Being able to event hosting is a skill set that many people don’t possess. Even if you aren’t a professional emcee, being able to properly host events comes in handy in almost any profession. But if you are thinking of being an MC as a possible career path, possessing all the necessary skills become paramount. The problem is, there aren’t many guides about emceeing, even on the internet. With this and other articles, we seek to solve common problems that arise when emceeing.
Preparation is an integral part of any performance and makes no mistake: emceeing is a performance. You need to be able to basically act out an amplified version of yourself such that the audience is left enticed. So in this article, we will be providing you ways to prepare better for hosting an event.
A. Scripts: preparation research and memorization
Unless you are an event hosting prodigy, you will need to prepare some kind of script before an event. This can be little notes to keep everything in place or may range up to entire speeches and dialogues that you have to memorize. All of this depends on personality and experience, of course, but there are some basic things that will help you with script preparation.
1. Checklist of what to prepare
There are key elements to event hosting that are better prepared beforehand. This list can be a helpful checklist of what you need to write down before the event hosting
- Complete and detailed itinerary
- Speaker/ performer/ guests introductions with background information.
- One-liners in case you go blank in the middle of an event hosting
- Other jokes you can use to lighten the mood
- Some quotes and shayaris, to keep the audience engaged
- Note down places where you can ask for applause or call on the audience.
- And interesting anecdote or a joke: you never know when a technical problem happens, and you have to cover.
- If you’re with a partner, prepare a dialogue that might come handy.
- Bits and pieces of expression to look over at quickly.
2. How to memorize better
There are several strategies that you can use to help in memorization. While you should aim to keep memorizing stuff to a minimum, there are things like one-liners and quotes that will just flow better if you keep them printed in your head. Similarly, learning some bits of your speech by heart will help you recover in case you flutter in the middle of the event.
Some ways you can help yourself memorize better are given below:
- Use flashcards: Store one-liners and small bits in a flashcard and look at it every day from a week leading up to an event.
- Writing helps a lot with memorizing, write longer dialogues, and scripts down once every day in a paper.
- Find “keywords” in your script and memorize them by heart first. So in a line “Doug is a great science enthusiast who discovered a brand-new chemical which has helped the medical industry prosper”, the keywords can be Doug, scientist, new chemical, medical industry. Memorize these first and you can memorize the adjectives and other prepositions later on.
- Keep the itinerary or guest’s name as your phone wallpaper around 2 weeks before the event.
- The key is to practice for less duration but over a longer time. So instead of practicing 5 hours every day 2 days before an event, practice 30 mins every day 2 weeks before the event.
3. How to research for an event
Before an event, you should know what is going to happen by heart. You can’t just depend on the itinerary that might or might not be in front of you. Detailed research is key to being a good event hosting. Some ways to research effectively are given below.
- For guests/ performers/ speakers, start with their social media profiles. This will give you key aspects of their personality which you can use to make them, and the audience feels better.
- Find niche areas that you can address an event. So don’t just look up what the event is about, look what the overall scene at the area is. For example, in a music event, don’t just research the performer, research the entire genre of music. This will help you understand your audience better and give you background info to work with.
- Audience research is key. Your script should be tailored to your audience. The jokes that work on a 50-year-old won’t work on a 20-year-old. To research your audience, you should start with background info on the event’s field. You should get an idea of what your audience will be like. Watch example videos of similar events too.
- MAKE SURE that you pronounce names right. Research on this beforehand, no one likes their name, or their organization’s name pronounced wrong, even if they won’t tell you.
B. Developing Personality traits
Now obviously, personality is unique to you and you can’t inherently change who you are. But you should think of it like this: you are an actor and the event are your set. You need to get some fundamental characteristics in place to be a good event hosting. These personality traits can be being lighthearted, spontaneous, confident, and energetic.
You can’t become funny by just preparation, but you can still prepare jokes beforehand and technically provide an illusion of being funny. The other traits, similarly, can be “created”, so to say, by following a few guidelines.
4. Speaking with confidence
You don’t have to be confident in order to speak confidently, you just need to practice some rules that will make your public speaking better. Refer below for some checklists to help you sound more confident. These are things you should keep in mind while practicing, although they are important in the real thing too.
- Do voice exercises like putting your fist in your mouth, singing Sa Re Ga Ma, moving your mouth muscles, and laughing.
