The master of ceremonies sets the tone for a live event. However, too many companies and associations overlook the impact on their conference brought by the person in this role. The EmCee is the host of the show and if they are not 100% engaged and engaging, the attendees will know it.
From the moment an event starts participants are excited for what will happen. Energy and stage presence are the first keys to an amazing master of ceremonies. But there is so much more involved to making sure that the whole conference runs smoothly. The job of the MC is do do so much more than introduce the speakers.
Depending on the type of event you will seek different types of people. For a wedding reception you will want someone different than for a tech corporations users conference. A legal industry gathering is very different that a fitness convention. You many want a musician or a comedian, but some groups want a business professional. You should look to those who have the right background and experience to engage your audience. The decision between a speaker or performance artist is not something to be taken lightly.
Know Your Purpose
Too many business groups (associations and companies) overlook the importance of this role and have a board member or senior staff member / employee act as the master of ceremonies. This is usually done to save money or to give the stage time to this person. Both of those are the wrong reason to select a person to be MC.
If the purpose of your EmCee is to make the event great and to positively influence the attendees, then you will most likely want to look outside your organization and find a professional master of ceremonies. While saving money is great, that is never about the participants.
What Does The MC Do?
Besides introducing speakers and keeping events running smoothly, the job of the MC is serve as the general host of the meeting. The problem with using a team member as the master of ceremonies is they already have a job at the conference.
For a company hosting a customer conference, the director of sales is often asked to fill this role based on gregarious personality. . But the clients already know him, and have opinions (good or otherwise). Plus, if on a break a customer needs his attention he has to watch the clock and run back to kick off the next session.
Associations that put board members on stage often end up with an EmCee who is not great at speaking and really does not want the job of host.
Why Hire A Master of Ceremonies?
It takes a special speaker to be the master of ceremonies. There are a complicated series of skills that must all come together if you want your conference to be memorable. Hollywood award shows all have a host for a reason. While the Academy Awards in 2019 went withouth an MC (following controversy), I doubt that many will remember the “wow” factor of this broadcast. My guess is in the future they will return to having a host.
The Academy Awards actually attempted to go without a host in 1989 and it wasn’t considered a good show. They went back to having a master of ceremonies for a reason. The Oscars broadcasts we remember as the best are the ones when the host was spectacular (think any year with Billy Crystal). Giving out awards is boring and so are most conferences (lets face it), but a strong personality who can serve as a strong thread that runs the through the whole show is paramount to the success.
Hire Thom Singer
If the role of master of ceremonies is a second tier priority, you may have second tier results. People attend live events for the education and the networking opportunities,and a strong MC will help everyone bridge the gap between those two goals.
Thom Singer has created a unique program called “The Conference Catalyst” that is more than just an MC. Thom brings excitement and real engagement. He sets the tone for a conference where everyone feels welcome and become comfortable talking to others.
When participants at a convention meaningful connections at the event, they are more likely to come back year after year. Thom Singer as your EmCee will get people to engage more and maximize their experience. He keeps the event pace moving and the energy levels high from start to finish.
Objectives of the MC
- Kick off each day with relevant stories and energy
- Set the tone for more connections between attendees
- Keep the meeting running on-time and at a good pace
- Facilitate panels, town hall meetings, and other sessions
- Interview speakers to help them connect more with participants
- Be the advocate for everyone
- Provide advice on how to maximize the networking
Thom Singer is a motivational keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies. He works with growth focused organizations who want to get across the gap between potential and performance. www.ThomSinger.com
Hear Thom’s advice on The Speaker Lab podcast on how to be a master of ceremonies.