Being the emcee of a multi-day conference or event can be a lot of fun.
But it’s also a lot of hard work. Here are five things an emcee must always do to make sure everyone from the event organizer to the attendees is satisfied. This includes all of management, the sponsors, VIPs, other speakers/presenters, meeting/event planners, and all staff.
1. Be Professional
As emcee you are a focal point. It’s critical that you remain professional at all times and treat every single person with the respect they deserve as a fellow human being. You may be the center of attention, but that doesn’t make you special. Show up, do your job with grace and dignity, and above all – be professional at all times.
2. Keep Your Cool
Stuff happens. Plans change. The script gets tossed out. It gets re-written. Your job as emcee is to adapt and make things work. Improvise. Go with the flow. The last thing anyone should see in you is panic. Your job is to keep your cool and make everything OK.
3. Make Everyone Else Look Good
Not every speaker is great. Some speakers bomb. Some are simply boring. Your job as emcee is to find the good in what they’ve presented and make them look good. Every person and every presentation is salvageable. Find the good and save them. Make everyone else look good … especially the CEO and the people running the event.
4. Keep It Moving
It’s called a schedule for a reason. Trains leave the station on time. When the schedule starts to derail, your job as emcee is to get it back on track. No blaming. No excuses. Figure out how to keep things moving.
5. Be Funny
You don’t have to be a stand up comedian although it’s helpful if you are. At a minimum, you better be mildly amusing and likable. Find the funny. Be amused. Forget about being sober and introspective. Help everyone else have a good time by being fun … and funny.
Emceeing is hard word. But it’s also a lot of fun if done properly.
If attendees see you working, it’s probably not going to be much fun for them.
If attendees see you having fun, they’ll join you. And the event organizer will thank you.
This post was originally published on SpeakingGump.com on January 5, 2016.
It has been updated and edited to appear here on ChangeByGumption.com
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