- Don’t speak too fast, this will be easily perceived as nervousness.
- You need to avoid words like “umm, Uhm, ah”. Practice this beforehand.
- Don’t speak too loudly, many speakers confuse loud with confidence. They are different and should be treated differently.
- Don’t phase out, stay in the moment at all times.
- Make eye contact with your audience frequently.
- Check your posture and body language.
5. Radiating energy
You, as the host of the event, should give life to it. This means that being energetic is key to your character. Much like confidence, there are some guidelines to help you achieve these, refer below.
- Don’t mistake being loud for being energetic. You shouldn’t speak too quietly, but it goes both ways. I have seen many anchors raise their voices for no reason. This doesn’t create energy, just annoyance.
- Your body language and posture are a huge part of showing energy, check it periodically before rehearsal so that you stay on track.
- Drink lots of water and eat healthily. This applies when you are in the event too. Usually, towards the end, anchors tend to lose their voice and subsequently their energy. Drinking water can help you avoid this.
- Don’t constantly think about energy during the event. You should practice it beforehand. This will help you stay energetic throughout the event because there will be a much less mental strain.
- SMILE. It is one of the easiest ways to stay positive and radiant, check yourself constantly before going on stage so much so that the smile should be imprinted on your face.
6. Being spontaneous
This is relatively harder and requires long term practice. After all, following a set of rules for being spontaneous pretty much eludes the point. Spontaneity is a skillset on its own and requires you to change the way to perceive things. There are a few things you can do to help yourself, but it mostly comes down to long term practice.
Join public speaking groups like Toastmasters, debate clubs, and so on. This will help you become more affluent in speaking and ultimately: spontaneous. Your mindset is also key. You shouldn’t be aiming for perfection during an event, instead, try to go with the flow. Even if you mess up, it’s okay, there is always next time. This mentality will help you become more spontaneous.
If you want some quick tips then creating bullets for your speeches might help. Even for introductions, don’t write down the whole thing, just bullets. This will add an element of spontaneity to your speech.
But in the end, being spontaneous comes down to a lot of practice. There aren’t any “guidelines” you can just follow to achieve this a day before.
C. Keeping the audience engaged and entertained
Your main focus on any event is obviously your audience. You should always aim to keep your audience interested in the event. That is pretty much your job as a host, after all. The hallmark of a successful event hosting is the popularity within the audience, not performers. If the audience likes you, you’re doing something right.
7. How to engage your audience
- Prepare games and other activities beforehand and practice ways to integrate them into the event. Some examples are trivia games, scavengers hunt, guessing games, and so on.
- Find places in your script where you can ask for applause: this is the simplest way to demand audience engagement.
- Ask questions to the audience from time to time, this will increase the energy of the event.
- Ask the audience to call on someone with you. For example, if you are calling someone on the stage, you can pause and make the audience say their name instead.
8. Becoming a more entertaining host
This overlaps a lot with audience engagement. But the picture is a little bigger. Obviously, games will help you engage them, but entertaining games will keep them interested. Simple asking for applause is not enough, there needs to be energy as you ask for it. The question that you ask should preferably be funny. Jokes and quotes are always handy when you want to entertain your audience.
Keep in mind that your audience should be having fun and having a good and memorable time. As the emcee, it is your job to ensure this and everything you do should be aimed at that objective.
9. Making the event memorable
Finally, a memorable event has much more power than just a “good” event. However, most emcee succeeds in making an event fun, but forget to make it memorable. TO keep you in the loop, I have included some things you can keep in mind to make the event memorable.
- Find ways to make your event unique. Avoid any cliches whatsoever. Create games of your own, use quotes of your own. Originality goes a long way to make an even memorable.
- Your ending should be strong and should leave the audience thrilled. Focus on creating an interesting ending.
- Research is key to making an event memorable too. If you target your audience in your script, they are more likely to remember it.
It is given that no number of online articles will directly lead you to your stardom as an emcee. However, following guidelines and sticking to it will help pave the path you can follow. All of the strategies here are proven to help hosts worldwide, now it is your job to integrate that in your lifestyle. Let this article be a map and try your best to navigate through your career goals. You will definitely succeed; I have faith in you!
Related Topic: How you can be a better event host: 14 emcee strategies