The difference at an event is much bigger than you may realize between a Facilitator and Professional Emcee. Below breaks down what Richard Laible believes to be that distinction.
- Introduces guests – often the introduction of a speaker consists of their name, title and a brief biography…and once those are done the facilitator shakes the speaker’s hand and walks off stage. Nice and clean.
- Tells Jokes – sometimes funny, often not, also frequently a joke the attendees have heard before. Smart facilitators know their strengths.
- Handles Housekeeping – adept at reading off a list of information, most often to a PowerPoint slide. Very helpful.
Professional Corporate Emcee
- Personalized & Entertaining Introductions – A professional emcee finds out some interesting facts about the speaker and weaves them into the introduction. This accomplishes two things: humanizing the speaker and therefore emotionally connecting the speaker to the audience. Now the speaker isn’t just the CMO, but also the father of triplets who once washed dishes to pay for college.
- Engages Attendees – By using high energy & smart segues, a professional emcee keeps the goals of the meeting at the forefront. By breaking the “4th wall” and talking with the attendees (instead of “at them”) the professional emcee links the crowd with the speakers, material and massaging.
- Gets Attendees to Really Listen to Messages – The comic genius Herb Gardner said, “Once you get people laughing … they’re listening.” And that’s the ultimate measure of a successful sales conference or event: getting the audience to really listen to your message! A professional emcee should also actually be funny, because humor ‘in the moment” makes an event work better.
- High Energy Opening – A professional emcee opens the event each day in a fun, upbeat, and highly interactive manner, grabbing and keeping everyone’s attention focused. This sets the tone and adds consistency to the important themes. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to get the attendees out of their chairs for some interactive fun and small team building activity. A pro knows this doesn’t need to take much time but does start them off energized.
- Maintain Dynamic Flow – As meetings progress they tend to slow down. Keeping the attendees engaged and the pace moving a professional emcee constantly must re-energize the room with fun, humor, and energy, thereby sustaining involvement and interactivity.
- Does homework – Much of an event happens well before the occasion itself. Professional emcees find out and understand all about a company, the speakers, specific & overall messaging, etc. to assure their contribution is targeted to the strategic goals for an event. Simply put: a pro is prepared.
- Monitors and Adjusts – Sometimes an event calls for high energy and humor. Other times for calm and quiet. Knowing the right mood and pace, and how to accomplish both, puts a professional emcee above the pack.
- Stays Flexible – Meetings and events can change on a dime (Speakers are late, the meeting is running long, the PowerPoint froze, and countless other unintended slip-ups happen). Nothing throws a pro…quite the opposite. A professional can take any fiasco and turn it into a success.
- Handles Housekeeping – Simply reading a list just doesn’t do it. Staying upbeat, in the moment with just the right amount of enthusiasm and humor makes a dull list into a fun piece of business.
The bottom line is that a professional emcee helps bring your messages to life in a fun way, so people act on them and their commitment to execute is higher. They support you and your objectives, making your event better and your job easier. Ideas are brought to life and retained better since the people were actively listening. But I believe most importantly, people enjoy the event like they never have before as they eagerly participate, interact and ultimately realize their full potential to perform.
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