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Attending a large conference or festival for the first time can be a daunting experience. The sheer number of people, events, and opportunities can make it seem like you will never get a look in. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As a mentor, I have seen how guiding and helping younger people can not only benefit them but also offer fresh insights and stop you from becoming cynical.

I recently had the opportunity to mentor three MA students at MIP TV in Cannes, the world’s largest television market. My old friend, John Gough – a senior lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire and a founder of The Entertainment Masterclass, who had arranged to give them real-world business insights, couldn’t travel due to a minor accident. He called me at the last minute for help, and I was more than happy to oblige. Mentoring these students reminded me of how fortunate I am to have attended MIP and MIPCOM for over 30 times in the last 20+ years.

Mentoring for Success: Why Helping Young People Benefits Both Parties

Having given the opening address to the first timers at MIP and MIPCOM for many years, I know that belief, confidence, and attitude are the magic formula for connecting with people at conferences, festivals or even at parties (NB there can be quite a few of those at MIP!).

Believe that you deserve to be there and that you have something of worth to share. As the Americans say, your attitude defines your altitude. If you have an attitude that says people are good, kind, and want to help, you will be pleasantly surprised by how often this becomes your reality. Act as if you are confident and notice how people start to presume that you are confident. Bizarrely, just the act of faking it until you make it changes the structure of your mind, and you become more confident.

Mentoring in Cannes

As Danish comedian Victor Borge so eloquently put it, “Between two people, a smile is the shortest distance.” Smile, and the whole world smiles with you.

These were just some of the tips that helped the MA students blossom into confident networkers, and as one of them said,

“Having been really trepidatious at the start of my first MIP TV festival experience, I now feel so much more confident, and I can’t wait to come back and carry on using my new skills to take the TV world by storm.”


Forbes articleMentoring is a gift to both parties. Giving is the greatest form of receiving. When you mentor someone, you not only help them grow, but you also gain fresh insights and stop yourself from becoming cynical. According to an Article by Forbes, mentoring can help you develop new skills, build your network, and even advance your career. It also allows you to share your knowledge and experience, which can be rewarding and fulfilling. “Mentoring provides opportunities for mentors to reflect on their own experiences and learn new perspectives from mentees.”

Mentoring is a valuable experience for both parties. It allows the mentor to offer guidance and support, and the mentee to learn and grow.

When you help people succeed, you not only benefit them but also gain fresh insights and stop yourself from becoming cynical. So, if someone asks you if you can help with mentoring, especially in the South of France, just say, “yes, we Cannes!”

You can find out more about the professional mentoring and executive coaching work I deliver with clients Here

There are many more magnificent guests coming up very soon only on The Humourology Podcast.

See you next Tuesday.


Paul x

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