Another Emcee-ing Project: SDE Dinner & Dance

I had just concluded another Emcee project for the (NUS) School of Design and Environment Dinner and Dance yesterday evening at the Hilton Hotel. I must say that I totally enjoyed the experience!

More importantly though, the event allowed me another opportunity to put my skills to the test and gave me another opportunity for self-discovery and growth. And grow I did!

To share some of the insights gained yesterday’s experience, I’ll be noting some of my reflections and answers to some FAQs I received and noted over the entire evening:

1. Gary, are you nervous?

A friend who happened to the be an usher and helper for the evening came up to me and asked me this question (three times!) prior to the commencement of the dinner.

My response: Not yet!

In the midst of the rushing and ensuring that the sound system was set up and rehearsing, there was hardly any time to waste on being nervous. However, I knew full well that fear and nervousness would creep up on me as show time approached. After all, it isn’t the first time I’ve come face to face with these negative emotions… yet I knew I was getting better at handling them!

Ask any accomplished speaker if they’ve still got butterflies in my stomach prior to each presentation and I’ll guarantee you that 90% of them would say yes. (The remaining 10% are lying!)

The difference between an amateur speaker and an experience one merely lies in the fact that the latter has learned how to get his butterflies to fly in formation.

2. Did anything go wrong whilst you were on stage? How did you handle it?

Have you read my post on Effective Emcee-ing? Then, I mentioned that things may go wrong while you’re on stage, and by the grace of Murphy’s Law, would definitely go wrong! The Law was proven right again yesterday.

There were several changes to the programme as guests and sponsors couldn’t make it to the dinner on time. In that instance, it was critical to understand and accept the situation as it was than cry over spilt milk and react accordingly.

As an Emcee, it is critical that one remains cool and spontaneous – be ever ready to react to changes and the response of participants or guests who are with you on stage.

3. What’s the best thing you gotten out of this latest experience?

There are several actually. Some of the program highlights are:

a) Dealing with changes spontaneously

b) Putting my skills to the test

Entertaining a room full of academics and graduants, and the Permanent Secretary for National Development was a first for me.

The last time I Emceed at a Dinner and Dance was for the NUS Political Science Society who were hosting a room full of teenagers! So it was great to put my skills to the test in a room full of young adults and middle-aged professors! Alright, just in case some of you are checking out my blog, you aren’t that… mature*wink*!

c) Growth

I must say that yesterday’s project was one of the more challenging projects I’ve handled so far. Hey, the Permanent Secretary for National Development was there, and I’m dealing with a totally new crowd – ALONE! Talk about an act of courage!

Yet, I’m especially glad to have handle the challenges head on, whilst managing to discover of several areas which I can work on for my future projects.


It should be noted that every act of courage, and every experience, be it good or bad, serves to empower us. There are valuable lessons to be learned from each and everyone of them.

Whilst I’m delighted to play a part in the overall success of yesterday’s dinner (described by one as the best one in 4 years), I’m especially gratified to have completed another successful performance and “act of courage” under my belt.

How about that – doing the things which you never thought you you could do.

Now that’s what I call FUN!

Related Posts:
Effective Emcee-ing
It Just Keeps Getting Easier!


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