Larry King Explains His Interview Style
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Larry King has interviewed an impressive 50,000+ people throughout his long-spanning career, ranging from notable politicians, entertainers, athletes, authors and more. Some of his most famous interviews include former President Bill Clinton, late musician Frank Sinatra, and religious leader the Dalai Lama.
A master at his craft, King is known for his relaxed interview style, where he asks open-ended questions, often getting unique replies not seen on other shows.
In this clip, he explains his interview style. Here are a few notes:
- He asks good questions. He listens to the answers. He follows up.
- For many talk show hosts, the guest is a prop to serve the host’s needs. King never felt that way.
- He never asks questions that are more than two sentences. The simplest questions are the best.
- No evil person looks in the mirror and thinks they’re evil. For example, if he could hypothetically interview Osama Bin Laden, the worst question to ask is, “Why did you bomb those buildings?” That may lead to Osama getting defensive. Instead, he would ask, “You came from one of the richest families in Saudi Arabia, why did you leave?” He’ll learn more about the guest then eventually he’ll get around to why he orchestrated 9/11.
- He poses questions that make guests feel relaxed and encourage candor.
These principles are beneficial not only for interviews but also in daily conversations.