Mistress of Ceremonies
Why you need to ask Leslie to be the MC of your next important event!
So you are going to have an awards dinner, an installation dinner, or a fundraising event. You and your steering or executive committee have selected the venue, written the invitation, and agreed on the menu.
As an afterthought, you think about the Master of Ceremonies.
What do they do anyways?
Can't we get someone to do it for free?
The MC is the glue that holds an event together and keeps it moving in an entertaining way. When they do a good job, they are more or less invisible. The Bad ones are remembered . . . and for the wrong reasons. Like the association head who thought hiring a popular radio personality was a good idea. Except that he came to the black tie event in a casual sweater and khakis.
Or the former professional athlete who put in no time to the script he was given ahead of time, and mispronounced the names of every award recipient.
Tips to selecting an effective MC:
- Select an MC for the right reasons.
- Select someone who understands their role: to facilitate and to do so in an entertaining way.
- There is a saying that the art is in hiding the art. A good MC makes it look easy. That doesn't mean it is easy.
- When you reserve the venue, add a practice in the same room to the contract.
- Talk to your MC ahead of time. Make sure that you share your vision of the evening and their role.
At worst case, you can always blame everything on the MC and hire a new one next year!
Do You Know What an MC Should Know?
Here are 5 out of 10 important Tips:
- Don't indulge in more than one drink prior to MC duties.
- Even though you are facilitating a lunch or dinner venue, you should not be doing much eating! You don't want to conduct your duties from the podium with food stains on your lapel or food between your teeth.
- Don't drink too much water. The program can't wait for an MC in the bathroom.
- Know that it's not over when it's over. As with any time in the spotlight, guests will be watching you long after your official duties are over.
- This night is not about you--add color and charm to the evening without being the focus of the evening.