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.
MC Pete Miller helps you be funnier.