Send in the Ringmaster
with a Professional MC.
Do you remember going to the circus as a kid? Afterwards, you probably
reminisced about the jugglers, clowns, daring lion tamers and trapeze
artists. But did you remember the ringmaster? Probably not, but could
you imagine a circus without one? Chaos as animals and entertainers collide,
boring interludes while the wires and equipment are sorted, and worst
of all, no warm welcome or witty repartee.
Like the ringmaster, the professional Master of Ceremony (MC) is your
insurance against chaos. He or she can energise your event to be exceptional,
and must manage the people, functions and protocol, which all contribute
to the experience.
Celebrity agent, Max Markson says: A good MC is vital to the success
of the event, they will make or break your day. So what is a good
MC and how do you recognise one?
In The Ringmaster, Meeting Services
Camille Valvo* brings many years of experience to her role as a MC and
accredited speaker. Here are a few tips.
1. Pre-Event Planning
Pre-event, you want a totally professional approach which includes the
necessary homework and preparation required for your event. To use an
old Broadway phrase, if it aint on the page, it aint
on the stage. Once briefed, they should understand the objectives,
theme and team they will be working with, and be willing to share their
expertise to support you.
2. Experience and Expertise
How much will it cost your business if your event is poorly hosted? At
a recent awards evening, the MC thought he too should celebrate with a
few drinks, and almost fell off the stage. A professional MC has integrity,
flexibility and is not a prima donna, and you will find one through relevant
industry groups, speakers bureaux and the National Speakers Association.
In the hands of a good MC, the audience will be oblivious to hitches even
if theres a riot backstage. When the guest speaker was more than
an hour late to a lively Christmas function, I took the microphone out
into the audience and conducted on the spot Christmas wish list
interviews. It was hilarious and filled the spot perfectly but please
note that this is not a trick for the inexperienced MC! A professional
MC can handle contingencies. They need to have an eye for detail as well
as management skills to ensure the program is on time and on track.
3. Engage the Audience
Mentioning the ample cleavage of the upcoming speaker is one (very unprofessional!)
way to engage the audience, as happened at a business function recently.
The CEO or HR manager may deliver your objectives; but a professional
MC can go beyond to creatively inform, entertain and motivate your delegates.
Janette Beedell, organises the largest annual event in Australia, for
the Financial Planning Association of Australia. She looks for an MC who
can effectively open and close, as well as highlight relevant points and
outcomes from the speakers presentation. Whether its 200 or
2,000, engaging the audiences attention and relating to them is
4. Add Value
You can save on your event budget with an MC who offers more than just
good introductions. A professional can double as an interviewer, facilitator
or debate moderator, or may offer tailored trivia, teambuilding activities
and energisers that can add fun and variety for your delegates. Post-event
feedback or Conference Keepers from your MC, can also be valuable
for your future event planning.
5. Success without Stress
As the organiser, you are juggling a lot of balls, and your credibility
hinges on the success of the event. When you work with a professional
MC, you can relax and concentrate on what you do best. Your event will
come to life and your objectives delivered successfully.
Every event deserves to be managed professionally, dont leave yours
in the hands of clowns. Send in a professional MC for a truly unforgettable,
stress free event.
*Camille Valvo, MC and accredited speaker was the 2006 President of the
National Speakers Association, NSW Chapter. Camille has co-authored a
unique MC learning resource, How to MC almost Anything, audio
CD. See www.emcee.com.au or phone 0418 403 062 for more information.