Update: Since I wrote this post 8 years ago, I’ve received an avalanche of questions and requests for additional resources.
I’m pleased to share that we’ve just launched an online course for those of you who are serious about upping your skills in this area. Find out more about it here: Art of Effective Emceeing (Online Course)
As of 18/11/2015, barely a week after launching this, we’ve got over 341 students,
This is what some of them have said:
Concise yet comprehensive
Content is comprehensive and informative. The bite-sized information caters to the needs of people who are keen in picking up this art but don’t have time to commit to a face-to-face course. – Cai Feng 1 days ago
Great content – straight to the point on what is required in performing as an emcee and valuable takeaways! Brilliant! – John Cho, 2 days ago
I’ve created a special code for readers of this blog. The UP for this course is US$50. But for a limited time, I will be offering it at US$10/- instead.
Simply drop me a message with on Facebook to get the deal.
Copy and paste this in the message box, “Hi Gary, I’d like to the $10/- deal for the Online Emcee Course” and I’ll get back to you.
(PS: I might be in class, so it might take me a while to come back to you – but I will come back to you).
I’ve learnt a great deal during my stints as Emcee over the last couple of months… and here are some insights for anyone who wishes to be an effective emcee or are just starting out emceeing themselves.
Role of the Emcee
As the Emcee, (or Masters of Ceremonies), you are the bridge between the audience and the “Stars”. These are usually the contest participants (if you’re hosting a contest), or the speaker/trainers (if you’re hosting a seminar, workshop or lecture).
You are the star maker, not the star! You are the grease that lubricates the flow of events of the programme. You are not there to hog the limelight, or steal it from the main characters of the night.
The role of the Emcee is to facilitate the event and ensures that programme materializes without a hitch (or minimise those hitches that come up).
Responsibilities of the Emcee – Remember T.I.M
Time – As Emcee, you are the king of the programme. You are the one in charge of the time and sequence of events. You are in CONTROL! You are responsible for ensuring that events start and end on time.
Introducer – Members of the audience may or may not know the speakers/participants as well as you do. Yet, the success of the entire event is very much dependent on them knowing the credentials of the speaker or background of the participants. This background knowledge is crucial in establishing credibility and rapport between the speakers and participants respectively.
Do your job well and the next person who follows will have a much easier time saying their piece. The event will move on smoothly. Otherwise…
Mood Setter – As Emcee, you are the participant’s leader. You have to lead them in applause and appraisal. You are their guide and you’ve to win the crowd over with your enthusiasm! Your enthusiasm is extremely contagious, and if you work it correctly, the audience will follow your cue at reacting and appraising the speaker/participants.
Some things to do as Emcee: 1 A 5Bs
Be Enthusiastic – Your Attitude’s Contagious! Infect the crowd with it!
Be Proactive – As the Programme Controller, you’re IN CHARGE! You’re the bridge between everyone (audience and speaker, speaker and organiser, organiser and timer etc). Know what has to be done and make sure it gets done.
Be Early – Reach the event venue before the first guest arrive so that logistical and technical (ie: microphone tests and the sound system) matters can be ironed out. Also, meet and discuss your concerns (if any) regarding anything that you think needs to be done. Arriving early will also give you time to settle down and observe and analyse the crowd to help you adapt your style later.
Be Professional – Do not eat, drink, or smoke on stage. As the Emcee, you’re part of the face for the event. The audience will not get a chance to see the backroom staff and technical assistants. As mentioned, you are the glue for the event. Maintain the decorum and leave a positive image for everyone to carry home. If you’ve got to eat, drink, or smoke, do it where nobody can see you!
Be Prepared – Know the programme and prepare notes if you must. Memorise the sequence of events if you need. No. It’s best if you memorised it! You’re allowed to hold some cards or the programme sheet or cue cards in your hand. But do not attempt to read from the script which you’ve prepared the night before!
Handling Apologies – Understand that mistakes may (and WILL) occur from time to time. Apologise and move on. Keep your cool and get on the with the programme. There’s no need to freeze or apologise profusely. The audience aren’t there to hear you apologise, they’re there for the programme!
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There you have it!
Some tips and strategies for effective emceeing!
It’s my first post. But don’t count on it being the last!
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