For some people, there is nothing more daunting than public speaking. For others, there is nothing that excites them more.
As a Master of Ceremonies (MC), that person needs to be in the latter camp. While it is indeed possible to enhance your public speaking skills over time, MCs tend to have a particular “it” factor that enables them to control a room in a bright, relaxed, and enjoyable manner.
You have probably been to occasions with incredible hosts and others where they were lacking that sparkle. Make sure that doesn’t happen during your event! If you are looking for a professional MC to host one of your upcoming ceremonies, here are three traits to look for in an expert MC.
1. They have a natural ability to engage with an audience.
Many people like to talk, and some even love to be on stage. However, if someone is getting paid to be an MC, then they must have something extra compared to all of these people. They need to have a natural ability to engage with an audience and recognize their emotions.
No matter what the setting, a professional MC must be able to make people feel comfortable and welcome, while also ensuring they are having a good time. The challenge for them is to combine their professional expertise with the appropriate vibe of the event, while also making it a significant priority to keep the audience entertained during the whole function. It is easier said than done!
A professional event presenter makes sure their audience remains interested and engaged throughout an event by monitoring their visual and audio cues and by including the guests as much as possible in their dialogue. To be a good MC, a person needs to recognize that they are facilitating a conversation rather than just giving a soliloquy.
2. They can maintain their cool in unexpected situations.
More than just keeping their audience entertained, an MC needs to take control of an event, which includes maintaining a calm presence when unexpected situations arise (and they undoubtedly will). Over time, as they gather more experiences, this will come more naturally, and interruptions will rattle them less.
However, if someone tends to get anxious or nervous when things deviate from the original plan, then being an MC is probably not for them and you certainly don’t want to have them hosting your event. If they get easily confused without a script or feel like they are going to pass out when they have to come up with words on the spot, then this is not likely to be the career they were meant for.
From tech glitches to emergencies in the middle of a presentation, to a speaker running late, they must demonstrate quick thinking and recognize what needs to be said and done to keep the evening running as smoothly as possible even with all the curveballs being thrown at them.
3. They have impeccable time management skills.
One of the reasons why MCs are hired at professional events, conferences, and fundraisers such as yours is because it is their responsibility to make sure that the proceedings are running as close to schedule as possible. One essential skill of a successful MC is always being on top of the clock.
No matter what type of event they are hosting, it will fall in their job description to keep track of how long speakers are on the stage for and to ensure they don’t overstay their welcome.
Keep in mind that it is also crucial that they don’t overstay their welcome. Therefore, they must have the self-discipline and self-awareness necessary to keep their pieces short and different enough so the audience will crave more of their personality instead of waiting for the moment they leave the stage.
Additionally, they will have to introduce each of the speakers with a brief yet informative description to make sure the schedule seamlessly transitions from one presentation to the next. This keeps the event both on topic and on schedule.
Have you ever considered hiring an MC? Do you think that these traits are the necessary ones? Or are there others that you also deem important when selecting an MC? Let us know your thoughts and ideas concerning this role in the comments below!
Hisham Wyne is an internationally recognized MC, broadcaster, presenter and moderator who helps the world’s best-known brands create memorable occasions. He regularly hosts conferences, panel sessions, gala dinners and award ceremonies for some of the world’s best brands. With 150+ events under his belt, Hisham is the professional speaker that brands and agencies turn to when wanting to interview, engage and entertain government VVIPs and Hollywood celebrities.