Recording Artist Advocate: The overly talkative waiter…

Have you ever had a waiter that talks too much? They want to appear friendly, but it usually just comes across as someone trying too hard. The only thing keeping you from saying, “I don’t really care” is the thought of what they would do to your food.

You can tell that they aren’t picking up the social cues that make up a conversation. They just talk, and talk…

In an interview it’s hard not to do the same thing. You’re asked a question and just talk till they ask another question. Instead, try to treat an interview like a conversation. You definitely want to get in your plugs for shows or a new project, but use conversation skills like eye contact, expression, and pauses. You can build tension with a pause and relieve it with a knowing smile or unexpected answer. The best can even turn a hostile interview into something good for themselves and the interviewer. Make them look good and they’ll usually take good care of you.

I saw a 70’s TV star being interviewed by someone who was trying to make him look old and out of style. The interviewer was almost saying, “When was the last time you did anything relevant”. The guy kept his cool, even seemed to relaxed a little. He said, “You know so and so. We worked on his project together.” He started turning the interview around as if to say, “You are relevant and plugged in, and we know a lot of the same people.” He did it so well the interview seemed like friends talking by the end.

Also, he said just enough to make his point, used eye contact and was friendly. He treated the interviewer as an equal and never lost his cool.  

Practiced speech comes across better than trying to wing it. As musicians, you have a lot of down time, so practice interviewing each other like you practice playing. All practice makes you better and a good interview can be a great boost to your career.