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Friday, March 23, 2012

In Praise of Simple, Direct, Factual Questions

While browsing through the blogosphere this morning, I encountered a post in praise of Brian Lamb's questioning style on the C-SPAN Booknotes program. Brian Lamb was a founder of C-SPAN and an interviewer of some renown.

I thought I'd share a link to the post (available here). It offers some valuable insights on asking questions, noting that Lamb was very good at drawing information from people by asking direct questions about simple facts.

In the comments to the blog post, someone provided a link to an actual interview done by Lamb (available here) in which his interviewing qualities are on display. As an advocacy instructor, I often emphasize to students that in a well-constructed direct examination, the witness takes center stage and the advocate merges into the background. I was impressed by Brian Lamb's ability to do this in the interview. In the first few minutes of this interview, there's a great story about the time Norman Mailer stabbed his wife nearly to death at a party. That alone is worth a listen!

So--enjoy the blog post and the interview. It's hard to find examples of good questioning techniques on television or in movies.

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