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So You Want to Talk to Strangers? Interviewing Fundamentals with Lauren Ober

Talking to strangers can be intimidating. What if we say the wrong thing? What if we offend them? What if they don’t like us?! Well, if you can’t talk to strangers, how are you going to make a podcast? (Unless all of your guests are your mom.) Regardless of whether you want to make a beautiful serial narrative show like In The Dark, or a smart chat show like Still Processing, or you want to be the next Terry Gross, you’re going to have to get comfortable with the interview.

In this two-hour workshop, we’ll get you acquainted with the art of the interview. Sure, we talk to people all day long. But extracting interesting information from a person you don’t know while making it seem like you’re just having a fun, breezy conversation is a skill. This workshop will help you with the fundamentals, like research prep, question selection, interview framing, and making a guest feel comfortable. We’ll also listen to a few examples of best-practice interviews, as well as some not-so-great examples. And we can’t let you leave without doing some interviewing of your own. So come prepared to talk to some strangers and leave thinking more critically about the crucial role that the interview plays in making a great show.


The cost of this two-hour workshop is $50. Sign up below!

We're offering scholarships for this workshop. Learn more and apply.



Lauren Ober is the host and producer of Spectacular Failures from American Public Media. She is also a noted speaker and podcast consultant, having worked with organizations like the U.S. Department of State, American Film Institute, CIA, Smithsonian, Duke University and others. Previously, she developed and hosted The Big Listen from WAMU & NPR. Before becoming a radio and podcast host, Lauren was an award-winning public radio producer. Lauren is on the Werk It Advisory Board and was previously a French American Foundation Immigration Journalism Fellow. She is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, Syracuse University and American University. A proud Pittsburgh native, Lauren currently lives in the 51st state. Check her on Twitter: @oberandout.