Malcolm Gladwell and the secret to interviewing

Recently I watched the most fascinating discussion on the rewards of curiosity with leading author now podcaster Malcolm Gladwell and Oscar winning film producer Brian Grazer.

The conversation uncovers an incredible insight into Gladwell’s approach to interviewing.

“As a journalist you mark the quality of the interview by how little you say, so if you’re constantly having to ask questions the interview is not going well. If you never say anything, it’s perfect.”

In other words don’t forget the power of listening. We can be thinking so far ahead of what the next question is going to be that we miss the potential gold on offer in that very moment.

In my podcast “The Outerview”  I explore what it takes to conduct the perfect interview from dissecting classic interviews to discussing techniques with some of the worlds leading journalists, writers & broadcasters.

You can listen to the archive at Photo credit: Pop!Tech

Useful apps and tools to start podcasting

In the last few weeks I’ve had more and more people get in contact looking for advice on how to start a podcast. Below is some links to tools and apps that are easily available to set you on your way.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain 

The most important advice I can give to anyone who is looking to start a podcast is very simple. Just do it. You can procrastinate forever but if you have a topic or passion you want to podcast you really have to get your ducks in a row, record and release. From there you can re-edit, review and build on the initial recordings. The list below is short and sweet and will give you tools you need to get started quickly.

On the other hand if you’re looking for advice on producing a more advanced podcast/series or coaching on how to conduct a interview, get in touch by tweeting me @alanswan


Even though this article is a year old Lifehacker’s guide is one of the best.

Hosting your podcast can be simply done via Soundcloud or Libsyn

To record Skype calls or video chats I use Total Recorder For Mac users try eCamm

I edit my podcasts on Adobe Audition but you could use a free piece of software called Audacity

For a recording microphone direct via USB into your laptop I highly recommend the Technica ATR2100

Or if you’re on the move the Zoom is the best portable recording set up you can get.

To clean up the levels of your audio Auphonic is a automatic audio post production web service for podcasts, broadcasters, radio shows, movies, screencasts and more.

Photo credit: Patrick Breitenbach