The Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda held a public lecture on 8th August 2019. I was the event MC. This being my third time, I was very excited.
As usual, I first researched all over the Internet about what makes a fantastic master of ceremony (MC). It is not easy to find such practical information on the Internet. Great resources are restricted. You are either a member or must first pay to subscribe to access the resources.
Below are the insights to help you shine at your next gig.
You have been nominated or selected to MC at an event, meet the event organizer to introduce you to their boss. Obtain a final copy of the agenda. As an MC, your role is to manage the event so that it flows smoothly. Your first responsibility is to make sure the Agenda is followed.
For corporate events, the people who attend are busy folks. They want an event to end fast, and this means you must follow the Agenda timelines without further ado. It is the responsibility of the MC to make this happen. Also, people do not want surprises. That is why the Agenda exists. The MC must as much as possible, keep the audience aware of what is coming up next.
Do not worry. Everyone wants you to succeed. So, dress up very well – try to be the smartest guy in the room, and take a deep breath after a glass of water. Make sure you brash and you are astute. Go there and shine. And below is how to shine.
Meet the event organizing team, and if possible, the ultimate boss – the boss of the event organizing a committee. Understand carefully why the event has been organized.
Get the organizers details and learn them by heart. For example, if the organizer of the event is a bank, obtain, read and understand the following about the bank:
The bank’s ambition and mission
Names of the board chairman, CEO and top management team and their brief profiles
The key priority areas for the bank – which customer segment and what are their channels? The key products and services offered by the bank. Know about the bank’s key success milestones and history. This kind of information helps you fill up a gap –power has gone off, the microphone fails to work or a speaker is delaying to appear or the guest of honor is yet to arrive and the function has commenced since everyone is already seated.
Know the bank’s tagline and brand promise. Know great customer experiences about the bank. Have these stories written and be ready to share them during the event
Have someone nearby who works with the bank and knows protocol to inform you about the key guests so that you may recognize them. The audience members love it when one among them is recognized. The more people you can see and recognize, the better. For impact, recognize the people with respect to their value to the bank or event organizer and the function.
Have personal stories to share that are packed with leadership lessons.
You may consider coming early to the hall, and being at the door to welcome guests as they enter. This may give you an upper hand. About 10 minutes to the time indicated on the Agenda to comment on the function arrives, get the microphone and announce how the function shall be commencing in ’10 minutes’ time. This is necessary to ‘prepare’ your audience so that they know what is coming next.
On the dot, go and commence the event. The best way is to start with a story that brings the message home of why the meeting.
To be continued in part 2.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2019. All rights reserved.