She presents the big stars in Cannes: Swiss Tanya König in interview

Tanya König has a big gig at Cannes Lions - she presents outstanding personalities such as Nobel Prize winner Malala, actor Ryan Reynolds or chess champion Garry Kasparov. We spoke to the Zurich presenter, who used to work for CNN Money and also presents for TedxZurich, among others.

Tanya, you're hosting for Cannes Lions. Last time online from London - this time live on location on the big stage in Cannes. How did you come to the attention of the organizers of this very pretentious international event?

Normally the presenters they book are from the Anglo-Saxon area. Last year they need reinforcement and decided to look outside the Anglo-Saxon area, because Cannes Lions is an international festival. Apparently they found me through an online search. They were convinced by my easy-going and affable moderation style, as well as my international background.

What exactly is your assignment this year?

This year, I will be interacting with the audience on one of the two main stages, as well as introducing the respective speakers and guests. I want the guests to feel good about it. The whole thing should be fun. I was told by the festival organizers that they have invested a lot in these seminars. Besides well-known stars, I will also have the co-CEO of Netflix or CEO of LinkedIn on stage. My job will be to see that all these renowned speakers feel comfortable.

You present very famous international stars and celebrities - among them actor Ryan Reynolds, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, as well as the Co-CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos or the CEO of LinkedIn, Ryan Roslansky. Wou're nervous there, even as a professional?

At the moment I'm rather excited. I probably only get nervous backstage, a few minutes before I'm allowed on stage. Of course, I'm honored to be able to introduce big names. But I actually try to see every guest as a human being, whether famous or not. That way I can keep my nervousness in check. At the same time, the organizers have told me a few times that they chose me because of my hosting style and that I get to be Tanya. That reassures me because I know what is expected of me.

What are you looking forward to most?

I'm excited to see these stars backstage. But in addition to the stars, the world's best in the advertising industry and creative scene are meeting here. I'm looking forward to exciting encounters with these minds and I'm sure it will be an enriching experience. And since this will be my first time in Cannes and I'm celebrating my birthday at the same time, I'm also looking forward to the after-work drink on the Boulevard de la Croissette at sunset.

What is the biggest challenge about this job?

To be able to respond to the unexpected. My moderation text is written, but there will definitely be last-minute changes. You have to be flexible and agile when speakers have changes the day before or someone suddenly drops out.

General: What counts most in the moderation business - maybe you'll even tell us the secret of your success?

I think authenticity is the key. I think that's what separates the average presenter from the top presenters. If someone seems fake, then he or she has lost credibility with the audience. And as a presenter:in, you are in the service of the audience. I have no secret. I'm passionate about my job and hopefully the audience notices that.

With this you are already playing in the top league of moderators, so to speak - or is there something bigger you would like to achieve?

The path is the goal and it doesn't always go in one direction. Getting better along the way and discovering new facets of myself is what excites me. For me, personal development and professional career go hand in hand. When I realize that I am growing, then I have reached my goal.

Among other things, you also produce and host your own podcast on the art business, Swizz Art Biz? Is art particularly close to your heart?

My Podcast is actually a continuation of the work I started at the former TV station CNNMoney Switzerland. There I had a program in which I interviewed people from the art market. When the station went bankrupt, I thought it was a shame to give up what I had built up. That's how I got the idea to start the podcast. And yes, I find the art world exciting: I like to dive into this opaque world to feel the pulse of the art market. Artists, curators and art dealers often have an exciting career and good stories interest me.

Tanya König already hosted the Cannes Lions in London in 2021. There she also kept a video diary.

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