Imagine this. You are interviewing somebody on stage. You ask your interviewee questions. He answers them. So far so good. Problem is: he doesn’t look at you. Not at all. He looks at the audience all the time. You find it very hard to make eye contact and to establish a good conversation.
Mistake 1: Your guest sits looking at the audience, you sit at a 90 degrees angle. Never do this. There is a reason why talk masters always sit facing the audience and the guest sit in profile, not the other way round. Looking at the audience disrupts the guest’s concentration on the host. The guest will start looking at the audience, not at the host. This effectively prevents any real conversation taking place. It ruins the interview.
So, you try to get this guy’s attention. You try to get him to look at you, so you start being part of the conversation. You start making friendly remarks. You start interruption him somewhat. It doesn’t help, he still doesn’t look at you. You start being really frustrated.
Mistake 2: Never become frustrated. Particularly not here. To the audience the guy on stage is a super star. He is Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. They don’t care how you feel. They just want to hear a cool interview.
And then, after a little while, the audience starts to rip you apart both on stage and online.
My conclusion: 90 degrees can make a huge difference.
To see what happened, have a look here (click to open video on external website):
And the final evaluation of the audience here:
(Mental note to self: Must book another interview training session before we launch)