The objective of the Listen phase is to connect and listen to the participants at an individual and personal level. Deep, empathetic listening is at the core of StoryEngine, and the listening phase is where you make this happen. We encourage you to become familiar with the person you will interview — do research to find out a bit about their background, interests and any published writing as this will help you better relate and ask prompting questions when interviewing them. It is imperative that the interviewer build a deeper understanding of the subject before any conversation begins.
IMPORTANT: No unauthorized access to audio / video files or transcripts — Only immediate and approved staff should have access to these documents at any given time. The StoryEngine methodology ensures the privacy of the participant, sharing only what they have given us consent to share. The only document that can be shared is the published interview.
1. Update tracker spreadsheet
Add potential participants to the tracker spreadsheet, include their contact info, and date contacted.
2. Connect with participant
Personalize the boilerplate email template (Asking for an Interview) and invite them to engage with you. Use Calendly or other scheduling app for scheduling the interview. Do not send a mass email invite — the StoryEngine way is to engage participants at a personal level. Follow up with them throughout this process and keep them informed.
3. Request consent to interview
Use the boilerplate email template (Interview Release), Interview release template, and HelloSign (or other e-signature service) to request consent to interview — check with your organization, as they may already use or subscribe to an e-signature service.
4. Interview participant
Use the Interview Guide, smartphone or computer with Skype and Ecamm and lavalier microphone to record the interview. Encourage the participant to use an external microphone if they have access to one — clearer audio results in cheaper transcription services.
5. Export audio file
Use Quicktime and Audacity to trim any unnecessary audio and export audio-only files. Once you have the audio file, you are ready to process it into a story!
Listening tools & templates
The following is a list of suggested tools, services, hardware, and software — these can be tailored to your organization and used accordingly.