6 Secrets To Hiring A MASTER of Ceremonies

By February 17, 2022Corporate MC, Post
adam christing emcee crowd at a corporate event

Work with a M.A.S.T.E.R. of ceremonies for your next event. Here’s how you can identify a host who personifies the word “master” in master of ceremonies.

In this article, you will discover the six key components of fantastic corporate, educational, sales, and non-profit occasion master of ceremonies.

MASTER of Ceremonies Secret #1: MAKE CONNECTION

Your master of ceremonies acts as the face of your formal event affairs. Your Master of Ceremonies represents you.

When you hire a speaker, you should be looking for a person who is a masterful Master of Ceremonies that models the heart and flair of your company.

For this reason, you must understand this next point…

A good Master of Ceremonies is not an “add-on” to your next event program. Your master of ceremonies should feel like an extension of your organization in style and written speech. Masters of Ceremonies who have mastered this role are connectors.

Event perform announcements

Here are three ways a great master of ceremonies will connect with your attendees and keep the audience engaged:

  1. An awesome master of ceremonies will learn the language and style of your team.
    Do you use certain “buzzwords” or acronyms in your organization? A smart Master of Ceremonies incorporates this inside language into his MC remarks. This way he can be prepared to speak in front of your guests in a manner that feels congruent with your corporate culture. Your people will connect with an emcee who gets your group. Hire a Master of Ceremonies who is willing to do a deep dive into the jargon, lingo, and key phrases used by your event attendees. Tip: provide him/her with this type of language before your event, just like you would prepare a bride and groom at a wedding rehearsal.
  2. A superb master of ceremonies will involve guests.
    The days of a passive audience listening to a lecture are gone. Work with an emcee who is skilled at interacting with those in the audience like yours in a relaxed yet energetic way.
    Examples of this kind of participation: facilitating Q & A times, ad-libbing with your attendees, giving out prizes, conducting a trivia game show about the history of your organization, interviewing presenters, acts, audience members, and more.
    The key is involvement. A “connected” master of ceremonies will interact with your people. Avoid hosts who don’t bring this type of present engagement to your event.
    Remember, if your MC is stiff, your business occasion will feel stiff too. A great Master of Ceremonies will help your attendees feel involved and included in the program.
  3. An experienced Master of Ceremonies will put the spotlight on key people in your group.
    Wonderful MC’s have a keen sense of “relationship radar” when it comes to knowing and highlighting the key leaders, partners, vendors, donors, VIPs, and customers in your audience. Suggestions:
    • Have your master of ceremonies invite board members to stand and be recognized during certain announcements throughout the staged event.
    • Your MC can thank your sponsor for the evening and invite her up to the platform for a round of applause.
    • If your MC is entertaining, she can do a fun interactive segment on stage with your new CEO or COO. This can help your people find a more personal connection with your leadership team.

Emcees may host special occasions like weddings, a wedding day ceremony with a groom, an official state function, or any other type of celebration dinner, dance, or reception


In my own work as a master of ceremonies, I know it’s not about me. I see myself as a “mission realization” Master of Ceremonies. What does that mean? I want to help an organization—and the organizer!—fulfill the mission of the night’s affairs.

When I host a gathering as MC, I follow these 10 Steps to make the evening stay on task …

A super master of ceremonies will advance your agenda by:

#1: LEARNING about your organization and WHY you are having these functions

#2: DOING RESEARCH about your group long before the night happens

#3: Having PRE-FUNCTION PHONE CALLS with you to understand your program focus and goals

#4. DISCOVERING the big takeaway(s) you want your attendees to experience

#5. AVOIDING distractions, controversies, inappropriate language, and other “downers”

#6. KEEPING everything ON TIME so guests remember your big WHY

#7. REINFORCING the THEME of your program

#8. ACCENTUATING the positives about your company

#9. LEADING the audience toward your company’s objectives

#10. ENDING the program in a thoughtful (and thankful) manner


This is one of the central tasks and responsibilities of the MC. A good MC should put your program and the other presenters and acts in a great light.

But first, let’s talk about how first-time amateur hosts often mess this up. Here are some big mistakes weak hosts often make.

Party past whilst carried

Mistakes Bad Masters of Ceremonies Make:

  • Introduce speakers with too many words. Don’t confuse a bio with an intro!
  • Going for laughs as they are introducing another person. A great Master of Ceremonies makes the upcoming speaker look important—not silly—before they come up to the platform.
  • Walking off before the upcoming speaker comes up to shake hands. Professional masters of ceremonies know that an empty stage creates a dead spot in your show.
  • Forgetting to give a good “outro.” What is an “outro”? It is what the MC says about the speaker after she shares her message. For instance: “Thank you Christina Chang with our HR team…that was wonderful. Let’s all give her another round of applause.”
  • Forgetting about the next speaker’s sound/staging needs for the formal event. A polished Master of Ceremonies is like a great chess player. He’s always thinking about the next key move.

Example: If the CEO is about to come up and needs a podium on the stage before he speaks, a solid Master of Ceremonies makes sure the CEO has that lectern on the platform before making the onstage introduction.

Now, let’s look at some powerful ways a fantastic MC will help every person at your event succeed – presenters, acts, and VIPs alike!

