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Talk to Me: How to Ask Better Questions, Get Better Answers, and Interview Anyone Like a Pro

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  18 reviews
From respected journalist, professor, and founder of the Writer's Symposium by the Sea, a book that demystifies the art and science of interviewing, in the vein of On Writing Well or How to Read Literature Like a Professor.

Dean Nelson is one of the best interviewers around.Anne Lamott

Interviewing is the single most important way journalists (and doctors, lawyers, social
ebook, 400 pages
Published February 19th 2019 by Harper Perennial
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Happy Skywalker
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I read this book because it was available from the library. I had no special interest in interview skills. But it was so compelling! It made me want to interview people. Almost just for the sake of interviewing them, to get stories and perspectives and maybe even information the public should have access to.

This author has a wealth of illustrative stories, many of which are hilarious or fascinating. The farther I got into this book the more I felt like I need to change my life and
Erin Hecker
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Informative and engaging, Nelson shares wisdom from his years of experience as a journalist. For someone not in the field, I found it especially enlightening. And while I may never find myself interviewing someone for a news story, I can relate to the idea that by listening to others, we bear witness to their life, their story. We validate their humanity.

Talk to Me is sprinkled with profound truths and laugh-out-loud wit. Already, I have found myself taking Nelson's suggestions into my own
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Even though the primary audience for this book seems best suited for professionals in journalism, I found it to be quite interesting and educational from a salespersons perspective. Application of the techniques, questions, settings, timing, etc will most certainly result in increased competence leading to greater production and or clarity in communication.

This book was quite refreshing, and the stories and examples furthered the importance of preparation and understanding the person you intend
Daniel Novak
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dropped this a quarter in. Within what I read, it didn't feel like there were any concise, clearly defined conclusions to each chapter, just anecdotes linked to general statements/advice here and there, which for the most part I already believed to be evident. Also, I expected this book would be useful to non-journalists (I'm an entrepreneur) but it wasn't clear to me that it is, or at least the book didn't do a good enough job of selling that (with actionable specifics) from the start.
Behrooz Parhami
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this title (on 8 CDs, read by Michael David Axtell, HarperCollins, 2019).

This book is very useful to journalism students and aspiring reporters. However, in this age of connectivity and primacy of knowledge, everyone can benefit from it. We all ask questions in the course of performing our jobs and pursuing personal hobbies. A social worker or a psychiatrist is as much in need of questioning skills as a journalist. So is a professor, when a student
William Faulkner
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic read for anyone who deals with other humans at work. (Most everyone) Armed with case studies and interview critiques, Dan lays out best practices and watch-outs for interviewing. I picked this up to learn more about how to effectively run user interviews for UX design. It is full of actionable takeaways.
Jon Angell
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, favorites, how-to
Talk to Me... by Dean Nelson

I came across this book in a Tattered Cover which is a bookstore chain in Denver, Colorado. It is one of the largest independent bookstores in the United States. I have gone to Denver every year for a while and the Tattered Cover is on the itinerary every time. It may be my favorite bookstores, partly because of interesting finds like this. I was looking for some good books on the writing/journalism craft and they had a large section to browse. This one is a gem.

Anna Mussmann
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Talk to Me is about conducting successful interviews. The author walks his readers through topics like choosing people to talk to, researching background information, preparing questions, and guiding the conversation along a pre-planned arc without losing flexibility. The advice is illustrated with anecdotes from his own career as a journalist and writer.

I had actually thought the information would apply to social interactions or to education (which, after all, involves a lot of question
Joe Iovino
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Part textbook, part memoir, Talk to Me is an amazing work for writers, podcasters, doctors, lawyers, and anyone else who wants to become better at learning from others.
As a writer, podcast host and introvert, I continue to seek to grow as an interviewer. No work has done more for me in this area than Dean Nelson's Talk to Me. Not only does he offer best practices from a lifetime of journalism, but he shares anecdotes about what worked for him, and why.
He talks about some great questions,
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is meant to be for journalism / reporters students. However. The principles on how to interact with people can easily be applied to any communication strategy. Either you are asking questions to a customer, debating with friends, influencing decision-makers, selling something, etc. The ideas inside the book will hone your skills.
How to deal when someone turn the roles and start questioning you ? How to talk to important and busy people? How to talk to silly idiot public people? One of
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be engaging and interesting. The author, an experienced journalist, gives real-life examples to illustrate his tips. He goes in-depth into some famously fabulous interviews (Mike Wallace interviewed by Barbara Walters, Bill Clinton interviewed by Chris Wallace) and highlights the great and not-so-great moments. This should be among the class materials for any journalism students.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this book because others have said it's an interesting and helpful read not just for interviewers but for people that want more meaningful conversations in general.

I suppose that was true - a learned a little. But what I learned could have easily been in 1 or 2 chapters. 10 chapters was a lot; the last few chapters I just skimmed because it seemed very specific for interviewers.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very well written book but I do feel like the subject matter was a little misleading based on the title I would say that 95% of the book is really geared towards journalists and reporters. While some of the information can be applied if you are a Podcaster or just someone looking to improve your interview skills, I felt like the book missed the mark on that. ...more
John Kennedy
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some good insights and anecdotes about interviewing and reporting. First-person accounts are better than secondhand ones.
Eric Hultgren
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you sell, write, report, or podcast this book is just fabulous and full of great insights.
Ziqin Ng
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chock-full with pearls of wisdom and I hope this book makes me a better interviewer!
Dale A. Welcome
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you not a journalist

Not a journalist but found this really helpful for professional life and how to ask questions and listen in relationships.
Jessica Luther
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I definitely took away a fair amount of useful information about how to interview and appreciated the way Nelson weaved in stories of his own experiences into this guide book.
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