When You’re the MC

The Master of Ceremonies, or MC for sho (sometimes emcee), is the host of a staged event. As MC you are in charge of introducing the speakers, and sometimes for making the opening presentation before the Keynote. You are the conductor of the meeting, the host of the event.

In most cases, the MC is the face of the organization putting on the event. The MC rarely runs the meeting lie a facilitator, but acs as the transition between speakers and segments of the event. Like a facilitator, the MC is responsible for making sure the meeting runs smoothly and on time. However, the MC’s role is not as integral to the flow as that of a facilitator.

Here are some tips for being an effective Master of Ceremonies.

Be prepared

  • Make sure that you are familiar with the agenda before the event takes place.
  • Gather or prepare introductions for each speaker and segment.
  • Familiarize yourself with these introductions so that you can present them smoothly.
  • Find out if there will be any one special at the event that you will need to acknowledge during one of your transition segments.

Master the ceremonies

  • Introduce each speaker with sincerity, authenticity and respect. Then lead the applause as the speaker steps up to the stage.
  • Help the speaker stay on time by providing appropriate cues that have been arranged in advance.
  • Thank each speaker as they leave the stage, again leading the applause.
  • Make transitions from one speaker to another flow easily and gracefully.
  • Make sure the podium, lectern or stage is prepared for each speaker, that there is water and the mic is there and turned on.

Dress appropriately

  • The MC should be the best dressed person in the meeting. Look the part!

Set the tone

  • If there is pre-event mingling, take the opportunity talk to people who will be in the audience. Information you gather can help enhance your introductions and transitions.
  • Make each speaker feel like a million bucks. Provide great introductions and encourage applause before and after each presentation.
  • Smile and project confidence, enthusiasm and energy. Help keep the audience awake and engaged for each speaker.

Additional resources for effective emcee-ing

About Carma

Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and science communication. She is a multi-dimensional entrepreneur, a certified life coach, science fiction writer and poet. She is able to see people's brilliance and help them bring their genius to light. The wind beneath her clients’ wings, Carma provides creative entrepreneurs with expert advice on branding and online presence, as well as the emotional support necessary to carve out their niche for success online. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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