Please Shut Up

Why won’t moderators or interviewers park their ego and shut up?

When I see great moderators or interviewers in business or television (Charlie Rose, Larry King, John Defterios and so on), I see people, who are smart enough to realise that the audience wants to engage with the guest(s) first and the interviewer or moderator last.

Indeed, there is a cycle of value. The more compelling the guest interaction with the audience, the more the audience is engaged with what the guest is involved in. The more engaged the audience, the more people are attracted to the event or interview. The larger the audience, the easier it is to attract higher quality guests. The higher the quality of the guests, the easier it is to devote more time, money and resources.


The most obvious example of this is the Charlie Rose Show  now syndicated globally on Bloomberg’s television channel, which started from very humble beginnings in the mid 90s on PBS, a local New York City channel. So humble that the show’s host and interviewer famously bought the wooden table himself!

In reverse, the more the moderator or interviewer seeks to be the star of the show, often a result of their own insecurities, just as in sports with the referee, the faster the audience becomes disengaged and turns off.

Of course, there are interviewers and moderators that make a living and fame by projecting themselves from the stage or through our television screens (Piers Morgan, Matt Lauer and Chris Cuomo) into our minds. Rarely, do they leave an impressive impression. Indeed I know one of these “celebrities” to have interviewed a friend of mine, knowingly “faked” what the viewers were seeing and what he experienced for effect. No more, no less.

Let’s hit the mute button.

© James Berkeley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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