One question has netted me the best results -- and quotes -- when finishing an interview with an expert for an article.
It's a simple question, nothing profound. Yet, I didn't realize what I was missing until I started asking it.
Is there anything that we haven't talked about concerning [the topic] that you think would be absolutely essential for our readers [specify who they are] to know about?
Here are reasons why this question has been helpful to me when writing feature articles:
1. The source may have interesting ideas or thoughts that I would never have uncovered with my initial set of questions.
2. The "absolutely essential for our readers to know about" phrase taps into a potential point of passion for the source, who is often bubbling up to share those thoughts but hadn't had the opportunity. This invariably leads to compelling and pithy quotes.
3. The responses I get to this question often make excellent fodder for closing the article itself. "As [so-and-so] put it succinctly: '.....'"
About the Author: Sean M. Lyden is CEO of Lyden Communications LLC (www.lydencommunications.com), a business communication consulting firm that helps companies develop messaging designed to engage, inspire, persuade and sell. Practice areas include content & editorial strategy, sales strategy & coaching, and leadership communication. A feature writer for several automotive and trucking trade publications, Sean is also co-author of “How to Succeed and Make Money on Your First Rental House” (John Wiley & Sons) and contributor to "The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide” and “The Great Big Book of Business Lists,” both books published by Entrepreneur Press.
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