This short article gives a clear idea of what is expected of the evenT host mc
A good MC will reassure an audience who are looking for guidance and friendly leadership. The guests want to relax and not made to work too hard - so the the MC will make it easier for them to be involved in what is happening on stage.
If there is no stage manager directing traffic behind stage, then the MC is the person responsible for making sure everyone with a job to do knows what to do and when. Because it is a live situation where anything can happen, the MC must calmly steer the program through problem areas involving different people with various levels of skill.
The MC carries out their duties with humor, flair, confidence, style, charm, and wit. In other words, to inform and entertain at the same time – not unlike simultaneously tapping your head and rubbing your tummy.
This may sound like a tall order. We don't want you to think that MCing is difficult - because it's not rocket science. But like any new task, the learning curve is steepest at the start and, like riding a bike, becomes much easier quickly.
Everything mentioned here is ‘do-able’ by anyone with a desire to see a function succeed. Competencies require no great leap of faith to accomplish. Unlike singing, the performance of an MC is not regimented by a strict tradition or clearly defined by technical proficiencies like musicianship.
In other words, there is no one single way to MC an event. It's a creative task and is driven by the individual personality of the guy or girl on stage leading the group with a microphone in their hand.
THIS IS IT IN ONE SENTENCE:
Simply understand what is expected of you, do some research, design a clear runsheet, and use good microphone technique. Too easy.
Eventually, your 'antenna' will be activated. Besides running the show to schedule, you will learn to observe and assess the changing mood of the audience, anticipate what may occur based on past experience, and ensure that it comes together without any gaps or ‘dead air.’
What skills are needed?
MCs are evolved people. They have a natural affinity and curiosity about how human beings react. They are interested in the dynamic interface between groups of people and are inquisitive enough to enjoy watching an event unfold and seeing the different relationships develop within a short space of time.
A hallmarks of a good MC is to say a lot in a few words. Brevity is welcomed by everyone; especially an audience eagerly waiting for the next segment on the program to begin.
One reason why good event hosts are highly respected by many organizations is due to their ability to be both warm and personal - while simultaneously being assertive and professional when needed.
It is important for the MC to assume the leading role without being pompous or obtrusive. Like the unbiased mediator, the best MCs are remembered for their deft control of the event, rather than the power of their personality.
MCing and public speaking share the same skillset. The difference is the ego. A speaker is supposed to be the star attraction whereas the MC makes everyone else feel like a star. The best quality an MC can have is an attitude to serve.
A good MC performs the role well by making the task look smooth and easy to do. They are able to hide all the hard work that has proceeded the event. This makes it difficult for a speaker to know how much preparation is needed to do the MC role with equal grace and charm.
A high self-esteem (aka your self-image) will give you the inner confidence to be yourself up on stage. You must believe that the person you are – the personality that you present – will be sufficiently interesting to hold an audience’s attention.
Courage comes before belief; so, take heart if you are feeling a little deficient in the self-esteem stakes. We all feel unconfident at times and doubt our own ability, but a good dose of courage (sometimes in the form of a motivating self-talk) can restore our sentiment of personal worthiness.
Trying too hard often causes failure. You must start from somewhere, so go ahead and ‘fake it till you make it’ if you must.
We do not want to give the impression that MCing is a super-human task requiring an advanced sense of humor, loads of cool confidence, a set of bright white teeth and a disc jockey’s deep voice. The terms mentioned here are only words to describe a competence in that area. These skills can be learned; no one is a born MC.
MC abilities are sharpened through time on stage aka experience. So grab every opportunity you can. However, far from being ‘thrown in the deep end,’ following these Event Host MC tips with a dose of common sense will get you off to a flying start.
MC Pete Miller comments ‘When a good MC performed the role properly, the customers enthusiastically received the artistes. The audience enjoyed the performance more because the MC had aroused their anticipation, and the performers also “rose to the occasion.” The combination of a great MC and the creative performer was a wonderful cocktail. The MC had an important responsibility to present the performers in the best possible light.’
