Last week I went up to San Francisco to record an interview with Moira Gunn and Tech Nation. The interview is now available online, on their episode “The Neuroscience of Rest.”

KQED this morning

Moira is a terrific interviewer, and she started with a question about Santiago Ramón y Cajal that made me think, “Boy, she’s really read the book closely!” My second thought was, “WHAT DID I WRITE ABOUT RAMON Y CAJAL? THINK!!!”

I feel like I’m getting better, somewhat slowly, at the craft of interviews. When you listen to a good interview, it sounds just like a couple people chatting; but underneath that ease and fluency is a hard bedrock of preparation. Learning what to do in order to prepare, how to anticipate questions, and simply how to sound good, is a challenge.

For Tech Nation, I made sure to get up to San Francisco super-early, and hung out in a coffee place nearby and went over my notes.

Reviewing before my interview

I now put a lot of value in not rushing myself whenever possible. Of course there are times when you have to dash from one thing to another, but if I can avoid it, I find it makes a big difference in my mood and performance.

Anyway, I have another half dozen radio shows scheduled for the next couple weeks, and then there will be UK appearances (one hopes!), so with luck I’ll get good at this. Or at least learn to speak without saying “you know” and “ummm” every third word, which would be a step forward!