Hosts or “emcees” serve as the driver of an event. They determine the direction, pace, and flow of a program in order to effectively deliver the intended message and, ultimately, achieve the event objectives.
Aside from this, professional emcees offer invaluable insight into the affair. For corporate events, they ensure that the audience’s attention remains focused on the event progress, and encourage participation. They also provide a new perspective about company affairs that the audience can often relate to better than information shared by employees and C-level executives.
But before hiring an emcee for your corporate event, you must first know the top six qualities you must look for to narrow down your list of candidates, and get the best person for the job:
1. Self-Awareness and Confidence
Hosting is akin to acting in front of a camera. One of the most important assets of an emcee is his unique personality which should be able to shine through his performance without overshadowing the event.
Although there are many hosts who prefer to escape their true selves by acting like someone else onstage, an effective emcee should be aware of his potential and be confident in his skills in catching and maintaining audience attention. After all, emcees provide a human touch to the event that makes it more relatable for the audience.
Since he will serve as a bridge between the company or sponsor of the event and the audience, a good master of ceremonies should be attentive. Remember that effective communication comes from listening to the person you’re talking to intently rather than on planning what to say next.
This applies to conferences and other affairs where an emcee is tasked to mediate a panel of interviewees and the crowd. Co-hosted segments and live interviews also require this skill to ensure that the program proceeds smoothly without steering away from the topic. Attentiveness is also useful in predicting and preventing potential mishaps from certain statements and sensitive topics that interviewees and the guests may delve into during a talk.
Paying close attention to audience reactions also allows an emcee to gauge whether people are still interested in the program or if a change of pace is needed. Audience members participate in events more when they are spoken with rather than talked to.
3. Contagious Energy
The last thing you want to get from an emcee is a boring and dull presentation, so make sure to pick someone who is energetic in delivering his spiels. Of course, it is important to choose the right kind of energy for your event.
Some emcees have the talent in spreading their energy to the crowd. This is most effective during onstage events and conferences that can feel quite slow compared to celebrity-driven happenings. A memorable affair with a positive vibe can also help achieve the goals of brand marketing affairs as people tend to forget what happened but never how they felt during an event.
4. Natural Curiosity
Good hosts are naturally curious about small details that others will just let pass. Inquisitiveness is a great quality in an emcee since it fosters interest in the audience as well. This is best for events that require interviews because, while the right way of asking questions can be learned, innate curiosity cannot be taught.
5. Resourcefulness at Improvising
One of the top skills needed for an emcee to be considered effective is his resourcefulness at improvising. Whether to buy some time before the next act or shorten the introduction without sacrificing quality, an emcee’s ability to think on his feet and get off the script can do wonders for an event. This skill is also very useful during awkward situations and unexpected turns of events that require a pinch of fun and entertainment to break the ice.
6. Charisma and Stage Smarts
Charisma isn’t about just being handsome or pretty – it’s all about the ability to get people’s attention effortlessly. When combined with stage smarts, charisma can do more than just prevent mishaps – it can bring your event to a whole new level of awesome.
A great emcee should not only know how to present himself to people effectively but also be skilled in introducing other people and segments in an invigorating way. He should also be able to captivate guests on the progress of the event to the point that they start feeling the need to participate.
Ensure Event Success
Hiring an effective host for your next event is essential for its success.
To make the right choice, research as much as you can about renowned masters of ceremonies and look for similarities among them. Use this article to guide you through this endeavor and you should be able to easily choose an emcee from the cream of the crop.
About the Author
Hisham Wyne is an internationally recognised emcee, broadcaster, presenter and moderator who helps the world’s best-known brands create memorable occasions. He regularly hosts conferences, panel sessions, gala dinners and award ceremonies for some of the world’s best brands. With 150+ events under his belt, Hisham is the professional speaker that brands and agencies turn to when wanting to interview, engage and entertain government VVIPs and Hollywood celebrities.