62. Public Speaking Intermediate: 10. Module 9: Master of Ceremonies (Additional)


At the workplace also, there are many opportunities to speak on stage, due to the many company events that may be held. There are Annual Dinners, department lunches, Sales Conventions, teambuilding events, prize giving ceremonies, golf tournaments, etc.

For every one of these events, there will be a need for a Master of Ceremonies (MC).

The company can hire an external MC, but that will cost much.

What if you can volunteer yourself to be an in-house resource? Not only can the company save money, but this becomes an opportunity for you to practise more at public speaking. Remember, one of the key points I highlighted earlier was for us to practise as often as you can, with every opportunity you can find.

Being an MC is a different type of public speaking. Yes, you are speaking in public, but the focus is not on you. As an MC, you are the facilitator of the event, the one who guides the audience along the agenda, focusing on the objectives of the event.

What are some events and their objectives?

  1. Wedding dinner: The couple getting married, the start of their journey, their family and friends and their best wishes

  2. Annual dinner of a company: The company thanking the staff for a job well done, building engagement with the staff force and showing gratitude for the teamwork.

  3. Golf tournament: The bringing together of a group of people to enjoy the game of golf, to foster better relationships amongst the players, and to thank the people for working together.

Always have a basic, standard agenda / script in your mind / prepared that you can tweak every time you have a new event.

Sample agendas

Dinners

  • Greetings and welcome

  • Housekeeping and announcements

  • Invite the opening speaker / Introduce the opening program

  • At every change of program item - introduce the item

  • At the end of program - thank everyone for coming on behalf of the hosts

Tournaments

  • Greetings and welcome

  • Housekeeping and announcements

  • Introduce the person presenting the rules / present the rules yourself

  • Introduce the event proper and get the officiating officer to kick start the event / kick start the event yourself

  • At the end of program - thank everyone for coming on behalf of the hosts

Some tips:

  • Be courteous

  • Be professional

  • Respect the wishes of the host

  • Advise the host based on best practices

Items to take note before the event:

  • Test out the stage, where you will be standing, walk around the stage to see what you can see from every angle

  • Test the microphone and any other audio/visual equipment

  • Find out where are the key locations: washrooms, car park payment options, prayer rooms, emergency exits, etc

  • Run through the agenda with the host to ensure timing, program flow, anticipated hiccups, problems, etc

Conclusion:

Try to anticipate what will happen next and be ready for it when it happens. Your host will be thankful you did!

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