- Founder to Thought Leader
- 🛋️ George Clooney's Secret to Making a Killer First Impression on a Panel
🛋️ George Clooney's Secret to Making a Killer First Impression on a Panel
A counterintuitive way to become an outstanding panellist.
A couple of years back, George Clooney found himself part of a hybrid panel on the Graham Norton Show. Within 60 seconds of being introduced, he changed the whole dynamic of the discussion for the better. All he did was this…
Most panel discussions sap the life and energy from our souls. That’s mostly down to the format itself, but the moderator and panellists have to bear some of that responsibility too.
That said, if you get invited to be part of a panel discussion, you should grab the opportunity with both hands. They are an opportunity to:
Get noticed - not just by the audience but the other panellists too 👏
Practice communicating your work in a conversational way 🗣️
Get comfortable speaking off the cuff. You can get away with prompts in a keynote, but you can’t on a panel! 🛋️
What’s more, when it comes to panel preparation, many leaders get complacent. And therein lies your opportunity to shine.
George Clooney’s killer first impression in three simple steps:
Do your research on the panellists 🤓
George Clooney was the most famous person by far. If he isn't too big-time to do the research on the other panellists, then neither are you.
Set the tone with your opening statement
What tone do you want to set? In this particular instance, George chose appreciation. [Sidenote: Playfulness is another one of my favourites - it relaxes everyone on the panel, wins over the room and makes for a more entertaining discussion]
Make your compliments specific 🎯
All too often compliments can feel half-hearted and insincere. George’s don’t because he zeroes in on particular qualities and achievements, which make the recipients feel seen and appreciated.
This approach works because if you want to create a lasting impression, you have to be emotionally resonant. What’s more, very few people do it; so it’ll take them by surprise.
But perhaps the most unexpected outcome from this tactic are the relationships you can forge with the other panellists as a result. You never know where they might benefit you in the future.
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