Tag Archives: meeting emcee
Pronouncing People’s Names Right
In my line of work as an emcee I must introduce A LOT of people… AND pronounce their names correctly. And pronouncing them all at the other times as well. Examples include:
- Asking for someone on the phone or reception desk
- Introducing someone to a colleague
- Meeting someone at a networking event or party
- Reading a list of names at a school, church or other event
And that’s not to mention remembering people’s names! Are you one of those people who instantly forget someone’s name 5 seconds after they’ve been introduced to you? Or do you just forget how they pronounce their name? (Secret: Next month’s blog)
Every speech, talk and presentation you do will be different, so it’s impossible to give an actual script that you can use for every occasion. Sometimes you’re searching your brain for that “little something” that will spark you to start off or finish a thought.
Assembled here is the next best thing! A collection of lines, phrases and words that you can use to slot in to any script! So, whatever it is you are writing, you will find snippets that can be used for …
Rules of Improvisation can help all of us in work, life & love. My mentor and improvisational guru Del Close once said to our class, “First, there are no rules. OK? Now, Rule number one….!” …and went on to discuss the rules that make an improvisation scene work. (I believe what he was saying was that there are rules to Improvisation everyone should follow, but sometimes, those rules can either be broken or not used at all in certain situations. But I digress). What follows are, to me, the BIG 3 RULES OF IMPROVISATION.
Engagement is the the word I first thought of when I started writing about how I interact with people while emceeing meetings or presenting at trade shows, but come to find out, what I meant was Engage. You see, engagement in Webster’s is defined as: 1 – a formal agreement to get married, 2 – do something or go somewhere at a fixed time, 3 – the action of engaging or being engaged (I abhor when definitions use the actual word in the definition) and 4 – a fight or battle between armed forces.
How to write a joke.
Why blog about this?
Because I’m answering the 2 most common questions I’m asked:
1) How do you write your jokes?
2) Can you help me write a joke?
I remember my first joke (Side note: I did not write this joke). I was little, maybe 1st grade, and my parents were having a party. I walked around every small group of people asking, “Is your refrigerator running?” In retrospect I’m sure they all knew this joke, but looking down and seeing this kid in his pajamas what jerk is going to heckle me and spoil my gag? So, they say, “Yes.” With perfect timing I hit ‘em with the punch! “Well, you better go catch it!” Cue the perfunctory laughter. Hundreds of hours of therapy have shown me this positive reinforcement set the path I am still on. Oh yeah, how to write a joke.
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.