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How to Come Up With Great Questions in Your Twitter Spaces?

·4 mins·
Twitter Spaces Engagement
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Having guests on Twitter Spaces is not that much different from podcast interviewing, except it’s live and you have an audience, and you cannot edit out your mistakes.

They are actually pretty similar to live talk shows and partially to TV interviews, which means are plenty of amazing guides and books you can refer to.

While you can draw inspiration from various interviewing guides and books, you must also be prepared to think on your feet and adapt to the unique dynamics of the platform.

1) Do the work. Prepare and research.

Some hosts go to Twitter Spaces with minimal background search, maybe just enough to be familiar with the guest to avoid saying anything embarrassing.

However, if you, as a host, don’t know how your guest can bring unique value to the conversation, then there is practically no difference between you and a random guy from the audience interviewing the person.

Hosts who excel at interviewing do their homework. Take the recent rise of the Dwarkesh Patel ( @dwarkesh_sp), for example.

Many of his listeners attribute his success to his relentless preparation, as he is known for devouring as much information as possible about his guest before the interview and coming to the session with unique questions.

To learn more about his methods, you can read this Meridian article.

We can break down the research process into three simple steps:

  1. Start by reading the guest’s bio, website, and social media profiles to get a general understanding of their background and expertise.
  2. Devour every piece of their work, if possible. Interviews, articles, books, or any other content they’ve created. You’ll soon start to see the pattern, the grid, and eventually come up with questions that make their work shine.
  3. Learn about the context. Research the guest’s industry or field to understand the context in which they operate.

2) Be specialized, to the point

Your questions should aim to elicit unique information. Don’t aim to pass time, sloppily ask what any other person would ask, or spend time on trivial matters that neither you nor your listeners would find interesting.

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The questions should be crafted and tailored to the guest’s expertise that let them shine. Otherwise, the interview may come across as a dull, uninspired experience.

Here’s an example scenario where a Twitter Space host is interviewing Patrick Collins ( @patrickc), the CEO of Stripe:

Generic: What are the biggest challenges?

Specialized, to the point: Stripe reported that the platform processed $1 trillion in transactions in 2023. What technical and business challenges do you anticipate Stripe will encounter in bringing this number from $1 trillion to $2 trillion?

Avoid yes/no questions, as they don’t encourage conversation. If you must ask a yes/no question, ensure it’s part of a larger plan, serving as an entrance to a bigger question.

Here’s an example where a Twitter Space host interviews Vitalik Buterin ( @VitalikButerin), the founder of Ethereum:

Vitalik, you mentioned in various posts that you care about proof of personhood in blockchains. Do you still think that’s a major challenge we need to tackle? … [Wait for yes/no response] … How do you think ZK technology can help in building secure on-chain identities, especially considering the age of AI?

3) Listen actively

Just like how a joke has a setup and a punchline, a great question has two sides: the question and the silence. It’s crucial that you listen and let your guest talk. If you think they have more to say, let them continue without interruption. As Dale Carnegie put it in his classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Ask questions the other person will enjoy answering,” then let them answer.

Active listening is for conducting engaging interviews. By fully focusing on the guest’s responses and being genuinely curious about their thoughts and experiences, you can identify opportunities to ask spontaneous follow-up questions that dig deeper into the topics discussed.

For example, if the guest mentions a particular challenge they faced in their career, you can ask them to elaborate on how they overcame that obstacle and what lessons they learned from the experience. Or, if the guest shares an interesting anecdote, you can ask them to reflect on how that experience shaped their perspective or influenced their subsequent decisions.

This short video is a powerful example of active listening. A question from the interviewer led to a massive improvement at SpaceX rockets.


Final Tip: Outsource Questions to Your Listeners This is not laziness. In the end, you are doing this interview for your listeners, asking the question partially on their behalf. Consider gathering some questions from them before the space and see if you can incorporate any into your interview.


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