We each have a different range of skills at our disposal, and it is an important part of being human to know which skills are our strongest. Ed Phillips, a television presenter, says, ‘If you’re good at something, a crowd won’t affect you’ (Sydney Morning Herald). This is welcome news to an MC who is aware of their best onstage assets.
Peter Holmes, a journalist writing about television game show hosts, mentions many of the attributes you would expect in an MC: ‘… there is a skill involved in hosting a game show. You need the look and the sound, but also timing, grace under pressure, and the ability to put at ease everyday folk who have never taken a pick at the [game] board’ (Sydney Morning Herald).
Furthermore, Tony Squires, host of ABC-TV’s ‘The Fat’ and channel 7’s ‘110% Tony Squires’, wonderful corporate MC and ex-television critic for the Sydney Morning Herald, remarks about legendary game show host John Burgess ‘… haven’t ever noticed Burgo, really, which is his terrific skill.’ Squires was making the salient point about all good MCs – they are not the celebrity, the show is.
It is easy to forget this fact when you have a microphone in your hand; hearing your voice over a PA can give anybody a false sense of power. What the guests do not want is an MC who is there to steal the limelight.
The ability to be in charge but remain neutral is a tremendous advantage in any situation, but is crucial for an MC. This tactfulness is like a referee at a sporting event or a judge in court – you cannot afford to show bias. If the audience sense that you are weighed too heavily in favor of any one area, you may lose their trust and attention and never be able to get it back.
Australian International cricketer and television personality the late Max Walker was well known as an archetypal MC. He has written about what it is like to be a MC in a book called Ladies & Gentlemen: tales and misadventures from the microphone.
Max likens the role of a MC to that of a cricket umpire ‘A good umpire at a cricket match always goes unnoticed. But without them being firm, fair and honest the contest would turn into a shambles.’
Hi. Pete Miller here and welcome to 2024. This year my YouTube channel will be concentrating on two things:
1) being funnier aka entertaining
2) the sudden rise of professional wedding MCs in the United States of America.
MCing is about being organized and entertaining. Most folks can do the left brain organized part like following a runsheet. I don't need to teach you that.
It’s the right brain entertaining and creative part that will make you more money, get you more bookings, make you memorable, and turn you into a star.
So being more entertaining is what we are concentrating on in 2024
So what is this new way of earning cash as speakers all about?
Interestingly, the United States of America practically invented modern public speaking.
Even though it started with the Greeks way back centuries ago, there are many more fantastic public speakers in America, per head of population, than anywhere else on planet Earth.
It's because the USA starts teaching public speaking in the schools and continues teaching "How To Present" courses in the workplace with fanastic organizations like Toastmasters.
And now all these skilled speakers are getting paid cash for their communication skills to work as professional wedding MCs on the weekend. A brilliant idea.
Why is this so important?
Because there’s no better place to refine your your entertaining skills then at a wedding reception. The audience are there - ready and primed - to have a great time. And a wedding reception agenda just follows a formula; so it's easy to learn. You can practice your humor and build up the all-important "STAGE TIME".
You can watch one thousand YouTube videos on How To Emcee, but its not until you get in front of real people, in a room with that microphone in your hand, that you will really learn how to speak.
It's like trying to learn how to swim in a classroom; you can't do it. You must get in the water.
Make it your goal this year to skyrocket your speaking skills by MCing wedding receptions.
I can guarantee it will work.
This is Pete Miller
I'll see you on stage.
MC’s who use humor have a stronger career - and a thicker pay packet. If your feedback says you are a really funny MC, then I can guarantee you’ll get more enquiries and more bookings than those who don't.
But don't worry; discovering what your own sense of humor looks and feels like can be found be doing these next threes actions:
Firstly, believe that a sense of humor is possible for you. Even if you’ve never told a single joke or made people laugh with you publicly ever before.
Secondly, commit to increasing your use of humor when you MC using the previous Situational and Observational techniques mentioned in the previous MC TIP.
And thirdly, spend more time watching, reading, listening to and doing funny stuff.
