How to be a great Master of Ceremonies (MC, Emcee)
First of all, lets explain what a Master of Ceremonies (MC, Emcee) is…
In simple terms a Master of Ceremonies (MC), pronounced emcee, is the host of a private function, event or performance. Their role is to present speakers, announce speeches, talk to the audience and overall make sure the night runs according to plan.
This important position is generally considered a prestigious role for events such as weddings, corporate functions or performances. But don’t worry, the role can be made very easy by considering a few points before the big event. And yes, before we continue any further, it is OK to make a few jokes while talking to break the ice. It not only makes you feel more confident it allows the audience to relax and get involved in the night. Just remember to be clever, not rude or obnoxious.
A few points to consider…
Don’t worry if your not the organised type. Simply make relevant dot points and sit down with the appropriate people involved in the night to get a clearer idea of how it will all come together. The more you understand about the event, the clearer this will show in your presentation, announcements and speeches.
Keep the night on track
Don’t be afraid to keep the night on track. Your role is to make sure that speeches start at a specific time, that everyone is seated when meals arrive and to do the jobs that others may not be prepared to undertake. It may even be required to ask the bride and groom, in the instance of a wedding, to take their seat to be ready for speeches or meals.
Another important point is to talk to the people responsible for the speeches ten minutes before they begin. Confirm they are ready and that the formalities of the night are about to begin. As master of ceremonies this allows them to have some time to compose themselves and have a toilet break if required.
Be prepared to take a few notes on the night
As the master of ceremonies you will be required to introduce specific guests throughout the night. You may also be asked to thank a few people or make quick announcements. To simply solve this problem, make sure you carry a notepad and pen with you throughout the night. The last thing you want is to forget a specific person or introduce them by their wrong name.
Speeches and announcements
This is a small point to remember but it is always advised to keep speeches and announcements short. People attending a function generally like to enjoy a meal, talk to guest and listen to short sharp speeches. Have you ever heard someone say that “I thought that speech would never end”? Don’t be afraid to tap them on the shoulder or even signal them by tapping your wrist. This is a professional way to move things along while keeping everyone happy.
Pause at full stops
If you’re nervous, which most of us are, remember to speak slowly and pause at full stops. Take your time and once you have started your nerves will relax and the rest of the night is easy.
Be clever, not rude
As mentioned earlier, be clever. Don’t tell rude or obnoxious jokes. People may remember these but for all the wrong reasons. If in doubt about using a joke ask a friend or family member and if in doubt consider an alternative. A night will be remembered by the entertainment, meals and catching up with friends, family or colleagues, so being neutral and letting the other important areas of the night be the highlight is very acceptable.
In summary we hope we have provided you with a few relevant points to help you be a great Master of Ceremonies. Ask friends and family questions and give it your best shot.
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