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Are you the MC at an event? Here are some tips!

By Saskia Snyders

It is September! The last few months are upon us and, as always, will be over in a blink of an eye! Clients, partners, and colleagues are already starting to talk about the year-end function.  Many people are starting to think about the platters and champagne; the accomplishments and goals that still need to be met; the inevitability of time running out; however, for some people it is the beginning of anxiety and preparation because they have been selected or volunteered to be the MC.

When interacting with a large audience, applied planning and practise are vital to ensure you leave a positive lasting impression with your audience. With the IE Group’s Master MC Tips, you can start to prepare yourself for a standing ovation.

1. Start with the 3 P’s: Prepare, Plan and Practise.

2. Investigate: Find out as much as you can about the event and the people attending.

3. Interpret, personalise and memorise: If you have a set script; make sure you get it well in advance so that you can personalise and memorise it. There is nothing appealing or entertaining about a MC that reads to the audience throughout the event. If you are writing your own speech, find a theme to pull all the elements together.

4. Collect Human Interest Devices to use and enrich your content. These could include interesting statistics, inspiring quotes, referred humour, or personal anecdotes.

5. Visualise: The human brain cannot distinguish between applied imagination and reality.  This can be a vital tool to help you prepare for the event and conquer nervousness.

6. Be authentic: Do not try to be something or someone that you are not. You have been selected or accepted as the MC for a reason – BE YOU.

7. Sound check: Before the event, make sure that all technical equipment works. This includes sound, lighting and projections. Do not allow something that you can manage to control or ruin your time as the MC.

8. Relax and breathe.

9. Make sure you have water with you and stay hydrated.

10. Ensure that you know exactly how the programme should run and stay aware of any variations. It is the MC’s responsibility and duty to facilitate the progression of the event as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

11. Accept that you can make a mistake. When you fumble over a word – carry on.

12. Engage with the audience. Communicate with them and not at them. Maintain eye contact, smile and project your voice.

13. Do not chew chewing gum, wear distracting jewellery that create sound disturbances or have your hair in your face. We want to see and hear you.

14. Emotions are contagious. Therefore, remain enthusiastic and energised. As soon as you switch off your audience will switch off too.

15. Enjoy and have fun!


Here is to you and 2013.

Contact The IE Group for more practical tips and personalised coaching at 011 781 1444.