Begin a Humor File on your phone or computer. Mark down what jokes, one-liners and telegrams you instantly find amusing.
Use these to gauge, understand and enhance your own sense of humor. Highlight the ones you really relate to and write them out on cards.
When you’ve chosen a handful of one-liners, practice them over and over before you use them publicly. Use every opportunity you get. Drop them into conversations with your friends, partner, mum and cat. You’ll know them off by heart and be ready to use them if you need to - or in case there is no situational humor on hand.
If there’s a delay, a machine breaks, or a speaker is in the restroom, you can rely on a comment from your humor file. You can’t emphasize the unfortunate situation, so you will need to divert attention away from it.
Fill in with an appropriate story or anecdote while the technician hurries to fix the disobedient smoke machine that’s supposed to generate a flood of fluffy white clouds, but instead can only manage a single, pathetic puff of smoke.
Understanding your own sense of humor comes with experience; but seeing yourself as a someone who can make people smile is the big first step.
It’s a shift in your mindset. Say to yourself right now “I can do this”
Making people smile generates benefits not just in your MCing but in your day to day life.
Just remember, humor is magnetic. People are attracted to its power. And humor is the beginning of Charisma.
The worse way to generate humour on stage is to use one-liners from a book and have jokes ready to tell.
Most of the ‘gags’ in these books are crass, low-brow and derogatory.
Especially the books about marriage.
Getting married is something to be honoured, not degraded by a smart-ass speaker or emcee going for cheap laughs.
The sarcasm displayed in the books (or for free online) mocks the bride and groom’s courageous decision to publicly commit to each other.
Our advice is:
Silly stupid immature lines like “Getting married is the most expensive way a man can get his laundry done for free” are offensive and archaic.
It will anger every woman and the majority of men in the audience.
You will come across as sexist and completely out of touch and out of date; which is exactly the opposite of what you want.
The most dangerous way to approach this to have a ‘gag bag’ ready and then plan to tell them - no matter what is happening at the time.
A wisecrack that reads funny but is inappropriate so no-one laughs or raises a smile, can kill your career stone dead.
As the saying goes: the silence is deafening
Remember you haven’t been hired as the jokes master or the stand-up comedian.
And leave the pathetic jokes books in the trash can where they belong.
To keep your performance alive with spark and spontaneity, look for the funny things happening before your eyes.
The key is to switch on 'observant' as one of your key skills
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing you haven't been hired as the stand-up comedian?
So don't feel any pressure to be hilarious. There’s no need to turn up with a “bag full of gags.”
When it comes to being funny, your goal is to simply create what we call "A Miles of Smiles" rather than a wedding reception full of hysterical belly laughs.
You’re the Event Host MC. In charge of the magnificent Reception Rituals.
A happy person who creates joy and spreads goodwill with their elegant manner and sophisticated demeanour.
But people will expect you to have a sense of humour nonetheless; and it's not as hard as you may think.
There are 2 parts to getting testimonials and rave reviews from your clients that make comment on what a ‘Fun MC’ you are
The first part is recognising whats called Situational Humour and the second part is referred to as Observational Humour.
Situational Humour is what's happening right in front of you and Observational Humour is knowing how to comment on it.
The actual event itself will create comic relief; all you need to do is recognise it and spotlight the funny Situations which surround you. They’re everywhere at a wedding.
Why do you think there have been so many movie comedies with weddings as their central theme? A wedding reception is ripe for all kinds of fun.
For example, the overdramatised funky entrance from the bridal party who have never danced in public before.
Or the excitement of the little children who’ve got no idea what a wedding is all about - but love the occasion, as its great chance to slide across the dance floor in the shiny new expensive suit that mum and dad just bought for them; especially for this grand occasion.
The passion of the group dancing together where the out-of-tune sing-a-longs are reminiscent of innocent days gone by.
Or the jumping competition between the alpha males to catch the tiny garter. And so on. It's everywhere you look.
Observational Humour is recognising the ‘fun’ from the funny situations and then expressing this to the crowd with an appropriate and clever comment; thereby "observing" the moment.
