18 Must-not-forget Guidelines to make an effective Emcee Speech
As I have the had the opportunity of hosting around 7 shows as an MC (Master of Ceremonies) until now which have also given me the good fortune of having some bloopers...and having learnt from them, I just thought it is time I started preaching (yawn!!!)...so here goes...
1. Always include the ‘Name of the Event’ in the opening statements
2. Signify why the name was chosen for the event by outlining the agenda for the event
3. Welcome the ‘Guest of Honor(s)’ for the evening in the order of importance. Make sure that you have the names of the spouses of the dignitaries too so that you can welcome them too. Always make sure that you get an accurate/updated profile of the dignitary.
4. Invite the performers/guests for the evening on the dias for their performances/speech with a good pre-introduction.
5. If humor/casualness is allowed always try to co-relate some of the names/events which you are announcing to any generic things to which the audience can relate to.
6. Always try to make the announcements more interesting.
For e.g. if you are calling a group of people on to the stage, try to use different analogies to relate to them. Say for instance, you can call one group as the Diamonds, another as Pearls and so on
7. It is not always possible to script any funny anecdotes in advance without knowing how the occasion/audience is going to turn out. Hence ‘Presence of mind’ is very very essential for an effective emceeing, so that you can cook up effective anecdotes/ gags at the time of delivery. Spontaneity always adds more color to your emcee speech.
8. Always have a hand the ‘Pulse of the audience’. If the audience is having a bored look on their faces, then try to bring them back by cracking a few funny jokes. But at the same time try to gauge what the impact would be on the audience. It doesn’t make a good impression if a joke falls flat…
9. If you are announcing prizes always try to pause for a second and have pin-drop silence to build up the tempo so that when you announce there is greater enthusiasm in the crowd.
10. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Wear dresses which would enhance would your complexion. Have generous amounts of make-up especially if you are gonna be up on stage for more than an hour.
11. If you have an Oops, don’t panic. Just say a simple ‘Sorry’ and continue. Admit the mistake and there ends the matter.
12. Learn the names of the people whose names you will be calling out.
13. Always end with a good punch-line. Something which will remain in the audience’s memory when they kind about the occasion.
14. If you know that you will be hosting occasionally, it is always a good habit to collect/keep in mind interesting anecdotes/proverbs/one-liners/jokes over a period of time. It is not always possible to start putting all these ‘audience-punchers’ on the day of preparing the presentation since you may have very less time to prepare.
15. Always make sure that you have the right agenda. Always be prepared to make last minute changes to the schedule and modify your speech appropriately.
16. Always try to use synonyms to not make it sound repetitive. For instance, use 'Please give a big hand', 'They deserve another round of applause'...etc.
17. Ensure that you are not hurting the sentiments of any group of folks gathered while cracking jokes.
18. Always SMILE while you are up there…always makes a big impact.