I so enjoyed the role of MC at PSA London on Saturday and co-organising and co-ordinating our Annual Speaker Booker Day.
We had an amazing line up of six professional speakers each delivering a seven minute presentation to a panel of five awesome Speaker Bookers. It was my job to introduce the speakers, the Bookers, moderate the feedback sessions, keep the energy high in the room and keep everything to time!
I loved every minute of it and having been on the London stage many times both as a speaker and an MC, I felt really at home and totally at ease and just went with the flow of the day.
Remarkably, everything ran to time, everyone raised their game, the feedback was brilliant and everyone was buzzing afterwards!
I also loved moderating two panels – firstly, the speakers for their feedback on top learnings from the day, both from preparing for it and the delivery and feedback.
Secondly, chairing the Bookers Panel and getting their insights on the day and their top tips for future speakers plus an invaluable Q&A from the audience.
The PSA is a very generous community and I received wonderful feedback and suggestions that I take on the role of professional MC going forwards. I am still buzzing and laughing out loud at some of the funnier moments of the day – the Endorphins are running high!
Here are some top tips I have learned through this brilliant experience the PSA has afforded me –
Prepare a powerful opening
You have a tenth of a second to make that first impression so make it count and set the tone for the rest of the event.
Bring positive and energetic vibes to the stage
If you come on with low energy, the speakers you introduce will also bring low energy, and so will the crowd.
The more energy you have, the more engaged the audience will be, and if you’re excited, your audience will get excited.
Know Your Speaker Bios
Do your research so you can confidently introduce your speakers and establish their credibility before they hit the stage. Remember to make the speakers look good and use a level of excitement in your intro.
Remember that you are not the star of the show
When the emcee is on stage delivering a speech, there is a part of the role that requires the emcee to be the centre of attraction on stage.
However as emcee it is not your time in the spotlight. It is important for the emcee to keep things moving and to make sure the speakers are celebrated without hogging the limelight.
Maintain eye contact with your audience
Make sure you look at and make eye contact with the audience so everyone in the room feels included.
Bring pace to your delivery
Make sure that the speed of your delivery is easy to follow. If you speak too slowly or too quickly, your audience will have difficulty following what you say.
A tip to add life to your emcee presentation is to change the pace of your delivery. A slightly faster section might convey enthusiasm. A slightly slower one might add emphasis or caution.
Share key event information
In your first few minutes on stage, put the audience at ease and set their expectations by giving them the full agenda for your event.
Always remember to breath steadily.
Practise, Practise, Practise
The more familiar you are with your emcee script the more you will be able to inspire your audience’s trust and confidence and deal with any interruptions or delays.
Your nonverbal body language is as important as what you say on stage while emceeing. A smile engenders good feelings and a true connection.
This will give a happy and positive vibe to the audience and they will reciprocate and be more receptive to you.
Dress the part
Different events will have different dress codes, and the emcee will have to look the part.
If the audience will have on suits and dresses, wear your best suit or dress, and make sure your clothing is clean, well tailored and well ironed.
If the audience will have on casual wear, wear your best smart casual wear, again making sure your clothing is clean and well ironed.
Arrive early to do a sound check and ensure everything is in order
Prepare the closing for the event
Just as there has to be a good opening, there has to be a closing to wrap up the event.
Plan something that summarises the day succinctly and leave the audience with a key message to take away.