Pointing out to the crowd that "... if the wedding cake was any taller, there could call it Trump Tower". That's a one-liner. Very simple. Not hysterically funny but adding to the Mile Of Smiles you’ve created throughout the event.
To do this successfully, you must first know what makes you laugh and that's what we are going to learn in the next few blogposts. So bookmark this page.
But just know that if you’re having fun, then the audience will as well
Look-out for the unusual and unexpected – and learn how to articulate what you’re seeing in a friendly and amusing way.
Recall the situations with exaggerated facial expressions and vocal variety; and watch as the laughs roll in.
When I wanted to learn How To MC, there was zero information available. Literally, nothing at all. This was pre-internet. I checked the libraries; everywhere. Y'see I'd been suddenly asked to MC a charity function and the event was in 4 days time.
It seemed that making Introductions on stage was this 'black ninja art' known only to a few lucky performers. I did eventually get a hold of a guy called Rick Chisholm and he set me straight.
I managed to get through the charity event - and I wanted more MC work so I keep researching. But I discovered that there was a serious ID problem caused by the confusing assortment of names and titles used to describe what an MC does.
There's the specific titles Corporate MC and Wedding MC. Most people seem to understand these two titles - but there’s a lot of folks who still look at me strange when I say "I MC weddings".
In the USA, they have spelled out the letters MC to say emcee. That's clever. I like this single word and use it often. But unfortunately this same term is confused with rough tough street rappers.
Europe, UK, and Australia use the term Compere. Particularly with live outdoor events and TV shows. And the word Anchor is used in India.
So we have Corporate MC, Wedding MC, Emcee, Compere and Anchor - all pretty much describing the same job!
But the biggest problem is the old-fashioned title "Master of Ceremonies" that's still used in some parts of the world. It’s lame because its sounds so medieval. Because it is medieval. The term Master of Ceremony dates way back to the Roman Catholic Church in the 1600s.
This title's use-by date has expired. It is so far out of touch that it has no relationship to what we do at all, and is more suited to marriage celebrants - as they really are the official masters of the ceremony.
So to tidy up this messy situation and get the MC title sorted out once and for all, I recommend you use the term EVENT HOST MC as it accurately describes what we do, is easily recognized by our clients, and has a higher perception of value.
Performers from the Philippines have never used the term "Master of Ceremonies" and have always referred to themselves as Event Hosts.
This new modern title has become popular because it's not gender specific. I mean, the ladies are not out there calling themselves a "Mistress of Ceremonies" are they. And I know they don't like using the term 'Master'.
And the title Event Host doesn't get confused with an MC who is a Rap Artist.
An Event Host MC is a contemporary term that immediately signals to your prospective clients that you are not old-fashioned - and instead approach the MC job in a progressive way, such as being hygienically aware when using the microphone.
Re-branding yourself as an Event Host MC is a smart strategic marketing move; especially now since protocols around organising live events post-pandemic have changed and the responsibilities of those in charge have increased. But getting people together is now more popular than ever before.
Plus the word “host” generates a nice feeling of warm hospitality. When a host is in charge, it gives the impression that the gathering will be positive and well organised.
And online seminar leaders using Zoom are now also referred to as the Event Host.
Lastly, and it saddens me to say this, but the term Master of Ceremonies has some negative connotations associated with it - because in the past, the role hasn't always been done properly and professionally.
So I believe it's time to move on and rebrand your MC service.
Yes there will be people who will resist this change because it will disrupt their marketing - so I expect to receive some negative comments - but I say "Step Up And Embrace The New Era. Long Live Event Host MC."
Every wedding reception is unique, reflecting the personalities and cultural backgrounds of the couple tying the knot. However, regardless of cultural nuances, two indispensable tools are universally needed to successfully MC a wedding reception from start to finish: the Run Sheet and the Wedding Party Details.
If you want to ensure a smooth flow of events and impress all VIP guests, these are the documents you can't afford to ignore.
MC Pete Miller helps you be funnier.