Larry King Tips: Asking Excellent Questions

Apr 30, 2019

So, how do you ask the right questions?

Cal Fussman (Co-host of Breakfast with Larry) writes hundreds of questions, internalizes them, and then throws them away. 

You can jump right into the interviewee’s story. “It is the interviewee that is the story, not the interviewer. Your job is to put the ball on the tee and let the interviewee knock it out of the park.” That’s why you should ask simple-but-specific questions about the interviewee in their moment.

I start very simple. “What is it like to pitch in the World Series?” Then I follow up. The most important question is not the first one, it’s the follow up. That’s where the honesty is.

Even when they give you some kind of canned answer, you ask, “Why? Or Why not?” Then it becomes a real conversation.

Being present. Listening. Your interview is about the person you are interviewing. You got to listen and go where the interview takes you. And that begins with the follow-up.


It all comes down to hard work and being open.

I’ll leave you with this little anecdote from Charley Steiner shared on Breakfast with Larry: When he first joined SportsCenter he had to audition but had never been on TV. He didn’t know how to naturally read a teleprompter. So. He. Read. The. Words. Just. Like. A. Robot.

And now he’s a natural on camera. How did he do it? How did he go from a nobody to a somebody.

“Reps. Just keep doing it, and doing it. There’s no guarantee in success. It’s all about what you put in,” he said.

If you’re good, they will find a spot for you. But it’s on you to prove it.

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