get asked to MC an event at least once a week. Most if it is unpaid and at night. I do it for charities that I love. Here are a few tips
It’s not possible to do a great job as MC if your heart is not in the event.
Be really clear about why the event is taking place (fund raising, political awareness, social media, community enthusiasm, raising awareness, press) and focus all preparation on that target.
Don’t script it. I usually create at least 10 stories for the event so I can create transitions between introductions. Each story is relevant to the audience and needs to appeal to the outcome of the event. (I have a book in my computer and phone with over 2,000 stories I can use for events)
Tell your MC stories to people – one at a time in informal situations to see if they are good for you, or good for the listener. If they are just good for you, and they don’t illicit the response you want in a one on one situation, go back and refine the telling.
Don’t rehears the story, tell stories and speak as if you are in a conversation. Scripting and reading a story is always a fall back if you get extreme nerves or – if the event is really sad and you must keep to a strong theme, in these situations, ad-lib can bring you unstuck.
Energise the audience with your energy and enthusiasm for the outcome of the event, (not with clowning but with presence) as if you were the cold drink handed to a runner in a marathon. Some of those speakers you introduce will be like listening to a Church organ droning. The audience look forward to some light relief.
If the last speaker was spectacular and the audience is energised – skip your stories, skip your practiced segue and just get the next person up on stage with a great short introduction.
Be prepared to engage the audience in something to lift them into the right space for the next speaker. Always read introduction material that was handed to you but give it colour.
Get into the spirit of the event. Enjoy the event, get into it, celebrate results as if you are as dedicated to the cause as anyone in the room. In fact this goes back to the first point. Put your heart into it because if you enjoy the event, if you are into the result, the audience will be too. Most important here is to remember that it’s the event you must enjoy, not just being the MC – your speaking. It’s not about you, it’s about the theme and result of the event that enjoyment must come from.