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Lights, Camera, Laughter

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I was interviewing a bunch of world leaders at the European Development Days in Brussels last week.

Arriving late for an interview with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller – pictured below – I apologised by blaming a European Commissioner for keeping me waiting.

“You sound like Shaggy,” said a chilled-looking Simpson-Miller.

Feeling immediately more at ease I replied: “Wow, that’s the first time a prime minister has quoted Scooby-Doo to me.”

“I wasn’t referring to the cartoon character,” said Simpson-Miller. “I meant the singer.” At which point, the PM launched into her own rendition of the Jamaican-American’s smash hit “It Wasn’t Me,” prompting fits of laughter all round.

A few lessons here for anyone nervous about doing interviews:

  • Humour helps break the ice
  • Make the interviewer relaxed and you will be more relaxed as an interviewee

(Top photo of Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou courtesy of Michael Chia)