TV’s Tallest Man Reminds Me Why The Boy Scouts Were Right

I can’t decide between the moment where the boat crashed or the point where we spotted the warthog. Those were the two most surreal bits of my Saturday morning.

https://www.yesyesmarsha.comWhat should have more odd, was trying to have a casual, relaxed conversation with someone – someone who is 6 feet 8 inches tall – whilst on a tiny canal boat. A conversation that was not only being watched by several people, but also being filmed.

I was interviewing Greg Davies, Comedian and BAFTA-nominated star of the BBC’s Cuckoo and Channel 4′ The Inbetweeners, for the extras on his next stand up comedy DVD.


Easy And Hard At The Same Time

He wanted us to have a casual chat. We’ve know each other a while and get on well, so this shouldn’t have been too tricky. But there was a challenge: no one watching the DVD would be remotely interested in me. So what I had to do, was make sure I was driving the conversation, it was as comfortable to be in (and watch) as a casual chat, but the vast majority of talking would be done by or about him.

I dealt with it the way I always do with interviews: TONS of preparation.


Why I Always Prepare (it’s not what you think)

When I worked in radio, I used to prepare the hell out of every interview I did. I’d like to tell you that it was just professionalism, but if I’m honest, I was driven by something else:



I was so scared of

  • running out of things to ask about
  • the interviewee mentioning something that I knew nothing about and leaving me thrown
  • some other, intangible thing.

This last one is an old friend to those of us without buckets of self-confidence. Sometimes you’reparalyzed with fear for no rational reason, just because. When I did my podcast Marsha Meets, I used to stand feeling physically nauseous before every interview. Even though I’d done loads and they always went well, I couldn’t help the waves of overwhelming dread.

Preparation was my security blanket. If I had lots of information, and some thought-out questions, then I would always have something to say, even when I wanted to freeze up.


How This Can Help You Network

If you’re nervous about approaching people you don’t know, preparation can be an awesome instrument. Almost any event you go to will have a bunch of opportunities to research some of the people going. This can then help you have easy, casual and natural conversations, which you can actually enjoy – even if you’re speaking to the most important person in your industry.

In next week’s blog, I’ll talk you through some specific methods, and how to then use the information you have.


Until then, I’d love to hear from you:

Can you think of a time when being prepared has had unexpected benefits?

  • Maybe you google-stalked, pre-first date, only to find you had a secret hobby in common?
  • Did you take a swimsuit on a city holiday, then discovered you were staying next to a sweet, heated pool

    • Or are you – like me – someone who always carries a sewing kit, sharpie and miniature compass, ready to save the day at a moments notice?


Tell me, in the comments below!


You rule,

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha


PS want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

Photo Credits: Lay-Ee Quah, then jugbo and Jimmy Tyler both via Compfight cc


  • Pete

    Reply Reply May 31, 2013

    I feel the same! I know you’re right about preparation, so why don’t I ever do it? Maybe it’s time to change…

  • Natasha

    Reply Reply June 2, 2013

    And how many times you’ve prepared much too much material for something (a lesson, an interview, a meeting where you have to do a presentation or interpret from one language to another), but to your amazement that extra stuff turns out to be exactly what you needed in some other, quite different, situation, the very next week! And you think “If I hadn’t looked all this stuff up then, I’d be totally out of my depth today….”

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply June 5, 2013

      SO true – especially when it comes to meeting people. You never know which unusual interests someone might have!

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