Good interviews rarely “just happen” take it from Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil Degrasse Tyson and Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show"
Neil Degrasse Tyson and Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show”

As a PR guy I watch interviews a little bit differently than most people, I look for themes and for what the subject says that gets picked up by the interviewer.   Sometimes this just happens serendipitously but often there’s a lot of preparation by PR folks in the background on what interests the interviewer, how they’ve interacted with subjects etc, but I was impressed with what Neil DeGrasse Tyson said he did before going on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” which I learned from from a great blog post.

He explained that, before getting on the show, he spent a lot of time studying Jon Stewart’s verbal habits. He paid attention to how many sentences Stewart usually grants a guest on his show before inserting a witty comment. He paid attention to what kinds of words or phrases Stewart particularly likes to pick up on. So, when he went on the show, he made sure to describe astronomy using sexually suggestive language, which prompted Stewart to say “WHY IS IT THAT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT SCIENCE YOU TURN ME ON?” and then, “I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE.”

So….next time, before an interview…count the sentences and please watch it.


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