The Beginner's Guide To Hiring MCs - Expert Tips for Success

Beginner’s Guide to Hiring MCs

7 min read
Have you been tasked with finding a Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the first time and you’re not sure where to start?

Our expert tips will make your job a whole lot easier, not to mention impress the socks off your boss!

Five Key Roles of the MC

Let’s begin by defining the MC’s role. One of the biggest challenges for corporate events is engagement: piquing the interest of the audience right from the start, and keeping them engaged right through to the end.

Managing all this successfully on the night is in the hands of your MC.

1. Welcome & Introduction

The MC introduces them self, the event and the line-up of speakers. The MC’s personality, delivery style and choice of language set the tone of the event.

2. Audience warm-up

MCs use ‘icebreakers’ such as brief anecdotes to capture the audience’s attention, putting them in the right frame of mind to embrace the speakers and presentations to follow.

Master of Ceremonies: Role of the MC The MC’s role includes the official welcome, audience warm-up and to keep the event running smoothly amongst other important items.

3. Keep things running smoothly

What’s a sure-fire way to annoy guests and detract from the event’s overall success? An event that doesn’t run to schedule. MCs play an important role in keeping everything running smoothly and on schedule. For instance, they might fill up any extra time, or speed up their own delivery, in order to keep to time. The MC will pull everything together by segueing from one topic to the next and reinforcing your intended messages.

Secrets to Choosing the Right MC

Use the simple 4-point plan that Event Managers use every day to choose the right MC for your event.

4. Maintain audience interest

MCs provide light ‘relief’ between segments to keep the audience energised. The MC sees if people are starting to chat amongst themselves and acts quickly to re-engage them with anecdotes, humour, audience interaction or even personal reflections on the event topic. Without this, an audience can quickly become lost and disinterested; it is very difficult to rein the crowd back in once this has occurred.

David Koch, Master of Ceremonies Celebrity MCs such as TV presenter David Koch can attract high numbers of event delegates.

5. Wrap up

The MC brings the event to a formal end by summarising key messages, thanking speakers and guests, and closing comments that end the session on a positive note.

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MCs With Skills

Event hosting is a specific skill that is much more than entertaining a crowd or having a polished speaking voice. Being a great performer on stage or television doesn’t always translate to being an effective MC.

An MC needs the adaptability to work in tandem with your corporate objectives. They need to be accomplished at crowd management: reading the audience mood, thinking quickly on their feet to keep the audience engaged, and making sure the event runs smoothly.

Master of Ceremonies: Emcee Skills Professional MCs bring with them a unique skillset to your event.

If your event has an interactive session, such as a speaker panel, the MC will need solid facilitation skills. When it comes to MCs, one size doesn’t fit all. Their skillset and experience need to be the right match for your particular event.

Free MC Checklist Download

Save time, avoid costly mistakes and streamline your event processes with this essential checklist.

It’s All About the Right Fit

The ultimate key to success is making sure the MC is the right fit for your specific audience. This applies even when your boss is fixed on hiring a particular celebrity! If the fit is wrong – in style, humour, tone, language, personality, knowledge and skills – your event could fall very flat.

  • Is the MC a drawcard for the audience?
  • Do they share similar values with your audience?
  • Will they engage and resonate well with the audience?

For example, consider the differences between appealing to an audience of tech-savvy senior IT managers, or to an energetic group of 28-40-year-old wine sales professionals?

The MC should also align with your event objectives.

  • If fundraising is the goal, a higher profile MC to attract ticket sales might be in order.
  • If motivation is your aim, such as an annual sales conference, an energetic MC with an upbeat style and quick wit is likely a good choice.
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If your event will fill a large venue, the MC needs well-honed crowd management skills to hold the audience attention regardless of how far they are from the main stage. The MC’s fees also need to fit with your budget. MCs fees move upwards to match skill, experience and celebrity status, so it’s best to know from the start how much you can invest.

How to Find an MC

Finding the right MC is far from easy if you try to arrange it all yourself. Without insider knowledge, it’s hard to ascertain the talent’s skills in event hosting because video recordings of corporate functions are rarely made public. Finding an MC who is both affordable and available can be tricky, and you may need to ask 10 or more MCs before locking one in! There is, however, a much easier way.

Finding an Event MC There is an easier way to finding an MC for your event than trying to evaluate the MC’s skills without insider knowledge. Enter the speaker bureau.

Nearly all professional MCs are managed by speaker bureaus like Enhance Entertainment. These bureaus have insider knowledge and hands-on experience to match the right talent to your audience, event and budget. They recommend a list of possible candidates, manage the booking process and brief the talent on your behalf. It normally doesn’t cost extra either, because the bureau’s commission is taken out of the MC fees.

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In summary, it comes down to understanding the MC role, then matching their skills, personality and delivery style to the audience. Now you’ve covered MC essentials, it’s time to learn more about briefing the MC to ensure the best possible hosting at your next corporate event.

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About the Author

Gav George

When his school music teacher loaned him a cassette tape (yes, he's that old) of a fusion band, Gav entered the jazz world after years of classical music training. He was lucky enough to play with some of the greatest living jazz musicians and toured key festivals. Then Enhance founder Alison Clarke called on Gav to work on the company's marketing. This led him to his new passion of… marketing! Gav oversees Enhance's marketing initiatives, gets a kick out of connecting with clients and unearthing new talent. Gav still has that cassette tape, so if his music teacher reads this, please get in touch so he can return it.

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