Master of ceremonies, MC, a ceremonies master, a liturgy. There are plenty of different ways the dictionary and thesaurus will describe an emcee.
But what the thesaurus won’t tell you is the true role of a master of ceremonies. Because a staged event is kind of like a ship at sea. It’s in need of a captain.
Especially when the waters get a little bit choppy. So if you want your next event to really scream “celebration!” then you’d better go with a Master of Ceremonies who knows how to lead the charge whilst entertaining your attendees.
But if you’re at all confused as to what the duties of a Master of Ceremonies are, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out more about the official host of your events.
See Related: What Is An Emcee?
What are the duties of a Master of Ceremonies?
A professional ceremonies master is in charge of a lot of things. But here are some of the key responsibilities you can bet your MC will have handled.
#1. Meeting with event organizers before the event
Meeting with organizers of the event is a crucial responsibility of the Master of Ceremonies. After all, they’re going to be playing an important role on the day of the event, whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in-person.
So they need to know what’s going to happen ahead of time. This meeting is also a great chance for the Master of Ceremonies to prepare any event goals with organizers in the best interest of the company.
Some folks might want to make it a point to give off a relaxed environment with music. While others want a fun and energetic act to perform throughout.
#2. Welcoming guests into the conference venue
Once the event starts, the MC should be the first person to welcome guests into the space. They’ll give a speech and/or announcement to the crowd, noting key people in the event.
And they’ll generally keep the event running while making sure that the stage is prepared for the next speaker. Ultimately, they are meant to serve your company in every transition, introduction, and funny speech.
#3. Offering up announcements about the agenda
As the Master of Ceremonies is speaking, they’ll also present any ground rules or agenda tips for the day. This way, guests can know what to expect throughout the event, especially if this is their first time attending an event for your company.
This just helps to mitigate any confusion later on by equipping guests with knowledge first. After all, what would you do if you and your friends went to an event and the MC didn’t relate any important information?
Sure, it might be an awesome party. But odds are, your group has a specific goal in mind for the evening.
#4. Introducing speakers and performers
Events can have any number of speakers. But the Master of Ceremonies will want to know everything about the previous speaker, the speaker who’s giving their speech, and the speaker who’s coming up next.
The MC is the one responsible for introducing those speech givers to the world. Okay, the reception hall.
But either way, a good MC knows how to introduce guests with style. And always with a gracious tip of the hat.
After all, a master of ceremonies acts as an extension of your company. So you’ll want speakers to be recognized in a positive light.
#5. Guiding guests through presentation transitions
It seems like a difficult task to keep the audience engaged during transitions. But that’s exactly what the Master of Ceremonies is tasked with doing.
They’ll be sure to maintain eye contact with the audience throughout the entire ceremony. And no matter what’s taking place, they’ll be focused solely on capturing everybody’s attention with the words they speak.
Especially when some unexpected events occur. That’s when you’ll want your Master of Ceremonies to guide everyone through and keep the evening on track.
Whether it’s through eye contact, spoken word, or simply a sign to keep everyone chugging along. Either way, a professional will know how to do this with ease.
Bonus: How To Host An Event
What are the qualities of a good MC?
A Master of Ceremonies can and should be a lot of things. But here are some of the top qualities you’ll want to see in your MC.
A great sense of humor
A Master of Ceremonies has to be able to relate to everyone. And that means having a good sense of style and humor.
They should approach the reception hall not like it’s a job. But like they’re talking to a friend.
Having a sense of humor greatly increases one’s chance of getting along with others. Because you can’t deny that everybody loves to laugh.
A knack for introducing people in the best light
A big part of the corporate emcee job is introducing people throughout the conference or ceremony. And a great MC knows that every person being introduced should receive as warm a welcome to the stage as the previous one.
I’m not saying that an MC should have a long, drawn out speech about each person. But they should treat each person’s introduction with respect and give key points of information, for example.
Giving the world’s best speeches
Most of the time, an MC won’t be giving a long winded speech up on the stage. But let’s say there’s a snag in the program and the MC has to improvise.
Well, you better make sure you have that skill set. Any ceremony can encounter any number of hiccups.
But this is nothing to worry about with the right event MC in your corner. They’ll know how to keep the audience’s attention away from the distraction and focused on the event at hand.
The ability to remain calm under pressure
I mentioned that anything can happen at a live event. And that’s because it can.
That’s why you’ll want an MC who knows how to stay calm under pressure. Besides, who needs a host who freaks out as soon as one little detail doesn’t go as planned?
This is perhaps the greatest quality an MC can possess. And it can take years to practice and master.
But post-event, you’ll be able to look back and say, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad.” Because your seasoned professional will have guided everybody through it.
Piece of cake!
If you’re planning an event, you’ll definitely want to have a seasoned professional by your side. Not only to help you when things get bumpy in the road.
But to help you accomplish the specific goals you have in mind. Remember – a Master of Ceremonies isn’t all style and no substance, they’re the perfect blend of both.
Keep Reading: How To Be An MC For An Event
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.