I’ve probably had dozens of interviews, panels, and Ivy League universities meet-ups in the past few years at Taboola. In the US and outside of it. I was invited to speak at Prince Albert’s MMF, and gave a presentation to MIT MBA students (never finishing my under grade). I thought I got it covered. Or so I thought.
My style is usually to aggressively provoke the obvious as I have a personal issue with fluff and BS, so at a high-level I usually enjoy my interviews and public appearances. Fun.
I’ve also watched some famous interviews we all seen from Steve Jobs/Bill Gates to the one when Mark Zuckerberg was grilled for the first time. Watching those, I had asked myself how do you get to become that good of a journalist in front of those mega CEOs, mega people?
How do you, a world-class-journalist, know how to flip the scene and ask a question that was not expected, under the hood, out of context? How do they get to be so real-time, so dynamic.
And Boom – a really good question is asked, the audience is quiet, listening … and Bang – yet another one you never saw coming, and Done – you decide to stop. You realize you can’t just answer like you usually answer people asking you questions, and you also realize you’ve been Boom-ed and Bang-ed, and you were not at all expecting it.
You stop. You breath. You listen. You pause. You think. You answer.
I had the pleasure to meet an amazing journalist yesterday. Working for a top brand in America. A journalist I appreciate as a reader, as a viewer, as a participant in this industry. I was at her office.
Rewinding our 20 minutes of Q&A, I understand now why she is a world-class journalist. Cause she is cool, uber smart, smiling, not intimating and a really good listener. “want coke she asks? Feel free to go to the fridge and grab one”, “tell me about your business, how is it going”, minute 5:00 – “so why do you think you survived and your competitors didn’t”, …minute 8:00 – “so who is the startup nobody knows about you think I should know about”… minute 12:00:”so tell me, what excites you that doesn’t affect you financially? oh and has nothing to do with Taboola” … minute 14:00 “you sure you don’t want another coke?”, minute 15:00: “….”.
In case you wonder – my answer was that my future is to be a teacher. I believe in mentorship and people passing their knowledge onwards.
I won’t share the journalist’s name but if she reads this post, then I enjoyed our meeting greatly. Thanks for the time and I look forward to our next catch up.