Sunday, February 26, 2012

The "Master of Ceremonies" Matters!

If we ever forget that the Master of Ceremonies (MC or Emcee) has a material impact on an event, we were remind of the importance of the role during the 84th Academy Awards.  Too often those who put on business conferences, trade shows, and conventions fill the spot of Master of Ceremonies with the president of their organization, or a random warm body from their industry to fill the slot.  The result of the wrong MC will undermine the tone of the whole show.

The return of Billy Crystal as the host of the Oscars made this event again enjoyable, following several years of Academy Awards that left television audiences saying "We miss Billy".  Last year's attempt to make the awards more hip by tossing the reigns to the ill-suited co-hosts of Anne Hathaway and James Franco was reason enough for the Academy to call Mr. Crystal back into service.

I have served as Master of Ceremonies for dozens of business events.  It is not an easy job, as you must find a way to relate to the audience, keep the pace of the event running on time, add humor, and handle any unforeseen challenges.... all while not taking the spotlight for yourself.  A keynote speaker gets to be center-stage, but the MC must not steal the show.  

I have recently seen an increase in the number of inquiries for "Professional MC" roles at business conferences.  Savvy meeting planners are aware of how the right person will propel the success of an event.  My "Conference Catalyst Program" lends itself well to being the Master of Ceremonies.  The delivery of the message can be changed from a single keynote to fit the MC role.  A series of vignettes over the course of the multi-day gathering can be weaved into the program and inspire the audience to become more engaged with each other, all while I am doing the work of hosting.

While I am not a comedian like Billy Crystal, I do enjoy the role of Master of Ceremonies.  Watching his style and humor at the Academy Awards was both fun and inspiring.  When I spend time in the study of how great MC's do the job... it makes me better next time.  Just as I review every speaker I see present on a stage, I also watch those who serve as MC.  Sadly, few business events have great examples of MC's, as they are often not given consideration on how their experience can transform an event. 

Never forget.... the Master of Ceremonies Matters!

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Thom Singer is known as "The Conference Catalyst". He works with meeting planners and conference organizers to set the tone for a meeting. His presentations educate, inspire and motivate attendees to engage deeper in the event and make meaningful connections. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you do if the CEO demands she is the MC or the organizations annual 3 day conference, and she is awful every year?