Ever wonder how to be an emcee? If you’re considering being an MC or the Master of Ceremonies at an event that means that you’re the host for the performance or party. Your responsibilities include speaker introductions, announcements, audience engagement, and general storyteller. You’re kind of the jack-of-all-trades plus the court jester. It’s fun but to do your best, you need to learn the key essential elements.
My second chance to be an emcee for the PTA went better after learning the basic steps. I prepared and rehearsed my seven-minute bit in front of the mirror and to my husband. You benefit by practicing in front of a live audience.
Then the big day arrived. After the host introduced me, I hopped on stage, thanked her and started off with a witty bit about the PTA. “Did you know that the PTA was founded back in 1897? Do we have any of the original members here today?”
And then it happened. For about five seconds I froze. It seemed like an eternity. I made the rookie mistake of trying to add funny material to my opening at the last minute. Staring into the crowd, I thought, “Where am I? Who are these people? What the hell am I doing?”
By following tips below, I hope I can help you make your emcee gig the best ever.
How To Be An Emcee When You’re Stupid Like Me
- Figure Out Your Audience – What’s the age range? Is the group predominately male or female? This will determine the type of humor the crowd is expecting.
- Purpose of the event – Are you the emcee at a wedding, PTA, awards show, stand up comedy? Ask the question first. This may not be the right group for you.
- Responsibilities – Your job is to hold the interest of the audience and keep the event running on time.
- Location/Timing – Where is the event? How many minutes does the host expect?
- Do research on the guest speaker – Do a Google search for background information. Ask the speaker to provide a bio or introduction. Know how to pronounce everyone’s name.
- Practice clapping – Ask the crowd to clap for the food servers or the host of the event. The act of clapping will loosen up the crowd and let them know that it’s okay to clap.
- First impression sets the tone – It’s essential to open with high energy. Make the crowd laugh to get things rolling.
- Say thanks – Don’t forget to thank the event sponsors, audience and anyone else involved like the servers, cooks, and event planners.
- Don’t read your script – It’s lazy to read off your paper. Maintain eye contact and memorize your part. You’ll appear more spontaneous. Use an outline. Practice by remembering single words, phrases, and key ideas.
- Be calm – Don’t rush your words. If you are prepared, stay confident. You got this!
- Never leave stage empty – Bring the speakers onto the stage and hand the microphone over.
That’s it. How to be an emcee can be a snap with preparation and know how.
Have you emceed an event? I’d love to hear about a funny thing that happened on stage. Leave me a note.