by Kesh Sandhu, @KeshSandhu, 26 April 2018

So you need to head up the stage at some point and are looking for tips that can help get you through it, or you are an expert looking for other tips out there to compare notes and sharpen your skills. In this article, I will share some ideas and thoughts from my own experiences emceeing for events, including those such as:

  • Corporate Events:
    • signing ceremonies
    • annual dinners
    • management events
  • Consumer Events:
    • product/service launches
    • promotions
    • celebrity entertainment
    • fashion shows
    • weddings

As you can see there are a variety of types of events that you could be preparing for, so it is important to create that picture of the outcome in your mind of how an event like that would be best approached. Here is how you can do it:

1. Get the brief of the event

The first thing to do is to find out from the engaging party what sort of event they are planning to have. There are different audiences and stakeholders that you will come across who are expecting an event to turn out a certain way.

Say it’s a wedding, and the bride and groom are looking for an emcee. It would be best to check with the bride first and foremost what she is looking for you to do, and how she wants her perfect day to be, and how you fit into it.

In instances where you may be engaged directly by a brand of a product or service – the planning teams who have brainstormed, planned and put together the event may have their own ideas.

Or it could be someone engaging you, looking at you to bring suggestions on how to bring the event to life.

So speak to the right people and jot down the main points and ideas.

2. Think about your appropriate ‘Tone of Voice’ to suit your audience and get the OK for your approach

Now that you have got the picture of how the organisers want the event to be and the end result in mind, it is time to figure out how you will tailor your delivery, and plan to take the audience through the programme of the day in an appropriate style and manner. So here are some thoughts you can consider to bring to life your charisma:

  • Start with your image – what will you wear, how do you want to position yourself for people to perceive you? If it is a serious professional corporate tone, then perhaps a nice fitted suit could do. If it is a fun employee motivation session, then perhaps dress with vibrance to exude positive energy and mood. Or you could also see what works well with the theme of the event and compliment it nicely. You will be standing in front of a stage or some sort of setting. Have a thought what goes well from the audience’s and photographers point of views.
  • Decide on your tone – is it more serious, is it more fun. If you are promoting something then you have to also bring out your charming self, but first you have to convince yourself before you go convincing others.

4. Prepare your script

I find cue cards are of good use. Even if you don’t take it up with you to the stage when you deliver, but it’s great as preparation cards which you can bring with you through your busy day to practice, and as a refresher and run through before the event commences.

5. Get your nerves together and be confident

The day of the event is here, and you head to the event filled with all those people chatting. Get to the event well before time, get to the space of the event, speak to who you need to as there would likely be other spokespersons and those part of the event whom you would be meeting for the first time. Once you clear it all out of the way, head over to the stage and familiarise yourself with the space. Once you are comfortable with the space, you can focus on your delivery.

6. Manage and Interact with those involved on stage and the audience

Interaction is what people look for especially at social events. And as an emcee or as some call it master of ceremony, you will need to take an events relations role to get the different stakeholder groups together and flowing nicely through the programme . Ensure that whilst you run through, you give sufficient comfortable time for movement planning and filling up some dead time with relevant background information.

If it is say a fun retail event, build your energy and excitement, then throw it to the audience and keep bouncing the energy and drive intended outcomes. Here are some game ideas.

8. Charm the audience and drive the Key Messages and Objectives of the event

Don’t forget to stay focused on the purpose of the event, and to highlight key important information.

Get an idea on How to build your Key Messages in this other article.

Good luck! Over to you…

 

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