Speaking in front of a large crowd, whether as a teacher, a public speaker, office presenter or an emcee, can be nerve-wracking. These types of speaking situations are especially daunting for introverts who don’t like being at the center of attention.
It is important to remember that it does not matter whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. You can still be an effective emcee either way. However, what works for a more extroverted individual may not suit introverts.
Let a professional MC in Dubai give you a few tips on how to become an effective master of ceremonies for an event as an introvert.
1. Do your research
Will you be the emcee for a wedding or the 50th class reunion for doctors? Where will they be holding the event?
Know as much about the occasion and the audience as you can. In terms of the script, this will determine the content as well as your tone and pacing. Plus, you will also need to consider the number of people attending the event, the age of your audience, the activities and the dress code.
For instance, if you are the emcee for a kid’s party, you may need to think of how to welcome guests, encourage the kids to participate in the games or get relatives to say a few words about the celebrant. On the other hand, for corporate seminars, you may need to know more about the speakers, write introductions, come up with ice breakers and handle questions from the crowd.
2. Prepare and practice your script
Events pose several issues for introverts. Being in a large group of people and socializing for several hours can be exhausting.
Plus, events rarely go according to plan. Emcees are expected to be flexible and know how to handle changes.
Still, preparing a script is an essential part of any occasion that requires public speaking. It means you are prepared with personal stories or jokes, or whatever you need to make people feel more comfortable so that you are never lost for words.
3. See how others do it
There are videos online that allow viewers to see what the event is like from the speaker’s point of view. If this is your first time emceeing, watching these types of videos gives you an idea of how it feels to go out in front of a large crowd.
Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes. Imagine being in front of the crowd and practice your script. This will help you get used to the idea of being the center of attention.
Get a copy of the emcee or speaker’s transcript if you can. Study the material to see what types of introductions and closing speeches were used. Great hosts are not born but made through months and years of study and practice.
4. Go to the venue in advance
If you can, visit the venue before the event and practice your script there. Stand behind the podium, walk around the stage and look out into the crowd. The seats may be empty now but this simple act can give you an idea of what it will be like as the emcee of the event.
Take a video of your visit and whenever you practice. Watch the video with people you trust and ask for their opinion. Based on the videos, they can tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are as an emcee.
Use their tips to revise your script or improve your performance. Perhaps you work better-telling stories rather than cracking jokes. By working your material around your strengths, you will feel more comfortable when talking to your audience.
It will take some time before you gain the confidence to speak in front of a large crowd and become the master of ceremonies. You will make mistakes and feel like you’ve failed at times. But through following and constantly practicing these tips, you will get used to the feeling of talking to the crowd and getting the event going.
Hisham Wyne is an internationally recognized MC, broadcaster, presenter and moderator who helps the world’s best-known brands create memorable occasions. He regularly hosts conferences, panel sessions, gala dinners and award ceremonies for some of the world’s best brands. With 150+ events under his belt, Hisham is the professional speaker that brands and agencies turn to when wanting to interview, engage and entertain government VVIPs and Hollywood celebrities.