What are the secrets to being a great MC?
An event being asked of MC can happen at any time. In a social setting, at work or for more formal occasions.
Due to my business as a professional speaker, I am often called upon to be a professional MC.
Take, for example, my recent experiences hosting the Real Estate Institute of WA’s (REIWA) formal annual dinner and presenting the Kevin Sullivan Memorial Award, the Institute’s highest accolade.
A professional MC can make or break an event.
What do people remember?
It is not the children’s choir, the corporate video, or the music. It’s not even the place or the food.
The secret of a great event is the person who brings all these diverse elements together and then delivers them with personality, humor, and charm.
Your choice of Master of Ceremonies will have a great impact on the success of your event.
And the fact is, a high profile is not synonymous with success. I’ve heard famous MCs tell inappropriate jokes and get guests, organizers, and sponsors immediately out of the game.
The MC (aka Emcee) has a very special role to play at an event. There are many tasks to do and not everyone can be organized and entertained at the same time. It is a special ability.
But the good thing is that it is a learned skill.
Here is the first part of a series of articles on what I call the multiple speaking intelligences every aspiring or experienced leader needs.
In this first part, here are 10 tips on how to be a great MC for every occasion.
1. Get a good summary
Clarify with the event organization in advance what your expectations are and what exactly they want.
2. Work on a run sheet
There is a lot to remember and do as an MC. Make sure your event organization provides a performance sheet so you know what happens and when.
3. Run on time
The main role of a good MC is to make the event run on time. It is your role to make this happen. Nobody likes an event that goes on in time.
You must be firm in time. This is an item that is not negotiable.
4. Be the glue that holds the event together
Your role as MC is to be the glue or cement that holds the event together.
You have to link, follow, and transition directly from one section or topic to another throughout the event.
The best MCs do this effortlessly and effortlessly.
5. Focus on the speakers and performers
Remember that the speakers or artists you are presenting are the stars of the show, not the MC.
Don’t get bombastic, don’t let your ego get in your way.
Let the elements of the event, whether they be speakers, artists or award winners, shine.
Spend time at the venue before getting used to the stage, lighting, and sound system.
Practice your lines out loud. Warm up your voice. Enter the moment.
Research the speakers or artists you are presenting.
At the very least, do a Google search on them. Always request a formal presentation from the speakers.
Most professional speakers will provide a prepared introduction.
8. Provide a combination of entertainment and information
The key to a good MC is light and shadow.
9. Let your personality manifest and be yourself
Don’t be too rigid or written. Let your personality shine through.
10. Have fun
If you’re having fun, so will the other speakers and the audience.
Relax and enjoy the moment.