When it comes to The Daily Talk Show, we don’t do interviews.
We do, however, have guests on the show.
So, what’s the difference?
Let’s start by outlining what Tommy (my business partner) and I want the podcast to be:
We want the podcast to be a conversation — a celebration of people, of ideas and of friendship. It should feel like you’ve dropped in on some mates having lunch.
In contrast , what comes to mind when you think of an interview? A list of predetermined questions?
The words we use have impact on the work we do.
We have conversations. We don't do interviews.
Startups are routinely criticised for creating grandiose titles to describe traditional roles.
HR Directors are now Chief Happiness Officers and Web Developers have somehow become Wizards.
If it makes the Happiness Officers or Wizards feel better about the work they're doing, isn't it worth doing?
You could argue that our use of the word 'conversations' is simply a proxy of the word we're avoiding — interviews.
Why we don't do interviews:
- Interviews cement a dynamic that the host can only ask questions
- Interviews are contrived
- Interviews are based on the idea that listeners are listening for the guest
The last point is hard to write without feeling like a complete tosser.
The reality is, however, that The Daily Talk Show will only have one constant: the hosts.
If we create an interview show, audiences will come for the guests.
There's a lot of great interview style podcasts. Unfortunately, many focus so much on being a "good interviewer" that they lose any sense of self. Any relevance beyond being able to ask a few questions.
The hosts have, in many cases, unintentionally built a show that doesn't rely on them at all. They could simply be replaced by upvoted questions submitted by the crowd, like Reddit's AMA (Ask Me Anything).
Conversations, on the other hand, requires depth and a dynamic to connect the dots between the people present in the chat. It allows for originality, for fun and for creative exploration. A chance to sound like a few mates having lunch.
The words we use change the way we view our work, so use your words wisely.