How to Be an Effective Emcee

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How to Be an Effective Emcee: 

How to Be an Effective Emcee Glenn Walker


Agenda The Role of Emcee Introductions 101 Weddings Summary


Questions? The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.

E = EMCEE2: 

E = EMCEE2 The Anatomy of an Emcee


Emcee Main Entry: 1em·cee Pronunciation: "em-'sE Function: noun Etymology: MC : MASTER OF CEREMONIES Source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Master of Ceremonies: 

Master of Ceremonies Main Entry: master of ceremonies 1 : a person who determines the forms to be observed on a public occasion 2 : a person who acts as host at a formal event 3 : a person who acts as host for a program of entertainment (as on television) Source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Emcee Responsibilities: 

Emcee Responsibilities Planner Coach Host


Planner Work with event sponsors to determine the program for the event. Identify participants and their roles.


Coach Help the event sponsors with details. Help the participants to prepare for their role in the program


Host Be positive. Be friendly. Be prepared!

Types of Events: 

Types of Events Weddings Dinners Banquets Shows

The Basics: 

The Basics Plan an agenda appropriate to the event. Work with the event sponsor to incorporate their requirements. Work with identified participants.

Honoring Heads of State: 

Honoring Heads of State Loyal Toast Ladies and Gentlemen, Her Majesty the Queen <everyone rises and raises glasses> The Queen Americans Present To the office of the President of the United States of America.

Example Dinner Meeting: 

Example Dinner Meeting Call Meeting To Order Oh Canada Grace Dinner Loyal Toast (after desert, before cigars) Introduction of guests. Introduction of Guest Speaker Guest Speaker Thank Guest Speaker Adjournment

Example Banquet: 

Example Banquet Call To Order Oh Canada Grace Dinner Loyal Toast Introduction of Head Table Guests Messages of Greeting (M.P., M.L.A., Mayor) Guest Speaker(s) Special Announcements Presentations Adjournment

Material You Need: 

Material You Need Program Introductions of Participants in Program Filler / Bridging Material

Introductions 101: 

Introductions 101 Glenn Walker, DTM


Overview A Good Introduction Things to Avoid Speakers’ Responsibility

A Good Introduction: 

A Good Introduction Makes a Transition Sets The Tone Gives Authority

Answer the Questions: 

Answer the Questions Why this speaker? Why this topic? Why this timing?

Keep It Brief: 

Keep It Brief Length should be proportional to the length of the presentation. Try the 80-20 rule.

Smooth Transitions: 

Smooth Transitions Smoothly transition the speaker to the lectern. After the presentation, it is appropriate to say a few brief words to transition from the speaker to the next item on the program.

Elements Of An Introduction: 

Elements Of An Introduction Generally Speaker’s Name Topic Credentials / Lead In Material

Things To Avoid: 

Things To Avoid Never … Upstage Reveal Contents Surprise Praise Use Clichés Wait to name the speaker

Speaker’s Responsibility: 

Speaker’s Responsibility Provide information to your introducer. Your … Topic Background / Credentials Additional Information Write your own introduction.

Points To Remember: 

Points To Remember Answer the Questions. Keep It Brief. Smooth Transitions Avoid the common pitfalls.



It’s About Smooth Transitions: 

It’s About Smooth Transitions Prepare material that can help smooth transitions from one part of the program to the next. Listen to participants and use references to their presentation to build your bridge.



Humor Is A Tool: 

Humor Is A Tool Humorous material is all around us. Humor can add to the enjoyment of the event. Avoid questionable material. If you can, use humorous events you experienced as part of the event.

Be Careful!: 

Be Careful! Avoid embarrassing people. Off color humor may offend people. Overused jokes could draw a groan rather than a laugh.




Wedding A special day for two people, their families and friends.

Wedding Reception Elements: 

Wedding Reception Elements Entry of the Wedding Party Introduction of Head Table A Blessing A Meal Introduction of Special Guests Family Members Distant Travelers Toasts to Bride / Groom Toast given by a family member or friend Reply for Toast to Bride comes from groom. Reply for Toast to Groom comes from bride Telegrams / Letters Entertainment Special Presentations Bride / Groom Thank You Stories told by family / friends Dance Cutting the Cake Tossing the Bouquet Send Off Fun and Games


Planning Programming Find out what elements to include. Find out who will be assigned to various roles. Figure out timing of various elements. Create a rough draft. May require several iterations to get it right.


Preparation Contacting Participants Couple should make initial contact. Follow up and ensure participant understands their role and timing. Agree on a time to follow up. Remember that participants will be family and friends. Many of whom are not professional speakers. They may need help.


Participation Be involved! Go to the rehearsal. Go to the ceremony. Go to other events prior to the day. Set the tone. Be positive. Be prepared.


Preparation Planning Your Part Introductions Pronouncing names. Introducing participants. Jokes / Stories Remember, family show! Fun and Games Kissing

Emcee Tips: 

Emcee Tips Do Attend the ceremony (and any other events that help you to prepare). Double check head table seating arrangements. Acquaint yourself with the sound system. Acquaint yourself with the hotel staff. Use appropriate humor. Have printed copy of the agenda. Set a friendly tone. Don’t Steal the show. Use inappropriate humor. Incorporate elements into the program without the consent of the couple.

Special Touches: 

Special Touches Telling a personal story. Special entertainment. Fun & Games


Summary Many types of events. Dinners Banquets Shows Weddings Preparation and Planning is key.

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