Guest Blogger: Interview the Interviewer

This guest blogger is Nadia Giordana. She is an author, publisher of the magazine Writers in the Know and hosts several online shows where she interviews people on various subjects. 

Nadia, please give us a bio to introduce yourself.

I am a retired stockbroker and the author of three books, “No Thank You, I’d Rather be Myself,” “Thinking Skinny,” and “Reinventing New Chapters in Your Life at Any Age.” My general website is WhereWomenTalk.com, but you can Google me, I’m easy to find. I’m also very involved in community TV here in the Twin Cities metro area, and I understand that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Please feel free to ask me anything you want.

How many shows do you host?

Currently I am involved with five community TV shows in one capacity or another as host, co-host, and/or producer. The shows are as follows:

1. “It’s a Woman’s World,” whose mission is to discuss any, and all topics under the sun from a woman’s point of view.

2. “Generations,” whose mission is to help people 50 and better lead happy, healthy and productive lives.

3. “Women of the World,” whose mission is to give a voice to women from around the world who have made the United States their home.

4. “That’s Odd,” whose prime directive is to seek out life’s little desserts, slices of the lighter side, mini escapes from reality and things that make you go, oh!

5. “QC Cooks,” a local cooking show serving the cities of Andover, Champlin, Anoka and Ramsey.

What inspired you to interview people? How many years have you been doing this?

I’ve been at this since around 2009. It began as my way to work through a fear of public speaking. I started with an Internet radio show and graduated to doing YouTube videos interviewing talented women. At some point I was invited to be a guest on “It’s a Woman’s World,” produced by Michael Rossberg, and got to know the cast and crew there. I was fascinated by all that goes into the making of an in-studio show. I volunteered to help them as their social media PR person and since I was present at all the tapings, I was soon a co-host. Over time I joined two more productions with Mr. Rossberg. In the last two years I’ve been invited to host a cooking show at QCTV, which is a lot of fun, and most recently, I began producing, directing, editing, and co-hosting That’s Odd along with Lynn Garthwaite. It’s safe to say, I’m not fearful of speaking or being on camera anymore.

Did you have training or are you a natural?

I LOVE this question. I guess I’m a natural since I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants since day one. No formal training.

What do you do if your guest is boring?

A guest might be nervous, quiet and/or shy, but never boring. Everyone has an interesting story. It’s more a matter of making the guest feel comfortable enough to relax and talk to me. I usually spend a few minutes before we sit down under the cameras and bright lights to chat about how we’ll do the interview and to engage in small talk just between the two of us. Then, when we do the show, interesting conversation happens naturally.

What if someone only gives one-word answers? How do you get more information out of them?

That’s the responsibility of the interviewer—me. It’s important not to ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. For example, instead of asking a question like, “Did you enjoy writing your new book?” Our talk will go better if I say, “Tell me about your writing process and the steps you went through to make this book a reality.”

What’s the most important thing you have learned?

Being a shy introvert most of my life meant that I was painfully self-conscious. It sounds trite, but, once I learned that “it’s not about me, it’s about the talented guests we bring on the show,” I could relax and enjoy the interaction. Seriously, the cameras and lights disappear. They become background and I can have fun with the guest and the other co-hosts. Frequently, we will end a show and we all stay seated at the table or desk and continue the conversation!

What would you like to say to someone just starting out?

If you’re looking to get involved in public TV, start by volunteering with a station in your community. If you have bigger dreams and want to have your own show, there are ways to do it. I recently put together an online course that addresses nearly everything you’ll need to know. You can find it here: http://nadia-giordana.thinkific.com/courses/tvshow.