Pico Iyer and Michael Shapiro

Five Things I've Learned about

The Art of the Interview

Presented in partnership with Book Passage

Discover the five things we’ve learned from experience about the Art of the Interview.


Drawing on decades of experience conducting interviews onstage, for periodicals, and at home, this class is at heart about refining and deepening the art of conversation. How do we choose questions, structure them and at times remain silent so as to draw the most out of celebrities, strangers, even family members?

Pico has interviewed onstage such figures as the Dalai Lama, Elizabeth Gilbert, Werner Herzog and Annie Leibovitz. Michael has interviewed for magazines and newspapers Jane Goodall, Smokey Robinson and Francis Ford Coppola. Both have also studied—and interviewed—such master interviewers as Studs Terkel, Krista Tippett and Terry Gross.

Together, we’ll share the five things we’ve learned that most determine a great interview, approaching from many angles the practical ways of making all our interactions more illuminating and fresh: How do we put a new acquaintance at ease? How can we prepare extensively in advance and then allow a chat to go exhilaratingly off-script? How might one do richest justice to a job interview, on either side of the table? And how to bring forth an aging mother’s most heart-shaking memories?

We hope you will join us.


About Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is the author of 15 books, including a long meditation on the Dalai Lama (The Open Road), an exploration of our accelerating world (The Global Soul) and a reflection on mortality and impermanence (Autumn Light).

His TED Book The Art of Stillness was followed by a talk for TED, and his four talks on the TED stage have drawn more than 11 million views so far.


About Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro is a journalist and author of two interview collections: A Sense of Place: Great Travel Writers Talk About Their Craft, Lives, and Inspiration, which includes Bill Bryson, Isabel Allende, Paul Theroux and Jan Morris; and the recently published The Creative Spark (Amy Tan, David Sedaris, Barbara Kingsolver, Graham Nash and many others). He moderates panel discussions at events such as Key West Literary Seminar and Book Passage’s travel conference.

Michael has recently written for National Geographic about Nepal’s remote regions and about legendary Welsh writer Jan Morris. His travel and arts features have appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the in-flight magazine American Way. For seven years he wrote a column on gambling for the San Francisco Chronicle. He has interviewed Jane Goodall for O the Oprah magazine and for Earth Island Journal.

A longtime whitewater and kayak guide, Shapiro volunteers for a group that takes disabled people on raft trips down California’s American River and kayak journeys on San Francisco Bay. He lives in Sonoma County with his wife and two formerly feral cats.

Online Class Details

  • 90 minutes

Price

  • Regular Ticket - $60.00

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Frequently Asked Questions

Your ticket entitles you to ongoing access to this class — even after the live session concludes.

Please look for an email with information about how to access the course archive within 48 hours of the end of the live class. Once you get it, you’ll have all the information you need to access this course for at least nine months from the live class date — across any and all devices you own.

If you’d like a refund, we can happily credit the card you used to register for the session. Please send a note to pre.event@extendedsession.com, and we’ll confirm receipt as soon as we see it (We don’t need your credit card info – just your email address and date of purchase.)

There are two things to know:

  • Unfortunately, we can only accept cancellations and refunds up to 48 hours before a scheduled session.
  • There is sure to be a lapse in time between the time we refund your order and the time a corresponding credit appears on your credit card statement. So that you’re not left waiting and wondering, we’ll contact you as soon as we’ve processed the credit in our system.

If you’ve purchased a ticket for this online class and you find that for some reason you can’t make the live session, we’ve got you covered:

We’ll make an archive of this class available within 48 hours of the live session, and we’ll send every ticket holder details on how they can view it.

Ticket holders can view this full session archive any time they like – as often as they like.

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Still have a question? We’d be please to hear from you: myfivethings@extendedsession.com.

The receipt you receive via email immediately after you register is all you need to know you’re set for the upcoming session.

About 48 hours before the live class is scheduled to begin, we’ll send you a personalized email confirming everything’s on schedule and containing easy instructions for accessing the class.

We’ll send another reminder on the day of the class itself, and we’ll be available online just before the class begins to make sure you have no problems joining when the time is right.

If you’ve not received confirmation of your purchase, it’s not because we haven’t sent it. In fact, we send a confirmation right away to make sure that we can reach you with class details.

If you haven’t received a confirmation, check your “junk” or “promotions” email first — some people’s email programs group unfamiliar emails in these types of folders. The email date and time should match closely the time you purchased your ticket online.

If the confirmation email is not there, there’s a small possibility that your email address wasn’t entered as you intended when you registered (You’d be surprised, but this happens). If we don’t have your proper email address, we can’t contact you.

In any case, if you can’t find your confirmation email, please send us a note at pre.event@extendedsession.com. We’ll get back to you right away!

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