Your ideal Master of Ceremonies will…A wedding master can make your wedding reception, wedding ceremony, and first dance taking place fun since they will have world experiences with weddings and making the bride and groom happy

  • Highlight 3 or 4 positive credibility-boosting things about the speaker being introduced:
    • Who they are
    • What they have accomplished
    • How they are connected to the company or organization
    • Why this will be wonderful and relevant for the attendees
  • Recognize the contributions your leaders are making. Example: “John, that was an incredible talk. Thank you. Did you know that sales are up 45% since John became our VP of Sales & Marketing? Let’s show him our appreciation.”
  • Build enthusiasm in the attendees about who is coming up to speak.
  • Praise the other presenters and organizational leaders. This does two things: It reminds your audience that they are part of a vibrant tribe. It also makes your speakers and leadership team feel more empowered—and acknowledged—on the platform.
  • Look for ways to verbally “call back” and honor the presenters at the end of the evening. For instance: “It’s been a great night! Can we take a second and thank Monique, Taylor, Brian, and Melanie for inspiring us this evening?!” (The MC then leads the attendees in applause).


A magnificent host is a master of transitions. It’s music to an emcee’s ear, when the conference producer says, “Hey, nice job with that smooth transition.”

For an excellent Master of Ceremonies, a good segue is a thing of beauty. Transitions are the spaces-in-between. When I act as a host, I like to speak with the program producer, coordinator, or person in charge about these crucial transitions, long before the guests arrive at the venue.

Questions a Master of Ceremonies should consider about specific transitions:

  1. What is going to happen in the program room as guests arrive before the program begins?
  2. How are we opening the show?
  3. Will someone introduce me as the host or will there be a V.O. (voice-over)?
  4. Am I making an announcement at the top or end of the program?
  5. When can I give the guests a stretch break? Between speakers? Between sessions?
  6. Are we showing video clips during the program?
  7. What is the best way for me to set up this video and keep things moving?
  8. How should I switch from that emotional—or low-key, or funny, or intense—prior speaker before I bring up our next speaker?
  9. How and when will I recharge the guests?
  10. Do we have the presenters seated near the podium so we can keep the program m-o-v-i-n-g?
  11. How shall I close the program and dismiss our patrons?
  12. The wrap-up: What do I tell guests to do next (or where to go)?

Entertainment entertainment

If you are a master of ceremonies for a meeting, here’s a tip for great transitions from previous speaker to next:

Listen first. Then reflect back to the audience what they are feeling at a particular moment. If you sense they want to applaud a presenter for an extended time, help them do it as .

If you sense that patrons are getting bored or restless, lead them in a standing/stretching exercise.

If you are following a moving story, impact testimonial, or emotional video, give patrons a moment to take it in. “Wow…that was powerful. Let’s take a second to let that sink in. (Pause) That was so uplifting. Thank you, Madeline…”

Big Tip: As the meeting organizer, the BIG secret to great transitions is simple, but often neglected. Go over your working schedule (I call it a “run sheet”) with your ceremonies master or person hosting prior to the meeting.

In fact, make sure all of your presenters have a printed copy of this schedule and timeline!

MASTER of Ceremonies Secret #5: ENCOURAGE

An MC presents performers at a wedding ceremony o reception and generally offers a wedding announcement or is focused on others giving a speech or words of encouragement

The fifth ingredient of a marvelous master of ceremonies is his or her ability to inspire your audience to laugh, think, applaud, take action, appreciate, and feel glad they attended. What you are looking for is a ceremonies master who knows how to uplift your patrons.

Here is another MC acronym you may find helpful here. Oh no, not another acronym! Yes, you’ll love this one.

The right master of ceremonies at your ceremony is one who uses her head and lots of HEART: Humor, Encouragement, Attitude, Reliability, and Team spirit.


A fine master of ceremonies knows how—and when!—to tell a good joke. Select a witty (but warm-hearted) Master of Ceremonies with style. Someone who will keep your patrons feeling great…with feel-good humor.


The best master of ceremonies for your community gathering is the one who will keep your audience engaged. Your conference MC must know how to make patrons feel included and involved while listening to what’s happening on the platform and making adjustments.


This one is tricky. You are looking for a Master of Ceremonies who exudes confidence for sure. Yet, you do not want an arrogant master of ceremonies. What is the ideal attitude?

Your Master of Ceremonies should bring a spirit of gratitude, enthusiasm, and energy to your evet.


What good is a super-talented MC at your gathering if she arrives late, won’t take your pre-function call, or cancels on you?! Masterful Masters of Ceremonies are consistently great. This means they understand that in “Show Business” the word business is the longer, and more important word.


If your MC can’t get on board with what your organization stands for, hire another MC. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: There’s no “I” in team.

MASTER of Ceremonies Secret #6: RAPPORT

An MC will be introducing the person on site at the party and their main responsibility will be speaking to the crowd, introducing speech givers, and offering inspiration and knowledge

This last one is arguably the most important MC tip of all.

Rapport rules.

Here’s another word for it: Likeability. Your audience is silently asking themselves: Am I going to enjoy this meeting? Will I like this host or MC?

An MC who bonds with people quickly is an invaluable asset at your ceremony. And that’s why a splendid master of ceremonies can help you turn your meeting into a masterpiece.

I hope the insights, tips, and suggestions in this blog have inspired you to partner with a wonderful master of ceremonies.

Now go and create a magical meeting!

Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, major donor weekends, sales conventions, annual meetings, gala celebrations, and award shows. He is the author of the forthcoming book: How to Be A Great MC which will be published by Markin Books, and founder of CleanComedians.com.