context for the interview. For instance, we might inquire about the interviewee's previous experience with similar projects, their role within the organization, or any specific challenges they have encountered in the past. By exploring these aspects, we can better understand the interviewee's perspective and ensure that the subsequent discussion is grounded in a solid foundation of knowledge and context.


      Focused questions: 40 minutes

      Now it's time to dig deeper. Spend a good chunk of time asking focused questions to gather detailed insights and opinions. Encourage the interviewee(s) to share their thoughts, experiences, and any relevant examples they may have.


      Follow-up: 10–20 minutes

      Follow up on any points that require clarification or further elaboration. Ask additional questions to gain a deeper understanding of a response or even circle back to a question where you may not have fully connected the dots on their answer. It's essential to ensure that you leave the interview with a clear understanding of the interviewee's perspective. It's crucial to avoid leaving the interview without a clear understanding of the interviewee's perspective.


      Closing and wrap-up: 10 minutes

      As the interview comes to a close, take a few minutes to summarize the main points discussed. Express sincere gratitude for the interviewee's time and valuable input. Finally, offer the interviewee(s) a chance to share any additional comments or suggestions they may have.

      Remember that your guide serves as a starting point, and allowing discussions to evolve is crucial. Prepare thoroughly, practice active listening, and be open to adjusting your approach as you gather more insights. With each interview, you'll sharpen your skills and gather valuable information to create more impactful presentations.