How to be a good MC
THE?ROLE of a master of ceremonies, or MC, involves keeping an event flowing, maintaining the energy of the audience, ensuring that everything runs smoothly, helping the audience feel welcome, making speakers feel appreciated – it’s more than just telling the tables to head for the buffet line. With so many things to do, it’s obvious that this person should be carefully chosen.
Here are a few reminders for the next time you accept the role of MC, whether at a friend’s wedding, company awards ceremony or special birthday celebration:
• Avoid overuse of the third person; instead, talk personally to the audience. This goes a long way towards creating a comfortable atmosphere.
• Welcome people rather than announce them. Smile, name people personally, say why it’s good they are here. Welcome individuals and groups not just by title but with specific information. For example, “To those of you who have travelled all the way from New York, a big welcome.”
• As the MC, you are there to keep the time. Don’t be afraid to let speakers know when their time is up, it’s your job.
• Ensure that you motivate the audience to pay attention. Explain to the audience the benefits of the next item, what they will gain from listening to a speaker, or how much they will enjoy the dance.
• If your audience has had to listen to a dull or boring speaker, you need to bring their energy back up. Here is the perfect place to use your wit and humour. It is your job to warm them up and get them enthusiastic for the next speaker or event on the programme.
• Thank speakers while using what they’ve said. Don’t just say “thank you” or “what a wonderful speech”. Be specific: “Mary, your success with the exercise programme is inspiring. In fact, I’m going to make sure I go for a walk when we’ve finished here today. Thank you”.
Connect with your audience. Being an MC is a hard job but done well can make an enormous difference to a function. Do it well and enjoy the success!
Sheena Mayers is an event planner with Memories and Moments Event Services; email her at [email protected] barbados.com