The Story and the Storyteller: Minutes from the workshop

In this workshop led by Lauren, the participants’ objective is to get the most out of interviews they conduct for a story. When you are the ‘storyteller’, your goal is to seek all the elements of a really good story from your partner and narrate the story in front of him or her and the group. The key is to respect the story and the person whose story you are telling, by being as accurate as possible. The participant s ran through two practice interviews to hone the different basic techniques:
Here are a few take home points to ensure you achieve these goals :

– When possible, favor the face to face interview or via video chat. There is many information that one can get from looking at the interviewee that can help transcribe the story accurately. Email interviews do not allow the type of interaction that is necessary to redirect or sharpen a key point made by your interviewee.
– Be prepared:
– List a few basic information about your interlocutor.
– prepare a list of core questions/ points you'd like to addresss
During the interview:
– If you are going to record the interview, make sure it is OK for the interviewee first.
– leave room for your interviewee to expand on a point (open ended questions)
– don't be afraid to ask specific questions from the get-go. It may lead to the core narrative of your story.
– be flexible with the questions, think of the interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation.
– Use abbreviations to make sure you note down all the points and facts shared by the interviewee.
– be on the look out for the money quote that you may use as it is.
– double check with the interviewee all the figures, key facts and name spelling.
Once the interview is over:
– look over your notes and pick the key informations that you will use to tell the story
– Select the narrative you will emphasize.
– Look for a nice hook. One option is to describe the surroundings of the interview, the body language of the interviewee to make the story palatable to the readers.
– Tie the end of your conclusion with a tidbit that illustrates your main narrative.

If you would like more pointers on conducting a winning interview, please get in touch with Lauren.

That is it on this end for Day 2 at #GV2015 in Cebu City.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.